Study Blames Economy for Spike in Domestic Violence

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Look no further than local headlines to find the heartache of domestic violence. In 2008, Kelsei Weaver, 22, died at the hands of her husband Jarret Wesley Weaver, who then turned the gun on himself. Kelsei Weaver's family told NewsWest 9 she tried to get out but just couldn't.

"Your home that should be safe and secure is a battle ground," Angel House Director, Renee Morris said about domestic violence.

Morris says domestic violence is a slow process of manipulation, that starts with verbal and emotional abuse and always escalates.

"We are busting at the seems, as soon as someone exits another person calls. We have women calling back two or three times to see if there is room," Morris said.

A recent survey done by the Allstate Foundation found that out of 29 shelters in Texas, 83 percent were seeing an increase in cases and bracing for more in response to the economy.

"When people have frustrations that the economy has brought about or the holiday stress. Those are triggers that add to the excuses that a violent person uses," Morris said.

Back in September, Benjamin Franklin, 30 allegedly killed Monica Beasley, 26 over a custody battle. Morris says abuse is always passed down from generation to generation and women must watch for the pattern of abuse.

"When there is a knot in your stomach when they're coming through the door because you're afraid you have done something to provoke them that's a cue you are not in a healthy relationship," she said.

Morris says she hopes all the extra calls mean women are learning what can and does happen if they don't get help.

"It's bitter sweet, but at least that says somebody is becoming aware," she said.

Morris wants to tell women, help is out there.