Domestic violence victims work in fear, local shelter director says

TRI-CITIES, TN (WJHL) - A woman died Wednesday when her husband came to the office where she worked and shot her. 

Officials said the unnamed woman worked at David Guy Dentistry in Colonial Heights. She was transported to the hospital Wednesday where she died from her injuries. 

Her husband and alleged shooter, Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said, is being treated for gunshot wounds after a bystander intervened using a gun. 

Tina Johnson, the director for the Safe House Shelter in Johnson City, said 40 percent of victims of workplace homicides are related to domestic violence. 

"It's very hard for a victim to go to work each day when they have a perpetrator seeking them out," Johnson said. "They are afraid to go to work, is he or she just going to walk into their workplace and either cause problems for them at their job, cause them to lose their job, or hurt them or possibly kill them while they're at work." 

"They're in public at his mercy, basically. They have to go to work and pray they return that night." 

Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for women ages 44 and younger, according to data from the Center for Disease Control. In 2017, 2,498 women and girls younger than 44 died by homicide, according to CDC data, and 13,618 men 54 and younger died by homicide in 2017. 

The same statistics show that of those deaths, 1,603 were caused by firearms for women, accounting for about 64 percent of homicides involving women 44 and younger. For men, firearms caused 11,332 homicides, or about 83 percent of homicides for men 54 and younger, according to the CDC.

The CDC also estimates that about 1 in 6 homicide victims in the United States are killed by an intimate partner and that 40 percent of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner. 

A report published by the CDC in 2017 found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes in the U.S.

Domestic violence hotlines for our area include: 

Safe House Kingsport
844-578-SAFE (7233)

Safe House Johnson City
423-926- SAFE (7233)

Abuse Alternatives
423-764-ABUSE (2287)


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