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Two domestic-related murders this week, one in Salem and one in Boardman, have put the spotlight on the issue of domestic violence.
It’s an issue that usually doesn’t make headlines unless the case is unusual, or fatal.
“It’s sort of an invisible population until something like this happens,” said Bonnie Wilson, director of Someplace Safe in Trumbull County, offering shelter and support. “Hopefully it does bring an awareness to the forefront.”
Wilson said recent statistics show women in the county were more likely to be a victim of domestic violence than be injured in a car crash.
“It might be psychological, it might be financial, it might be verbal, and it might ultimately be physical violence,” said Wilson.
However, the abuser isn’t always a man. Tequila Haskins of Boardman entered a not guilty plea Thursday to the charge that she stabbed and killed her live-in boyfriend Brian Stubbs during a dispute.
She’s in jail on $250,000 bond, and will be back in court next month.
“There are times when maybe a woman was defending herself, it may have been a case of self-defense,” added Wilson.
Not knowing the specifics of the case, Wilson could only speculate using her knowledge of previous situations. She said domestic violence comes in all forms; sometimes a third party becomes involved.
That’s what happened to Erika Rossi of Howland.
“I had a vicious voicemail from her the week before that and i never expected her to break through early in the morning while we were both asleep and came after both of us,” said Rossi.
Kathleen Fimognari is charged with aggravated burglary and menacing. Police indicated she recently broke into this home through a garage window, attacking Rossi and her boyfriend, Dr. James Morgenstern.
“My head was pulsating, there was blood dripping out of my ear, she had high heels on so her kicking me continuously in the head,” said Rossi.
Fimognari was released from jail Thursday after posting some of her bond.
No matter who’s affected by domestic violence, advocates have one message:
“There are resources that are available and we’re here 24 hours a day to help.”