Jun 25, 2013 7:52 PM by Alex Labat

Crowley Murders Raise Awareness of Domestic Abuse

The city of Crowley is still shaken up by the two domestic violence cases that left two people dead Sunday evening.
Ericks Solomon is charged with second degree murder in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Joseph Smith. She is being held tonight on a one-million dollar bond.
Within two hours of that stabbing, Crowley police were called to yet another murder.
Marlon Mayfield is charged with the kidnapping and shooting death of his ex-wife Teresa. Court records show in May, Teresa filed for a restraining order against her ex-husband, who had threatened to kill her if she left.

Domestic violence is all too common.
1-in-4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
"It really felt like I was drowning, but now that I'm out of the situation, it's like the world has been lifted up off my shoulders", says Mary Davis, a survivor of domestic abuse.
Davis was in an abusive relationship for over 15 years, and says her decision to leave was not an easy one.
Davis says, "It is very scary. You're not alone. You can get out."
Fear can keep victims in abusive relationships.
According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 75% of women are killed by an intimate partner when leaving or after leaving an abusive relationship.
Louisiana is ranked 2nd in the nation for homicides related to domestic abuse. Just last year, 59 people were murdered in Louisiana as a result of domestic violence.
Letesha Davis is a survivor advocate at Faith House, a shelter for battered and abused women and children.
She says, day or night, if you need to get out you can.
"It's not a 9-to-5 job", says Davis.
"We have employees here 24 hours a day. Even if I have a survivor who works 9 to 5, I adjust my schedule to work with her at night and still meet her needs. We also do safety planning. We also suggest she'll get a protective order that way, if he violates it and he's following her maybe that protective order might increase her safety."
Sometimes, restraining orders just aren't enough, like in the case of Teresa Mayfield.
But Mary Davis hopes Sunday's tragic events don't stop others from seeking help.
"I would tell anyone that's in a domestic abuse relationship, you are not alone and there is help out there. Just find it and get out", she says.

Louisiana Domestic Violence Hotline

Hearts of Hope

Faith House



St. Landy





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