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Latest murders shed light on domestic violence

Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 21:14:57-05

The latest murders of John Dalton Jr.'s parents and niece on Tuesday have brought domestic abuse into the spotlight. 

Dalton, suspected of murdering all three of them, has killed before, shooting his wife in 1998 after a domestic dispute in Omaha. 

One woman who survived domestic violence, a woman who goes by "Jennifer," talked with 3 News Now about her ordeal. 

"The lines of what can be done to another person kept getting blurred and blurred to the point where I was almost killed by my abuser," she said.

Jennifer was in an abusive relationship for 11 years. She married at the age of 19-years old as part of a religious group, "So you really didn't get to know the person you are becoming one with," she said.

Jennifer said her then-husband chocked her multiple times, but it was hard to get out because he also had control of her money. 

"There was the financial dependence and I didn't have access to my checking account," she said.

It's one of many such stories in Omaha.

"Over the last few years, we've realized as a community that this is a community issue this is an epidemic," said Elizabeth Power with the Women's Center for Advancement. 

Power said it takes roughly seven attempts to make the change.

"In an abusive relationship — in a relationship that has domestic violence as an element — you're seeing a lot of control, obviously, and they are isolating and excluding whoever they are doing that to their victims," she said.

Another organization helping women is the Open Door Mission's Lydia House, especially those who are financially strapped. 

"If you have money you are able to make the choice to relocate, get a lawyer do all those kinds of things, in poverty you have less than an opportunity," said Steve Frazee, Open Door Mission's program director.

Luckily for Jennifer, she eventually did get out of that abusive relationship in 2015 and said she feels free now. 

"That's been an amazing healing process, to be out of that abusive environment," she said.

And she wants all women suffering right now to get help.

"Somehow, you have to get out," she said. "It may seem like there's no hope — it may seem like there's no where to go — but there are places to go you are worth living a good life."

Jennifer is part of the group Survivors Rising, a group of women dedicated to advocacy, education, and support for survivors of sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking. 

Do you need help?

If you are in an abusive relationship and need help, the following organizations can help: