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Domestic murders increase by 133% in Duval County from 2017 to 2020, according to state data

Two men were arrested in Jacksonville just last week for allegedly killing their partners who were two local mothers.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Domestic violence is an all too common reality in Jacksonville, and something we've been seeing over the past few weeks. 

According to the State Attorney's Office, five people in Duval County were killed so far this year, allegedly by their partners. The father of Tasheka Young's children was charged with her murder last week.

"We kept telling her to leave," Phylisha Thompson, Young's friend, said. "We knew it was coming, but when it came, it really hurt because it was so real," she said.

Officers also arrested the boyfriend of 24-year-old Beverly Febres and charged him with her murder last week. Febres' body was found in Marco Lake in San Marco at the beginning of July. 

Both Febres and Young have young children who they leave behind. 

“It's so hard when you love someone and they are tied into these relationships," Jennifer Rodriguez, CEO of Quigley House, said. "One thing I want people to understand is that it is not easy to leave a relationship and some of the reasons why it's not easy, tend to be safety reasons," she said.

"These individuals experiencing these dynamics, they understand sometimes they're not able to explain it, but they understand that they can't just separate from one day to the next. That would actually create a greater escalation in violence," Rodriguez said. 

Both Rodriguez and Tammy Taylor, Director of Shelter Services at Hubbard House, another local shelter, said the best help someone can offer is letting the person know you'll always be there for them, and provide them with resources like the local shelters. 

Both shelters offer emergency shelters, outreach services, counseling, community education and court advocacy. 

"Just let them know they're not alone … to support them in their decision … to not ask them, 'what did you do to cause this,'" Taylor said. "Love doesn't hurt."

Taylor said calls to their hotline over the past year have increased. According to Rodriguez, calls to Quigley House's hotline have increased 300 percent from 2020 to 2021. 

According to the most recent data, Florida saw domestic murders increase between 2017 and 2020 by about 22 percent. During that same time period, Duval County saw a 133 percent increase in domestic murders. More than half of the 14 domestic murders in Duval County in 2020 were by intimate partners, according to the 2020 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report put together by the Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney's Office 

Florida saw a 1.18 percent increase in domestic aggravated assaults from 2017 to 2020. Duval County saw a 64.4 percent growth in domestic aggravated assaults from 2017 to 2020, according to state data. 

According to the 2020 Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report, nine of the 14 people murdered in 2020 in Duval died from gunshot wounds. The suspects in 10 of the 14 cases didn't have the a history of domestic violence arrests. 

If you or someone you know needs help, Quigley House's 24/7 hotline is 904-284-0061. Hubbard House's 24/7 hotline is 904-354-3114. The National Domestic Violence hotline is 800-799-7233. 


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