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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Gary on Sep 14, 2009 at 03:19 PM
    October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Pity! What are we doing? Instead of the statistics decreasing, they are increasing. Why? I am an advocate against this crime. I am willing to speak out and keep this crime in the forefront. Silence is not golden. It is death and destruction. (www.savagehouse.net) Abusers know how to cover their actions. I know, because my X and I both were/are ministers. Churches don't continue to minimize abuse. It is your responsibility to minister to everyone. How many Pastor's wives are willing to speak out? - and church leaders? Be prepared for rebuke, denial and rejection. The truth must come to light. Mississippi is now number 2 in domestic violence. (www.savagehouse.net) I pray I am helping somebody be removed from this destructive scourge on our society.
  • by TechHead Location: Meridian on Aug 21, 2009 at 02:13 PM
    Ladies, trying to make someone believe you in this time is easier thanks to this age of technology. Make recordings, take pictures!
  • by Worried Location: Meridian on Aug 19, 2009 at 12:50 PM
    Some people live in pain and fear for different reasons… my coworker confided in me horror stories of her life with her abusive husband. He too is known in the community and no one could ever guess the physical and mental abuse he has forced her to endure. Her reason for staying is not love… just fear. She believes that he will play for his sins on judgment day. He controls her every move and she lives under the threat that if she leaves him, he will take full custody of their son.
  • by angry Location: philly on Aug 19, 2009 at 06:19 AM
    judges, get these abusers out of the home on the first offense! the second time hurts just as bad as the unfortunate last time.
  • by Anonymous on Aug 19, 2009 at 05:30 AM
    Remember that no one knows about relationships that go on behind closed doors. I was married to a respected business man in the community 30 years ago and when he beat me to the point that my eyes swelled shut not even the police would come. No one knew and because of his "outside the house" behavior, no one believed. I was lucky, I got out after he threatened to kill me.
  • by joy Location: meridian on Aug 19, 2009 at 03:49 AM
    NO ONE KNOWS WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
  • by MARY Location: COLLINSVILLE on Aug 18, 2009 at 06:38 PM
    I have never been so shocked in my life. I know this couple very well and do not believe he would do this. I know him as Randy and he worked for me several times over the past 5 years.He and his wife were always saying sweet things to each other and were very much in love. i dont believe this.
  • by Stephen Moore Location: Union, MS on Aug 18, 2009 at 04:25 PM
    Whatever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty". With todays media it is more like "Guilty until proven innocent". There is more to this story that is not being reported. WTOK should be careful about being so quick to report a story of this type, when all of the fcts are not known. I have known Mr. Watkins for several years and had him help me do some work Friday. I will be totally surprised if these accusations turn out to be true.
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