Speaking on domestic violence

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Tina Smith, Kim Petty and Tammy Turner are the daughters of a woman killed due to domestic violence. Their mother, Diane Locklear, was found dead in her home on May 28, 2007.

Today at the Mecklenburg County Women’s Commission’s Lunch and Learn series, these women told their story and how the death of their mother has affected their entire family.

“This is the stuff that you only think happens on Lifetime,” said Turner, a mother of two. “I wanted to give up several times. I can’t explain what we’ve been though. You never think that this will happen to you. I never knew there was a program that dealt with domestic violence. I do know that more people need to get involved. I guess you don’t get involved until it happens to you.”

Turner said she thinks if more people from the community would get involved in domestic violence programs that focus on prevention, more lives would be saved.

Not only are the three sisters dealing with the pain of losing their mother, but also Turner said her 15-year-old son is feeling the after effects of Locklear’s death. While her daughter and her niece cried and showed their emotions, her son acted out.

“It’s really sad that children get affected from this awful thing that happens every day. My girls cried and had some one to lean on, but young men like my son, since this has happened he’s on probation now. What was he going to do? How was he going to act, cry like a girl? It’s really hard,” Turner said.

Smith said she tries to be strong for her sisters and she talks to her mother six times a day. But when she was married in July, not having her mother there was tough. Adding to their pain is the fact that they have another family member dealing with domestic violence.

“My aunt was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago in intensive care because of domestic violence. You’d think that would be a wake-up call,” Smith said, her voice brimming with emotions and her eyes tearing up.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.

Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.

But there is currently nothing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg School’s curriculum teaching teens about healthy relationships.

According to the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council:

Domestic violence related homicides in Mecklenburg County are currently at seven for 2008.  There were 10 in 2007, six in 2006, 11 domestic violence related homicides in 2005 and eight victim homicides in 2004.

Want to get involved? Call 704-432-1568 or e-mail dvac@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov.

Are you a victim? The Women's Commission offers individual counseling and support groups to victims of domestic violence. To schedule a confidential session and/or register for support group(s), please call at 704-336-3210.

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