Local organizations talk about Domestic Violence Awareness Month – CBS Tampa
TAMPA, FL (CW44 News at 10) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and after the Gabby Petito case, the case has come up more than ever.
Casey Albritton of CW44 spoke to two leaders of a local domestic violence organization about how many cases of domestic violence they see now and what you should do in risky situations.
“It happens everywhere,” says Lariana Forsythe of an organization called Community Action Stops Abuse, or CASA.
Domestic violence… It’s a problem that many people across the United States face every day.
“Our numbers are up for this year. 2020 has been surprisingly low. I think there have been eight murders in Pinellas County, and so far we are at 12,” Forsyth said.
Forsyth and Mindy Murphy say with Tampa Bay Springs they’ve seen domestic violence get worse over the past year.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the sadistic nature of violence being perpetrated against survivors. “We’ve seen a lot of gun use,” Murphy said.
Domestic violence began to come into greater light after the death of Gabe Pettito.
“The issue stands out nationally, and it provides an opportunity for people to talk about domestic violence,” Murphy said.
Petio’s death was ruled a murder, and her fiancé, Brian Laundry, was chosen as a VIP. Forsyth says the Bodycam video released to a policeman responds to a “potential domestic violence call” and Gabe’s reaction is very similar to the number of victims acting.
“Often someone who has just been violated acts like Gabe Pettito and they had a situation that they don’t understand, they can’t handle and all of this stuff goes on and it would seem irrational,” Forsyth said. .
Forsythe and Murphy both say if your partner controls certain parts of your life, like the friends and family you connect with, where you are, how you spend money and more, these are red flags. They say you should call the domestic violence hotline to determine if you could be at risk and what safety plan you should put in place.
“If something turns violent, maybe it’s moving the sofa away by the door so they have a way out, maybe talking to a neighbor and saying ‘If you put a plant in that window, that means I’m in danger and I want you to call a number,'” Forsyth said. 911 for me.”
More news: High levels of red tide in the Gulf
If you believe you are in a situation of domestic violence, you can call the Community Action Stops Abuse emergency hotline at 727-895-4912 from Spring of Tampa Bay at 813-247-7233.