Recent violence prompts push for domestic violence resources

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:55 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2023 at 6:47 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Following what police believe to be a domestic violence shooting that happened earlier this week, local advocates are pushing for more accountability and mental health services.

One Place Family Justice Center in Birmingham said domestic violence permeates more than just the home, it affects the whole community. They said you need to know your options if you or a loved one are experiencing it, because it can escalate to sometimes fatal outcomes.

“It is something that we get called from every day,” said Danielle Mars, Project Coordinator at One Place Family Justice Center. Mars and others have conversations daily with victims who need help and are brave enough to pick up the phone.

“Most times when a person is calling, they are ready to make an appointment,” Mars said.

Mars said domestic violence can start with a need for control or power, like restricting money or tracking location, and can lead to fatalities. They ask questions to the victim to gauge how bad the situation has gotten.

“‘Is a firearm in the home? Has he or she ever threatened you with a firearm?’ Most times when a firearm is in the home, it does raise the risk of homicide to 500%,” Mars said. Their advocates also educate them on how dangerous repeat offenses are, and what it can lead to.

Community advocate Eric Hall says domestic violence is a symptom of underlying issues in a community, saying it creates an atmosphere of community violence, like with the Tuesday case involving a pregnant 24-year-old mother shot to death.

“The community is definitely taking a hit. It was such an extreme situation. It’s a very traumatic situation, and communities have to begin to rally around these types of violent behaviors,” Hall said.

After what happened on Tuesday, he says we need to do a better job of paying attention.

“That’s the role of any community member can play, we all can do unnecessary part in listening, and directing,” Hall said.

One Place says they can connect you to whatever organization or resource can best help in the Birmingham area.

“It is hard, but we are willing to walk that road with you. We know that it is. It is a long road sometimes,” Mars said.

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