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Louisiana domestic violence-related deaths highlight problem

A rash of murder-suicides in Louisiana has thrown up a red flag and caught the attention of authorities, forcing them to take a hard look at why instances of domestic violence have seemingly spiraled out of control.

In the summer of 2011, three couples in the Shreveport, Louisiana, area were tangled in cases of domestic violence, all of which ended in murder-suicides. An additional death in the area is being looked at and thought to be yet another case of domestic violence.

While these particular cases may have put a spotlight on domestic violence, this has been an issue slowly growing over the last few years. Law enforcement stated that in this area of Louisiana, the number of cases of domestic violence leading to assaults has grown per capita over the last few years. This is based on how many incidents are reported.

Domestic violence can spiral out of control and become violent because it's a subtly evolving problem. It often begins with belittling or mental abuse, which eventually worsens and becomes physical over time.

Another factor that could possibly contribute to growing domestic violence is the poor economy. Within this landscape, tensions within households are high amid possible job loss or insufficient funds to keep up with a couple's present lifestyle. Financial issues are already a huge source of conflict within a marriage or relationship. This can be a trigger for domestic violence.

While the victim is not always female, this proves to be the case in a majority of instances. Many times, victims find it difficult to fully walk away from an abusive relationship, returning multiple times. When they do finally leave for good, that's when the abuser might institute threats of death or injury. Hopefully law enforcement and others in Louisiana will continue to raise awareness about the growing problem of domestic violence in the area, so those who have fallen victim to it can find the help they need.

Source: shreveporttimes.com, "Recent murder-suicides raise concern about domestic violence," Loresha Wilson, Aug. 20, 2011.

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