Domestic Violence Can Escalate After Victim Leaves Turbulent Household

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A murder-suicide this week in Portland, Tn., serves as a reminder that domestic violence can escalate even after the victim leaves a turbulent household, reports the Tennessean. Police said Richard Hinsley called his estranged wife, Tammy Hodges, and asked her to stop by his house to talk. The pair began a tumultuous marriage in July, and Hodges had decided to move out. Investigators believe Hinsley, 47, shot her in the head and turned the gun on himself.

Advocate Tracy DeTomasi of the YWCA wasn't surprised. “The most dangerous time for many women is when they leave,” she said. “That is when a lot of the aggression really ramps up.” More women are murdered by men in Tennessee than in most of the nation. Last month, the latest Violence Policy Center report put Tennessee at No. 10 in a ranking of the states. Domestic violence crimes have declined in Tennessee for four years, but this week, Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said the number of cases assigned to his domestic violence unit this year is 10,600, up 9 percent over 2013.

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