Call it a week of tragedy, five deaths in Killeen within the last 8 days all involved domestic violence including the death of 11-year-old Makayla and 9-year-old Alyssa.
Killeen Police Crimes Victims Unit says they have seen a surge in domestic violence crimes. It is a spike they have seen during the entire pandemic.
“Unless you’re inside of the home it’s hard sometimes because people do hide their problems because they feel like it should be inside the house instead of expressing their concerns,” said Killeen Police Department Special Victims Unit Supervisor Sgt. Kerry-Ann Harris.
Susanna Amour with Families In Crisis said they see it too.
“We know that typically, the lethality does increase as the situation goes on,” said Amour.
Several neighbors say they need a victim for years but never saw the sign for domestic violence. Amour said it is important to pay attention to the signs.
“Extreme jealousy. Being extremely controlling. Controlling with the money. Controlling how the children are raised,” said Amour.
Amour said it is critical to building safe environments with victims, so they know you are there to listen.
“No one knows better than that survivor what that battery is capable of and you may give them advice that might create a situation to escalate. It is really important, to let them make those choices and just to be kind of a sounding board to let them know you’re there for them.”
Kids can also show signs of domestic violence, including a fear of leaving their parents alone. Amour as well as Killeen police officers say it is important to support and attend events spreading awareness about domestic violence, to learn more ways how you can help.