JACKSONVILLE, Fla — In order to solve a problem you have to identify it, measure it, and then build a plan.
That’s the goal of the annual Duval County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report. The report was released Thursday, and it shows a stark reality: 16 adults were killed last year due to domestic violence. That number is up from 13 domestic-violence related deaths in 2018.
“The needless loss of 16 lives, eight to intimate-partner domestic violence, saddens and disturbs me greatly," said Dr. Gail Patin, CEO of the Hubbard House.
Patin sees firsthand the devastation caused by domestic violence.
“I see patterns of isolation, escalation, and threats to life that ended in tragedy," Patin said.
The 2019 Duval County Domestic Fatality Review Report shows some of those patterns.
81 percent of suspects were male, 76 percent of victims were female, a firearm was present in 63 percent of homicides, and 50 percent of suspects had previous allegations of substance abuse.
Those at the Hubbard House want to make sure those experiencing domestic violence have another tool to get help, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. They launched a text tip line for people to reach out. The tip line is 904-210-3698, and the 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline Number is 904-354-3114.
“For a victim of domestic violence, that [COVID-19] could mean no one to reach out to. It could mean no one to notice any bruising," said Adair Newman, special victims unit director at the State Attorney's Office.
“This year marks my 19th year as a survivor of domestic violence," said Marie, a domestic violence survivor.
Marie spent more than two decades suffering physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her ex-husband.
“I felt everything that went wrong was my fault, which I later realized was his way of brainwashing me and breaking in me any way possible," Marie said.
Marie went to the Hubbard House, found the strength to leave her abuser, is now remarried, and hopes to show other domestic violence survivors you can start over.
“You too can become a survivor," Marie said. "You can become confident, successful, and live violence free.”