Family violence relationship experts describe red flags related to recent murder of Columbus 18-year-old
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Excessive texting and wanting to be with you 24/7 are just some of the ‘red-flags’ Arianna Smith, a family violence victim advocate, describes when talking about toxic and abusive relationships.
Family and friends of 18-year old Destinee Virgin say there were red flags popping up everywhere in her relationship with then boyfriend, 17-year-old Markel Ervin, leading to a deadly ending.
In April, Virgin was reportedly kidnapped by Ervin and found the next day, according to court records. Family members say Virgin was found badly beaten with a busted ear drum. From that point on, Ervin was court ordered to have no contact with Virgin.
Smith says Virgin made the right move in getting police involved back in April when the first red flag arose.
“An abuser will try to isolate them and say ‘hey, you don’t need to be talking to your family or friends about what’s going on between us, me hitting you is me telling you I love you.' Love is not supposed to hurt," says Smith.
The night of September 22, 2018, Virgin was shot and killed on Macon Road allegedly by her ex-boyfriend. Ervin was arrested one day after and charged with murder. Ervin received no bond and the case was bound to superior court. Smith says if you think you know someone in an abusive relationship, check on them frequently.
“Because when they start showing the signs of isolation of their family and friends like they used to, that can show you a sign that something is not right," says Smith.
Smith also encourages those who think they are in or may know someone in an abusive relationship to visit LoveIsRespect.Org.
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