Before a crowd of Countryside High school students, Melissa Dohme, 20, just a couple of years older then the kids she was talking to, gave her story. She told the students about the night her high school sweetheart tried to kill her. Ms. Duhme described how she was stabbed 32 times and had her throat slashed in detail. All the time she kept mentioning "it can happen to you".
Her ex-boyfriend, before he was charged with attempted murder when he slashed her body, throat and face appeared to deeply care for her, taking her to the prom and texting her throughout the day. This same kindness soon became something else as Melissa described the night her ex tried to kill her.
Listening students chipped in and began to tell stories of their friends, friends who had been in violent relationships where there had been slaps and punches.
After the presentation by the now college student, a teacher gave the class a list of signs and warning signals to look out for. They learned that early signs of domestic violence include extreme jealousy and/or possessiveness, tendency to criticize family and friends, early requests for commitment and of course violent outbursts.
As former prosecutors in Pinellas county, we had a stint in Division "R", the domestic violence courtroom. We saw the pain and sadness that domestic violence can cause. We knew the frustration and confusion that victims go though in deciding whether or not to press charges. Now as St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers, we have gotten even more education on this serious issue. According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were over 113,000 domestic violence calls resulting in almost 68,000 arrests in 2010 (the last available statistic year). We have learned that the best defense to this crime is to know the warning signs to avoid being just another tragedy,
If you or a loved one need assistance know that there is help. Don't hesitate, call these numbers!
• The Haven of RCS, (727) 442-2128
• The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1-800-500-1119
The Pinellas criminal defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. handle all criminal and personal injury matters on the gulf coast including Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Kenneth City and Gulfport.