Huntsville Police team up with nonprofit to stop domestic violence

Huntsville
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - It's been a little over a week since a woman and two teenage girls were found dead inside a home on Knollbrook Drive. The cause of their deaths have not been released, but the Huntsville Police Department said the accused suspect Rodney Geddes and the victim 42-year-old Iris Bynum were in a relationship.

Police said in the past they have dealt with the former couple; due to a domestic violence-related incident and so has Crisis Services of North Alabama.

Crisis Services of North Alabama has been involved with almost all of Huntsville Police Department's domestic violence-related calls for nearly 20 years.

"We ride with the officer to the scene. He makes sure the scene is clear and once it is clear we actually go up to the victim`s house and we take them to the side. We speak to them and make sure they know someone is there that can go through the whole process with them," Crisis Services of North Alabama Dispatch Coordinator Joleen Heckman said.

"We have 12-hour holds at the jail on these offenders and they even call the victims before they are released. There is only so much we can do. Crisis Services Center gives additional services to these victims," Lt. Michael Johnson said,

Lt. Johnson said the holds are like a cool-down period and it gives the victim time to act on the services Crisis Services provides. "Whether it`s moving out of the home or moving the children," Lt. Johnson said.

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"We are on multiple calls a week, a month, a year. Knowing that if they had the right person to talk to they might be able to go forward and we can get them the help they need," Heckman said.

Heckman said personally she responds to more than 200 related domestic violence incidents a month.

Crisis Services Development Manager Becky Cecil said when it comes to domestic violence it all boils down to controlling somebody else and isolating them from loved ones. Taking away everything that makes that person them and controlling all aspects of their life.

According to statistics, 1 in 3 women and 1 and 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.

Cecil said sometimes victims of domestic violence don`t leave because they have nowhere else to go, there are kids involved, or for financial reasons.

"I think instead of asking, 'Why don`t they leave?' we should ask, 'What is that person doing to them? How is that person controlling them? How can we help them?'" Cecil said.

Cecil said domestic violence thrives when you remain silent. She said victims need to speak out to anyone.

"Once you tell someone they can get you in touch with the police. They can get you in touch with us. That`s where you will get your resources and working towards getting back control of your life," Cecil explained.

"We can help people get protection orders, custody, and walk them through the legal process. We have two shelters and we have different programs," Cecil said.

She said anytime you are in need of help they are available. Their 24-hour helpline is (256)716-1000.