SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Domestic violence experts, Police and victims themselves are speaking out after a horribly violent December in Utah.
Jenn Oxborrow, of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, tells Good4Utah, “We have over 30 people a year killed by an intimate partner in Utah. Over 80 children per year witnessing that.”
On December 4th in American Fork. An estranged husband with a protective order against him shot and kills his wife. He later died in a confrontation with police.
Then, on, December 24th an estranged husband shot his wife who was working at a convenience store.
This past Thursday 23 year old Katie Peralta was shot to death as she was leaving work at ARUP laboratories in Research Park. Police say her estranged husband, 25 year old Richard Peralta, shot her, then turned the gun and killed himself. She was planning to divorce him.
Oxborrow says, “The perception is that Utah's a pretty safe place and we are in many ways. We don't have that many homicides overall, but the percentage of our homicides that are perpetrated by current or former partners is really high, some years over 50 percent.”
Many people are afraid to call for help before the violence erupts, but police will respond any time you call.
Oxborrow continues, “We want them to really encourage people to let them know that they really are a able to reach out to us and we will try to work with them and resolved their issues as they come up.”
The real victims are innocent children like 1 year old Jake. He lost both parents in Thursday’s murder suicide outside the ARUP laboratories. Or Katie Peralta’s mother, Caterina Klinzing, who sat down with me to talk about her loss.
Klinzing says “It’s unthinkable. I mean its still, doesn’t feel real. I wait for her to come home. We didn’t move her pajamas last night.”
She continues, “We'rwe just thinking she's gonna be showing up. We didn’t get to see her. I know they had issues. Katie and him they fought a lot. He was controlling, which is why she was gonna get divorced.
How could he do that? How can he one day talk to me that he loves my daughter and then the next day you go and shoot her?”
Jenn Oxborrow says, “I think it’s really easy to look at the victim and say why did she stay or why did he stay or why didn't they ask for help? But the real issue here is, why is someone choosing to perpetrate violence against a loved one? There's help for everyone.”
24-7, 365 days a year, there is a number to call where you can talk to a victim advocate. The number is 1-800-897 link. That's 1-800-897-5465.
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