Domestic violence increases during holidays
GAINESVILLE - In just 2010 alone, more than 113,000 cases of domestic violence were reported to law enforcement agencies across the state. Rosemary Jenkins a Gainesville woman killed in October by her boyfriend is one more number to this list.
Her daughter, Sophia Jenkins saIid, "Mom, this isn't a good situation, I am going to end up finding you dead or something." Pictures are the only memory Sophia Jenkins has left of her mother. "I just never knew that those words would come to pass," she adds.
Rosemary Jenkins was beat up and locked in the trunk of her car by her boyfriend, William Thomas. When Thomas was arrested he had blood on his shirt and had allegedly driven with Rosemary in the trunk for about an hour. She was transferred to Shands Hospital with multiple head injuries and died on October 2nd. He remains behind bars awaiting trial. Meanwhile Sophia says it's a crime that could have been prevented.
"He jumped on her around November of last year, and i said mom you need to get rid of this guy, he's no good. And she did so for a while," Sophia says. During the holidays and the new year we see an increase in violent domestic cases, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, Art Forgey there are various factors during this time of year that lead to the spike.
"Families getting together, people getting together for functions and a lot of time alcohol is involved and plays a part in that so typically this time of the year, with these gatherings we see an increase in it," Forgey said. Sophia says she witnessed it first-hand, "I know when he drank, he was not the best. He was not coherent, you know? He was a mess when he drank."
ASO was the first agency in the state of Florida to adopt the Lethality Assessment Plan. The plan has officers ask the victim a series of questions and later put them in contact with the appropriate service provider. "This is something that in the past we just verbally told them about it and then we would and then we'd get in the car and move on the next call. We're sort of bridging that gap now and sort of giving them an alternative and hope for a way out if they're looking for it," Forgey said.
As she puts the only memories of her mother away. Sophia tells me she hopes to spread awareness about her mother's case. This way it won't ever happen again. "If you see domestic violence, speak up and say something about it... Reach out to someone authorities. Sometimes love or they can be trapped in a situation that they're blinded from at that time," Sophia added.
Sophia is not only having an emotionally hard time after her mother's passing but a financial one too, to help her out click here.
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