May 6, 2014 6:30 pm

Domestic abuse victims urged to turn to police for help when leaving

CALGARY- Those fleeing a domestic abuse situation are being urged to get help from police, following a stabbing spree that saw two women murdered over the weekend.

The suspect in the case is the ex-husband of one of the victims, who were stabbed to death while retrieving belongings from a southeast home.

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Police say there are options for those who find themselves in a similar situation, including a ‘domestic standby’ which is a 30 minute police escort.

“We have very good people who have had lots of experience in doing these things, and do a good job of deescalating these tense situations,” explains S/Sgt. Ryan Ayliffe from the Calgary Police Service.

Experts say that when a victim of abuse moves out of a domestic violence situation, it can create a loss of control for the perpetrator, which could escalate the situation.

“Women are most at risk at the time of leaving, and that’s exactly when they might be going back to get belongings or important items that they need from their home,” explains Andrea Silverstone, from Peer Support Services for Abused Women.

This isn’t the first time Calgary Police have seen such a devastating result from a domestic dispute. In October, Carmel Christians was killed and her friend seriously injured, after being attacked while leaving for work. Her estranged husband, James Christians, has since been charged with second-degree murder.

Victims of domestic violence are urged to phone the Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network, at 1-877-237-5888.

Officer escorts can also be arranged through the Calgary Police Service.

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