MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In the past month, police say there have been three women killed by their husbands or boyfriends: a store manager at the Mall of America, a teenage girl and a pregnant National Guard member. None of the men charged have a criminal history.
Heidi Carlson is the men’s program supervisor at the Domestic Abuse Project – an outreach and counseling facility.
“It’s so sad to me. I mean, it’s just been one after the other. And horrible, horrible deaths,”
Carlson has spent 30 years trying to prevent these kind of deaths from happening.
She meets with perpetrators daily. In all three of the recent murders, none of those charged had a criminal history. She is not surprised.
“The bulk of the guys that we see are court ordered,” she said.
Carlson says often the “typical batterer” appears on the outside to be in control, but that façade comes at a cost.
“You’re terrorizing your household,” she said.
Roger Holland, the suspect in the most recent murder, is a member of the Army National Guard. Carlson says she runs a group for veterans, helping them to deal with post-traumatic stress and the transition back to home life.
“The military is a vertical society, so you follow orders. Relationships are horizontal,” she said.
Be it domestic abuse or dating violence, Carlson says there are several clear warning signs:
– Name calling and put-downs
– Controlling behavior
– Efforts to isolate the partner
– Stalking behavior
– Any physical abuse
“They say ‘I haven’t been abused because he didn’t hit me,’ but these other forms are just as lethal,” she said. “Take it serious. That’s the big thing. This could be your life.”
The number of women murdered actually dropped in 2012 from 2011. Carlson says that number is back up again so far in 2013.
The Domestic Abuse Project has two 24-hour hotlines that they encourage people to call.
For women: 866-223-1111.
For men: 866-379-6367.