Payne: Domestic Violence Common in Mississippi

Local domestic violence counselors say an arrest Monday is drawing attention to a major problem.

Lauderdale County authorities arrested 42-year-old Alan Watkins and charged him with aggravated domestic assault, for allegedly trying to poison his wife. His wife is recovering in a Birmingham hospital.

Care Lodge executive director Leslie Payne says domestic violence is all too common.

"I know in the 16 years that I have been at Care Lodge, we've provided services for 4 homicide victims of domestic violence," said Payne. "They were killed due to domestic violence. I've also worked with women who have been charged with murder who have killed their abusers because of domestic violence. It is a very savage crime."

Payne said Mississippi ranks fifth in the nation in domestic violence homicide and second in domestic violence-related calls to law enforcement.

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