That weekend shooting highlights the growing problem of domestic violence in Rockford and around the nation.
Domestic violence is not a new problem but it's a serious one, and tough economic times don't help the situation, creating tense times for stateline couples.
Each year nearly three thousand women and children seek help at one Rockford shelter because of domestic violence.
"The abuse escalates so what starts out as pushing and shoving turns into strangulation and slapping and punching,” says Andrea Carlson WAVE program Manager.
It can also turn deadly, while domestic violence is not a new problem, it's a serious one.
"Unfortunately they say the most dangerous time in a woman's abusive relationship is when she leaves that's the most lethal time. Their fear of leaving is very much a reality and they have a right to be afraid,” says Carlson.
Sergeant Dorsey Thompson oversees the newly created Rockford Police Department's domestic violence unit. The group seeks to intervene before it ends in serious violence like Saturday’s shooting.
"Though we do make arrests that's probably the last thing we want to do. We want to try to make it work for the family and keep it from getting to that,” says Thompson.
Thompson's unit links women and children with local medical, legal and counseling resources. It also helps women get protective orders against their abusers.
"It's a piece of paper but it's a court order. Though we can't guarantee that person won't get hurt if the abuser violates the order that person can face arrest,” says Thompson.
Nearly 2,000 protective orders were issued in Rockford last year for victims of domestic violence.
wifr.com Extended Web Coverage:
Source: www.ndvh.org (National Domestic Violence Hotline Web Site) contributed to this report