Increase in Domestic Homicides Leads to Domestic Violence Awareness

Tish Palamidessi, News 10 ABC

Two deaths in the sporting world in recent weeks are being investigated as domestic homicides, bringing awareness to the rising domestic violence issue in the U.S. and overseas.

Former pro-quarterback Steve McNair's death in Nashville on July 4 has been declared a murder-suicide after several days of investigation. The married 36-year-old McNair is said to have been in a relationship with a 20-year-old waitress who shot him to death with four bullets as he slept - and then turned the gun on herself.

This weekend's death of former Canadian world boxing champion Arturo Gatti in Brazil is also said to be a domestic homicide. Gatti's wife, 23-year-old Amada Rodrigues, has been charged with his murder.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, domestic violence reports are up 20% in the U.S. and call center calls up are up 21%.

Many researchers feel the nation's current economic situation may be leading to financial strain on relationships.

Foreclosures, company layoffs, and money woes can be a recipe for relationship disaster. Add to that the statistic that more couples on the rocks are choosing to "stick-it-out" rather than sperate and you have all the ingredients for some sort of domestic tension.

The website, which pairs individuals with legal services, reports divorce filings down 16% from last year. Many couples not wanting to take on the individual financial responsibility of a divorce.

Meantime while domestic violence issues continue to increase, funding for prevention assistance is decreasing.

State budget issues here in California have services for domestic violence prevention on the verge of being cut. Many feel if this does happen domestic violence in the state will only get worse.

Already 25% of all domestic violence cases go unreported and services like W.E.A.V.E (Women Escaping A Violent Environment) and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence work to reach out to these individuals.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence you can anonymously call WEAVE 24-hours a day at (916) 920-2952.