Domestic violence with serious injury sees spike in Fresno

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Domestic violence with serious injury is on the rise in Fresno.

During his monthly crime view meeting at police headquarters, Police Chief Jerry Dyer says this year we’ve seen three domestic violence-related homicides compared to zero last year.

Law enforcement is asking for your help after responding to another case of domestic violence on Wednesday morning. Police say a woman was stabbed and sexually assaulted near Park and Klondike.

“Stabbed her in both legs, hit her in the head with a wrench, tied her up and left her for dead,” Chief Dyer said.

The woman was able to make it to safety according to police after escaping a basement. She’s been placed in a safe house following medical treatment. The suspects in this case are the woman’s boyfriend and his friend, police say, and there’s a search for them underway. 

New statistics were released on Wednesday: domestic violence with serious injury is up by nearly 35% in the City of Fresno. That’s 54 more victims than last year.

Over the weekend, a domestic violence dispute turned deadly. 26-year-old, Kimie Holt lost her life. She had a restraining order in place against her boyfriend but he shot and killed her anyway before taking his own life. 

“It still breaks my heart every time after hearing every one of these stories,” said District Attorney, Lisa Smittcamp who has made domestic violence awareness a big part of her career.

She wants to stop offenders before they strike.

“It is our contention and always our plea to the community to reach out to law enforcement,” Smittcamp continued.

In the first four months of the year, the Marjaree Mason Center has provided safe housing to nearly 650 people in Fresno County and it’s also helped 2,500 adults and children in that time.

The message is that there’s help out there if you need it.

“We talk about domestic violence being considered the hidden homeless because of the survivor’s choice to stay in the home for fear of being homeless on the streets with their children,” said Nicole Linder, Executive Director of the Marjaree Mason Center.

This year alone, Chief Dyer said there’s already been 3,000 cases of domestic violence within the city and of those, 209 cases involved serious injury. The chief added that we’re on pace to have a 17% increase compared to last year.

It’s a stark reminder to not wait until it’s too late. 

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