In abusive relationship? Get help now, before it's too late - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

In abusive relationship? Get help now, before it's too late

June 11, 2007

Albany -  Violent, even deadly cases of domestic abuse are occuring across South Georgia. Law enforcers say as temperatures increase, so will tempers, but they want victims of domestic abuse to know this--you don't have to stay in an abusive relationship, nor should you.

It's June, and that means it's hot outside, and getting hotter by the day.

"All of our disorderly and affray type activity does seem to pick up during real hot weather," said DCP Chief Don Cheek.  Including domestic violence cases. "The most important thing we could stress, " said Cheek, "If you are the victim of any type of domestic violence, report it and report it immediately."

He says the reason it is so important to call police right away, is that domestic violence typically doesn't go away on its own. "It's going to continue to happen if you don't take steps to stop it," said Cheek.

And it sometimes ends in death, of the abuser or the abused. On Sunday June 3rd, Matthew Thomas of Albany stuck a gun to his girlfriend's head and told her he would kill her. He ended up taking his own life in a police standoff the following day.

Over the weekend, 24-year old Latriesh Brown was found dead in a Dawson motel room. Police say 26-year old Corrick Johnson beat her with a beer bottle. Victim Advocate Audrea Page says tragedies like these could be avoided with help. "If you are a victim of any crime, you should report it to the police department," said Page.

And get help. Not only if you are a victim, but if you are the aggressor. "Our goal is not to prosecute," said Cheek, "but the stop the domestic violence."

If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can contact the victims assistance office in your county. Here in Albany, that number is 438-3985. They can help find counseling or a shelter to protect you from an abuser.