By April Morton

(CBS DETROIT)– This pandemic has seen many tragedies, lives and jobs lost, more people than ever experiencing food insecurities, and a dramatic increase in domestic violence. Something State Representative Tenisha Yancey has unfortunately witnessed first hand, she recently lost her niece to domestic violence.

“She was very sweet, very mild mannered, super humbled.” State Rep of House District One Yancey said during an interview Friday

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“There had been several physical altercations before the actual murder.”

On November 30 after leaving work on Detroit’s westside, Shavon Mitchell was shot to death by her child’s father. A relationship she was attempting to escape due to years of physical abuse. Yancey describes the agony she said Shavon endured.

“So he strangled her a few years ago, and then in April of this year he had strangled her and tore the artery in her neck.”

Shavon’s abuser was charged and due in court December 3rd, but was shot and killed during a shootout with police on December 1st, the day after the murder. Although Shavon was no longer in the home with her abuser, victim advocates say, many are, especially during this pandemic, and they feel trapped.

“The survivors are being confined with their abusers and they’re not able to get away.”

Karan Bates-Gasior Development Director with Turning Point in Macomb County, an organization to end domestic and sexual violence says, since the start of the pandemic their crisis line has seen a dramatic increase, and domestic violence cases are up 25% in the area.

In Shavon’s memory her family plans to start the “Beauty Over Abuse” foundation, something Shavon was planning before her death, as a way to encourage woman in abusive relationships.

There are several resources available for anyone experiencing domestic violence.

If you need an immediate response, please call The Turning Point 24/7 Crisis Line at 586.463.6990.

Other resources..

National Runaway Safeline
Violence Against Women National Online Resource Center
National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
Men Stopping Rape
National Center on Elder Abuse
FaithTrust Institute
National Organization for Women
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
International Association of Forensic Nurses
Men Stopping Violence
Feminist Majority Foundation
The Domestic Violence Hotline
RAINN | Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
MINCAVA Abusive Relationships
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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April Morton