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10/24/2013 6:00:00 AM
Domestic violence: 'These things are real and they are happening here in Kingman'
Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Lee Williams High School Resource Officer Phil Hudgens got up close and personal with the school's freshmen Tuesday during a day-long presentation to physical education and health classes about the dangers of domestic violence.

Hudgens, also an officer with the Kingman Police Department, described two local fatalities that were caused by domestic violence. His speech was part of a forum sponsored by the nonprofit agency Kingman Aid to Abused People. KAAP provides free support and services to families dealing with domestic and other types of violence.

"These things are real and they are happening here in Kingman," said Hudgens. "That's why if you're involved in a relationship that could get dangerous, you need to let others know. My goal as a school resource officer is to make sure students are safe and successful. I'm here for a reason and my office is always open.

"I don't want to have to come back up here 10 years from now and use one of you as an example of a domestic violence fatality."

The forum was part of Lee Williams' focus during October on bullying prevention and domestic violence awareness.

On Oct. 9, students participated in National Unity Day by wearing orange, the national bullying prevention color. On Oct. 17, they observed National Megan's Pledge Day in honor of 13-year-old Megan Meier, who hung herself after being cyber-bullied, and heard a presentation about cyber-bullying from the University of Arizona's Southwest Institute for Research on Women.

The second annual Lee Williams Students Against Violence Everywhere Club's slippers and socks donation drive will take place Nov. 1-20 at the school. Donations of slippers and socks, sizes infant to adult, can be dropped off at the school's reception office. The donations will be given to KAAP for victims of domestic violence.

As students listened, Hudgens discussed the law enforcement side of domestic violence, noting it happens between more than just husbands and wives.

It can include parents and grown children, brothers and sisters or boyfriends and girlfriends. It also takes time to escalate, said Hudgens, and domestic violence arrests are made because of extenuating factors, such as disorderly conduct or criminal damage.

The two local fatalities are prime examples of how domestic violence situations sometimes end, said Hudgens.

Darrell Ketchner was convicted of murder March 7 in the 2009 fatal stabbing of his long-time girlfriend's daughter, Ariel Allison. Ketchner also shot and stabbed the girlfriend, Jennifer Allison, who is the mother of three of his children.

The other fatality involved Holly Mack, a Kingman High School graduate who died Aug. 2, 2009, after she was fatally shot by her husband at a friend's house four months after filing for divorce.

He shot Mack as she handed their 15-month-old daughter, Bailey, to police officers who responded to the scene, then killed himself. The uninjured toddler was adopted by Mack's sister and is now 5 years old.

During the forum, KAAP employees explained the definition of domestic violence, which is behavior that includes threats of violence or intimidation to gain power and control over another person.

They also read from a list called "Love Is, Love Isn't," which detailed some of the attributes of love, including respect, commitment, and trust. It also listed some actions often passed off erroneously as part of love, such as obsession, fear and dependency.

Students also studied a power wheel, a device that shows how abusers gain power and control through their actions, including the use of isolation, intimidation, blaming, economic power and emotional abuse.

Jennifer Frey, a victim's advocate with KAAP, said that while the power wheel doesn't list all the behavior exhibited by abusers, it includes the most common techniques to control their victims.

According to the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in 12 men are victims of domestic violence each year in the state.

Almost one-third of female homicide victims in Arizona are killed by an intimate partner.

In 2012, there were 139 domestic violence-related fatalities in Arizona.

Kristin Finch, 14, a freshman, listened intently to the speakers, including Brett, a female survivor of domestic violence who moved to Kingman with her four children ranging in age from 5 to 13 years old to get away from her third abusive relationship.

She quickly sought help from KAAP, which provides a pet-friendly emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis line, crisis counseling, legal and personal advocacy, and a children's program.

"I've heard of domestic violence before, but this training has really increased my awareness of it," said Finch. "I could relate to the officer's stories about the victims because they were personal.

"They made me realize that domestic violence could be really bad and that I don't want it to happen to me. And that there are people to talk to if you find yourself in such a situation. No one has to live that way."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Head

There are things family and friends can do to help victims. First, don't give up! Abusers try to alienate family and friends. An isolated victims is less likely to flee. Be aware of resources to help victims, get phone numbers of shelters, hotlines, law enforcement and make sure the victim knows them. Encourage them to leave. Many simply need to know they aren't alone. Most important, they need to protect themselves when they leave. Don't tell the abuser they are leaving! Get legal help about leaving with kids, etc. The most dangerous time for a victim is when they are leaving. There is help available. Make sure they use it.

Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman's A Joke

@ Kingman Resident... They won't arrest them because the city of Kingman has an "unwritten" policy that forbids an arrest in cases of domestic violence or protective order violations.

Carl Cooper wants to personally decide which cases are worth the time or money to prosecute. Unless the order is violated in broad daylight, with an excess of witnesses- that are completely unknown to the victim or the assailant- and they leave physical evidence at the scene, they just won't prosecute.

It's unfortunate that officer Hudgens told all of these young people to watch out for the dangers of domestic violence because even when they have the courage to end an unhealthy relationship there is no support from the police or the courts.

I offer you this hope... LEAVE MOHAVE COUNTY because in the rest of the world victims are protected!

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

Confused - my daughter has been beat up by her boyfriend 4-5 times, twice KPD was dispatched, arrested her one time when she was the one covered with bruises and the second time he put her in the hospital and still has not even been arrested. Why?

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

I myself have not ever been a victim to Domestic Violence, but I have a few friends that have been victims and are either in the relationship still or they finally got the courage to walk away.
It is nice to see Kingman trying to get it across to the students how damaging it is to be in a bad relationship, even if it is verbal abuse.
Thank you

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