After finding a four-page handwritten letter, Tracie Williamson’s father was convinced that his daughter was crying out for help. The letter detailed a violent relationship with Williamson’s boyfriend, Peter Perez, reports the Deseret News. But when Williamson had the opportunity to talk to police, she never mentioned anything was wrong. Monday night, Williamson, 28, her 10-year-old daughter, Linzie Williamson, and Perez’s 1-year-old daughter, Jessica, were found shot to death in their South Salt Lake house. Perez was also found dead inside the house of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Law enforcers and advocates for victims of domestic violence say the Williamson case is an example of an extremely difficult situation: How do you help a person escape an apparent abusive relationship when that person won’t publicly acknowledge that he or she needs help? “The reality is that the whole issue of domestic violence is so complicated,” said Asha Parekh, director of the Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center.
Friends and relatives can provide support and encouragement so that when the time comes that they are ready to get help, they know what numbers to call or where to go.