Domestic Violence Murders and Children

Though the children may be small, experts say the shock will be embedded forever.

On September 12, 27-year-old Kelly Bailey was strangled to death in her home. Her two children played nearby. Less than two months later a two-year-old girl sees her mother, 21-year-old Sevetra Donaldson, gunned down at home.

Both families have similar fates; broken homes caused by domestic violence.

Maria Folsom, a LCSO victim advocate, says, “In these cases they're automatic orphans, one's in prison and one's dead.”

The young children are left with guardians and the need for therapy is great.

Maria adds, “Even a two-year-old will remember, so we recommend counseling right away.”

Unfortunately these stories are too familiar in our area with nine domestic homicides on record since early 2003.

Kelly Otte, Refuge House Director, says, “If you look at all nine, [there is] only one case where we can't tell if it was a break up. All others she already left or was trying to leave.”

But leaving can turn deadly, and that's why a fatality team review is being ordered to pinpoint what went wrong and how to prevent future violence.

Kelly adds, “I just don't want anymore. I want us to have this fatality team review now and look at these nine homicides. I don't want to look back on 10 of them.”

Advocates hope the review will determine if there were patterns of violence in the home or if the crimes were true acts of passion.

The Refuge House Hotline is open 24 hours and can be reached by dialing 681-2111.