FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Berry Good Buys, the resale shop benefitting the women and children of the largest emergency domestic violence shelter in Tarrant County has closed temporarily after it was burglarized following the busy holiday shopping weekend.

A police report showed $1,377.65 in cash was stolen from the resale shop early Sunday morning, and the organization said Tuesday some small jewelry was also taken.

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Proceeds from sales at the store support SafeHaven of Tarrant County. SafeHaven clients can shop at the store at no cost – whether they need furniture for their new apartment, clothing for an interview, or simple shoes for their children after fleeing home in the middle of the night.

The front door of the store on West Berry St. was covered with plywood Tuesday. Security video showed the burglar wearing a hooded sweatshirt, mask and gloves, came in through the door, then quickly went searching through the store until he found the cash and jewelry.

While the investigation into the crime continues, all in-kind donations can be brought to 1424 Hemphill St. in Fort Worth, Mon. – Fri.: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The organization runs two emergency shelters in Tarrant County and offers a wide variety of other programs and services for people in abusive relationships.

The crime happened during what it often the busiest time of the year for the 164-bed shelter, and when it also tries to provide a Christmas for the children staying there.

“We will be at capacity or over capacity for the entire month of December,” said Micah Thompson with SafeHaven. “We’re already at about capacity right now. I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but a lot of families just decide, you know, I’m ready to leave.”

SafeHaven said in October that intimate partner homicides spiked to the highest number on record for Tarrant County. The findings were shared in the organization’s second annual Fatality Review made up of data from SafeHaven, the Tarrant County District Attorney, JPS Hospital Systems, local police departments and other collaborating organizations.

According to the report, 17 victims died at the hands of their intimate partner in 2020, which is more than double the amount the year before.

“The numbers were very high,” said Kathryn Jacobs, SafeHaven president and CEO.

Domestic violence cases and services were heavily impacted by the pandemic, according to Jacobs. She said outside factors like the pandemic, unemployment or substance abuse don’t cause domestic violence, but they can make it worse.

“They can be triggers in a relationship that already is dealing with issues of power and control,” Jacobs said. “For much of 2020, we were all pretty isolated. We weren’t going to church, we weren’t going to the grocery store, we weren’t going to work inside an office. And so, victims were stuck at home with their abusers. It took them a lot of hard work to figure out how to stay safe.”

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Leaving an abuser doesn’t always mean safety either.

Of the 17 intimate partner homicides in 2020, 12 cases involved couples who were dating. Five were married. According to the report, the majority of relationships had actually ended before the murder.

The most dangerous time in a relationship marred by violence is typically when it ends and in the three months that follow.

“It’s really important to understand victims do what is safest for them at the time,” Jacobs said. “Leaving is a process. It’s not a decision that happens at three in the morning, spontaneously out of nowhere.”

That fatality review found the youngest victim of intimate partner homicide was 21 years old and the oldest was 67.

Nine were shot to death.

“What that is saying is that if you own a gun and you’re a domestic violence abuser, the chance of that relationship ending in homicide increase,” said Jacobs.

Advocates say one of the most heartbreaking things to come out of this report is that none of the victims utilized a domestic violence hotline, shelter or other social support service before their death.

“I think when people don’t come to us, it’s for one of two reasons,” Jacobs said. “One, they didn’t know we existed. Or two, they weren’t in a safe enough place where they could safely exit a relationship.”

The number for SafeHaven’s domestic violence hotline is 877-701-7233.

READ FATALITY REVIEW REPORT HERE

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CBSDFW.com Staff