One day after an apparent murder suicide in Bristol, anti-domestic violence advocates say they are seeing an uptick in violence between intimate partners.
“It’s been a really difficult 6 to 8 weeks here in Connecticut,” Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Karen Jarmoc said.
On Wednesday, police responded to 73 Henderson Street in Bristol for a report of shots fired. They found married couple Alexander and Kyla Ryng dead with gunshot wounds. Court paperwork revealed that Kyla Ryng filed for divorce from Alexander just 5 days prior to the shooting.
In May, another serious domestic violence incident made headlines. Police arrested Oxford man, Scott Gellatly, for the murder of his wife, Lori. Lori had filed a partial restraining order against him.
“Connecticut does average domestic violence homicide around 14 annually and so while it might appear to be just average there’s nothing average or ok about what’s happening,” Jarmoc said.
The Bristol shooting is the eight domestic violence related murder this year. There have been other incidents of violence between partners as well, including a shooting in Hartford, and stabbings in Bolton and Old Saybrook, Jarmoc said.
Similar themes have coincided with the violence, Jarmoc said. They include acts of violence during times of distress such as a spouse attempting to leave the home. Children were also present in the home during the Bristol and Oxford incidents.
“It can have such serious, long term implications for children in terms of their well being, and their behavior, and their future,” Jarmoc said.
The first step to preventing domestic violence starts with reaching out for help, according to Cecile Enrico, the Executive Director of Hartford’s Interval House for women victims of domestic abuse. Then, victims can discuss guidance, warning signs, and possible safety plans, Enrico said.
“If you need to call us, whether it’s 2 in the morning, it’s ok to call us,” Enrico said.
If you feel you are in an abusive relationship you can reach out to these resources for help: