Story by: Brian Spyros
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Every year in Connecticut roughly 40,000 victims of domestic violence reach out for help. Nearly 5,000 of them are children.
“This is something we can do something about. We don’t have to just sit back and bemoan our fate,” said Rachel Louise Snyder, author of the new book “No Visible Bruises: What we don’t know about domestic violence can kill us.”
Snyder was invited to speak in Hartford by Interval House, the largest non-profit organization in Connecticut that’s dedicated to preventing and breaking the cycle of domestic violence, talking to a packed room about her book and why she decided to write it.
“The faster, wider we can spread information about domestic violence the better,” said Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House.
Our state is no stranger to this topic as of lately. According to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 13 domestic violence homicides in 2019.
In December, Christine Holloway was found dead in her Ansonia home. Her one-year-old daughter, Vanessa, is still missing. Police say her boyfriend, Jose Morales, is the prime suspect.
Janet Avalo-Alvarez from Waterbury and Perrie Mason from Meriden were also killed last year. Police say their partners are also primes suspects.
“Those murders were so close together and were so high profile that it has raised awareness,” said Foster.
Then there’s the Jennifer Dulos case, which received national attention. The missing mother of five claimed in divorce documents that she was the victim of abuse during her marriage to Fotis Dulos, who died from suicide last week.
“I think, unfortunately, it takes really high profile cases, like the Jennifer Dulos case, to bring, to wake people up and get them aware of this,” said Snyder.
Gatherings like the one Thursday morning at the Hartford Club are helping to spread awareness, while letting people know there is help out there.
‘I had a woman in Illinois come and say my daughter was killed six months ago,” explained Snyder. “I had a woman in Georgia stand up in a ballroom like this and say I’m in danger I can’t go home today. I am going to be killed today, what should I do.”
If anyone is the victim of domestic violence or knows someone who is and needs help you can call the 24 hour hotline 888-774-2900.