CONNECTICUT, USA — It seems like far too often the headlines are filled with instances of domestic violence. This past week in the state of Connecticut was no different.
Jessica Edwards’ loved ones are feeling the terrible emotions of losing a loved one to domestic violence. The 22-year-old's husband Tahj Hutchinson was arraigned on first-degree manslaughter charges in connection to her death.
"She can’t get justice. What we can have is accountability," said Keren Prescott, Founder of Power Up Manchester. "Justice is if she would still be here. If she could advocate for herself but that’s not the case."
The Edwards' are not the only family in recent weeks to experience the trauma. In Middletown, police sources tell FOX61 a mother was stabbed to death after an argument by her 18-year-old son Eugenio Vela.
The victim had two protective orders against Vela.
"This is why when we have domestic violence incidents this is why we come up with safety plans with the victims from an initial incident because unfortunately, a piece of paper is simply that," said Lt. Brian Hubbs of Middletown Police.
Instances of domestic violence rose in Connecticut during the course of the pandemic. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that during any given year they help over 40,000 people in abusive relationships.
"If you have a relationship that’s already abusive those types of things will start to exacerbate that abuse and really add to all the challenges that survivors are facing," said Liza Andrews, the Director of Public Policy and Communications for CCADV.
CCADV hosts a 24/7 domestic violence resource called CT Safe Connect. The hotline that can be reached by phone, text, or email is availed 24/7 in multiple languages.
"We are going to take your lead," said Andrews. "The victims know their circumstances the best so our advocates will talk them through various options that they can then choose to help increase their safety."
CCADV says the best thing a family member can to do help is to listen without judgment and by letting their loved one know you are there.
"You are not alone," said Andrews. "We have advocates available at Safe Connect and CCADV that are available to help 24 hours a day. Even if it’s the middle of the night and you decide you want to talk, someone will be here to listen."
You can reach CT Safe Connect by calling or texting (888) 774-2900 or by heading to ctsafeconnect.org to start a chat or find more information.
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