Mother and baby murder could be just the start of more domestic abuse cases during stay-at-home order

Coronavirus

HONOLULU(KHON2)–Honolulu police are investigating a double homicide that left a woman and her baby dead. Police said it happened just before midnight at the Sun Rise Complex in Ewa Beach.

According to police, a friend found the victim and called 911. Police said a 21-year-old man took off and crashed into another vehicle off Kunia Road. He and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to the hospital in serious condition. Police believe this was a domestic violence incident.

The double homicide brings to light the issue of domestic violence and how the stay-at-home order may put people in abusive relationships in even more danger.

Your home is supposed to be a safe place to shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical psychologist Doug Schwartzsmith said it could make an already intense situation worse.

“It’s possible that high pressure situations can become more so under these conditions. People are living together much more closely and they don’t have access to more diversified social support.”

Nanci Kreidman, CEO of the Domestic Violence Action Center said they were expecting to see a rise in cases of domestic violence but didn’t think something this severe would happen so soon.

“This double homicide is a reminder that, yes, this could happen right now in more families that we would otherwise anticipate…When victims are sheltered in place and staying at home with their abusers that gravely increases the danger.”

Kriedman said that the Domestic Violence Action Center has reached out to survivors but many others could be at risk.

“Many people are going to be in a position that they cannot place a telephone call. Victims often wait for their abusers to go to work or leave the home to make a telephone call. That is no longer going to be the case. So we have set up a text system so that victims can…maybe behind a closed bathroom door or bedroom door or outside the house, they can text for information and we will respond via text, which is much less evident and discoverable to abusers,” Kreidman explained.

The number to text is: 605-956-5680

Kreidman said those on the front lines need to look for signs of domestic abuse now more than ever.

“We are really imploring all of our resources and law enforcement and community allies to not forget the potential for more domestic homicides during this stay-at-home restriction that everybody is abiding by.”

She said it’s important for everyone to do their part.

“What we’re asking is that all companies and agencies who have employees give consideration to the danger that they may face at home. If there were any signs or red flags before, I would ask them to prioritize members of their work force, members of their church congregation, members of their school community and reach out to them particularly and ask how they are.”

Kreidman said they can help victims in many different ways.

“We have available for victims and survivors emergency cash grants, rent and food funds, persons-in-need grants to help advance safety and stability for survivors.”

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence and needs help you can text 605-956-5680. For additional information about the Domestic Violence Action Center click here.

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