FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The number of women looking for the very one they love is on the rise in Tarrant county. SafeHaven of Tarrant county has seen a big spike in the number of women calling their domestic violence
42,000 people have already called asking for help this year. SafeHaven isn’t sure why. But, the numbers are up more than 10 percent compared to this time last year.
Thursday night, one victim’s family called for an end to domestic violence as they gathered to mourn a young mother who they say died at the hands of her own boyfriend.
Christy Kerr Jenkins was only 19 when her family says she became a victim of domestic violence. That’s why they decided to hold a candlelight vigil for her across the street from the house she was murdered in.
“I believe she felt that she couldn’t get away from him,” Carrie Wiggins said.
Christy’s boyfriend, 24-year-old Cody Sparks is chargd with stabbing her seven times on September 27. Christy died the next day.
Christy’s grandmother, Beverly Kerr, said Sparks had abused Christy before. “Nobody needs to go through what we went through with her because it was so brutal and useless.”
Sparks was also the father of Christy’s two young children. “She always seen the good in him. And she felt that she loved him and needed to be with him for the kids,” Carrie Wiggins said.
“It’s an incredibly tragic story,” Mary Lee Hafley said. Hafley is the President and CEO of SafeHaven of Tarrant County, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence.
Hafley said young women need to know the difference between love and control. “If what they say doesn’t balance with how they treat you, you need to rethink whether this is really love.”
For now, Christy’s family is left looking for answers on how it could have been prevented. “We don’t want this to happen to any other family,” Christy’s grandmother said.
Anyone looking for help can call the SafeHaven 24 hour hotline number at (877) 701-7233 or log onto their website at www.safehaventc.org