COLORADO SPRINGS — A new report just released by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice said the United States saw an 8.1 percent increase in domestic violence cases since the start of the pandemic.
A Fort Carson soldier Dermot Blake was arrested after he told first responders he shot his wife in their southwestern Colorado Springs apartment complex.
These arrest documents from the shooting over the weekend are graphic and may be disturbing to some.
FOX21 spoke to a Megan Lee a board member of Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence (BTSADV) and a Retired Army Officer about resources.
The documents show that there was at least one previous call to police in the summer of 2019 after an argument between the couple.
“A lot of times when police do show up [victims will] recant what they may have said on the phone and that puts law enforcement in a really sticky situation where they have to try and evaluate the situation,” Lee said.
Lee said when you see previous calls that ultimately end up with the victim loosing their life, this is called escalation.
“When you’re talking about escalation, understanding and seeing those warning signs is really critical,” Lee said. “It usually starts with verbal and emotional abuse. An abuser is trying to wear down your self-esteem so they can gain control over you.”
According to the arrest papers, the couple’s two young children — ages 5 and 7 — were home at the time of the shooting.
During an interview with an officer, the 7-year-old girl said “I wanted to call the police, 911, but I didn’t want to because I love my dad really much even though he was killing my mom.”
Though neither was injured, and both were released to family members Lee said they become victims too.
“One of those adverse childhood experiences that you can go through is witnessing a parent be abused, ” Lee said. “It puts [those children] at high risk for a number of things. Suicide is one of them. There is actually health [effects].”
Some of those health affects include diabetes and heart disease, according to Lee.
BTSADV has a sister retreat for those survivors to heal and bond with other survivors.
There is also a program called Holidays of Hope where kids who lost a parent to domestic violence can get Christmas gifts. Additionally, there is an Angel Family Retreat for those who lost their loved ones to domestic violence. As well as many more resources.
She said in a crisis situation TESSA has a 24-hour safe line 719-633-3819. You can also chat anonymously with TESSA.