Domestic violence is a very real hazard when it comes time for couples to split up. The sad truth is that domestic violence can spill over from just the two people involved in the relationship into the lives of others in tragic ways.
For example, the recent shooting in a Texas church that took the lives of 26 people and inflicted injuries on another 20 people as they were praying stemmed entirely from complicated family issues.
Among the victims were several relatives of the gunman’s estranged wife. He and his mother-in-law had been exchanging text messages and his had taken a threatening tone. It’s believed that he felt that his wife’s family was to blame for the couple’s estrangement.
In the past, the shooter had been violent with his wife. According to records that were recently made public, the gunman had previously hit and choked his wife. He also stuck his wife’s child hard enough that he could have either seriously injured or killed the girl.
It’s important to note that when a domestic abuser turns broadly violent that there are often signs ahead of time that his or her mental state is unstable. The abuser sees himself or herself as the victim in the situation. To the abuser, his or her acts of violence are somehow mentally justified as acts of vengeance.
If you find yourself in an escalating situation where domestic violence is either threatened or already happening, seek legal advice. The family law courts can help protect you by intervening and putting the abuser under a no-contact order.
Additionally, if you inform the court that the alleged abuser is armed or has access to weaponry, the police can often confiscate the weapons until the court deems there is no real danger to you or anyone else involved in the situation
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Texas church massacre followed ‘domestic situation’ involving gunman’s family, officials say,” Eva Ruth Moravec and Mark Berman, Nov. 16, 2017