Laurel House in Montgomery County offers help for domestic violence victims

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Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Laurel House in Montco. offers help for domestic violence victims. Trish Hartman reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on August 17, 2018.

NORRISTOWN,Pa. (WPVI) -- A devastating display of violence today in Philadelphia has many people reflecting on the very real dangers of volatile relationships.

A beloved city employee and mother of twin girls was murdered by her estranged husband -he would then take his own life.

Friday night, we are seeking expert advice on domestic violence

Laurel House Counselor Ashley Thompson said, "It all boils down to the need for somebody to have control over another person."

Stunning local and national cases of domestic violence have shaken the country.

From a Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters to a murder-suicide in Philadelphia's Holmesburg section.

That left a couple dead, all while their two young daughters were home.

We visited the Laurel House, which helps victims in Montgomery County.

They say when domestic violence is in the news. People tend to speak up.

Director of Legal Services at Laurel House Colleen Coonelly said, "Every time there is a murder or serious bodily injury we get a lot more calls and a lot more people seeking help on the hotline which is the greatest point of entry.

While the Laurel House offers shelter and counseling services, one of the most important things they say they offer is a way out of a dangerous relationship.

"Clients we talk with say, well, no one is going to believe me because he or she does this, he or she does that. They're an upstanding member of the community, they're quiet, they're funny they're nice.' And they may be all of those things outside of the house. But that's part of the manipulation," said Thompson.

Many neighbors were shocked by the death of Linda Rios-Neuby of Holmesburg and the killings in Colorado have left thousands wondering, how could someone do this?

Trauma Therapist Shari Botwin said, "If they're having stress with their partner or with their kids there's a part of them that has so much rage that I think in some ways they're not even in their bodies."

Botwin encourages anyone in an abusive situation to get help.

"Call the police. Tell your best friend. Tell somebody. If you feel like you can't go to that shelter, I'm too scared - have somebody go with you," she said.

For more information visit the Laurel House website or call 1-800-642-3150.


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