Violence Can Escalate

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Domestic violence has played a role in three deaths here in the city of Meridian in recent weeks. Susie Short was shot and killed by her estranged husband, James Short, who then turned the gun on himself.

Gracie Moss, 50, is charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Ricky Graham, her boyfriend.

"Unfortunately, this is what the outcome is, that the outcome can be in domestic violence. Someone is going to end up getting hurt," said detective Darrell Theall.

Though the number of women who abuse their partners or children is on the rise, most domestic violence is committed by men against women.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General's workshop on domestic violence, battering is the single largest cause of injury to women. It's higher than rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined.

Victims of domestic violence can find the help and shelter they need at the Care Lodge in Meridian, one of 12 domestic shelters statewide.

Theall said the emotion involved makes domestic disputes one of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officer can respond to.

"You got two people who care about each other and they're having a dispute. Now when you put a third party in there, it just turns into a nasty situation," Theall said.

"And sometimes the two people will turn on the police officer," said Leslie Payne, director of Care Lodge.

Unfortunately, during the holiday season, money concerns sometimes lead to more cases of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence may call 9-1-1 in emergencies. Care Lodge may be reached by calling (601) 482-8719.