Therapist shares thoughts after several domestic violence-related deaths throughout city

CHARLOTTE — Local law enforcement sources say five people, including two children, were killed in domestic incidents in just the past few weeks.

First, a young mother and her two small children were found dead in a northeast Charlotte apartment complex. Then, just a week later, a suspect kills a man in west Charlotte and tries to kidnap a woman before leading officers on a chase.

The most recent case happened on Sunday morning on Arvin Drive. Officers say the old boyfriend confronted the new one before shooting and leaving him dead.

Veteran crime reporter Glenn Counts heard from Bea Cote’, a therapist for domestic violence abusers, about the red flags everyone should look for in cases like these.

“It doesn’t surprise me, but boy, we sure have had a lot lately,” she said.

Cote’ is the founder of Impact Family Violence Services, she told Counts. While many believe the best way to get out of an abusive relationship is to leave, the consequences of that decision could end terribly.

“Studies will tell us that the highest risk for domestic violence victims is when they leave when he thinks that they are leaving, when she won’t come back, or when she moves on.” Cote’ told Counts.

Two of the most recent domestic incidents from the past weekend have involved women moving on from their ex-partner with another man.

“If she has a new boyfriend, how dare she? She still belongs to him in his head, and so he’ll go after her,” she said.

One of the women in these cases from this past week had a domestic violence protection order. Cote’ admits that’s far from perfect.

“We need to do more than that; we need to back up those restraining orders; we need to lock ‘em up the minute they violate a restraining order,” she told Counts.

The aspect that sets Impact Family Violence Services apart is that both victims and abusers are given therapy to help change their behavior. Part of that involves chipping away at their feeling of entitlement.

“Something in their heads says, I have a right to do this to her, because either she’s not a good girlfriend, not a good wife, or she’s hurt my feelings, or she’s done something to me, therefore I have a right to hurt her,” Cote’ said.

She says most victims don’t want to get their abuser in trouble and tend to let things slide, which ends up making it much worse when they decide to leave.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline at 980-771-HOPE.

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