Recent quadruple murder in Columbus sheds light on domestic violence in Ga.

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 10:23 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A quadruple murder at the Elizabeth Canty Apartments in mid-July is now raising awareness to the sensitive topic of domestic violence.

The only domestic violence shelter for women in Columbus is offering tips and offering steps for possible prevention.

“So many go unreported because abuse happens every six seconds,” said Arianna Smith.

Smith is a family victim violence advocate with Hope Harbor in Columbus and said domestic violence is a problem in Georgia that’s growing case by case.

“We have known that and now, it’s becoming more even in the middle school age. So, it’s starting even earlier. Georgia is in the top 10 of states that people are killed, and women are killed by their intimate partners. We’re number one in teen dating violence from ages 16 to 24,” Smith explained.

Smith said it’s now back in the spotlight after Columbus police dug deeper into the relationship between the suspect in the Elizabeth Canty quadruple murder, 27-year-old Brandon Jackson and the oldest victim, 29-year-old Jerrica Spellman. She said the data is based on cases processed throughout the country, but there are still many that go unreported.

“Everybody is not going to call the police every time they’re in a fight, when something goes wrong, or they get raped. There’s so much that can go wrong that’s not being reported.”

Smith said Hope Harbor offers services and accommodations for those who need assistance in those circumstances. She said they’re wanting to give women hope to fight back.

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