BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says the number of domestic violence homicides is on the rise in Erie County. Local agencies say they hope education will prevent another tragedy.
50-year-old Jose Ruiz stood in front of a judge Tuesday, a day after his wife’s body was found inside their home in the Town of Tonawanda. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office says he strangled her. Ruiz has been charged with 1st degree manslaughter.
According to the DA’s office, the number of domestic violence related homicides in Erie County have increased in the last few years. And those cases range from the city to the suburbs. The DA’s office says in 2017 there were 3 deaths. Last year, in 2018, there were 4. There have been 12 in 2019.
“One is horrifying, we’re into the dozens, we’re at dozen,” said Mary Murphy, CEO at the Family Justice Center.
“I thought I was going to die in that moment. I didn’t think I was going to make it out of there but I did,” said Jennifer Taylor, a domestic violence survivor.
Jennifer Taylor says she was stabbed and choked during a violent attack by her ex-boyfriend.
“You don’t think it’s going to go that far. Anytime that I thought to tell someone, like I think I’m being stalked. To say those actual words felt so foreign, like it wasn’t real,” said Taylor.
That’s why agencies such as the Family Justice Center say education is important.
“These murders are preventable. When we go out into the community, the most important thing we can do is teach people from kids in grammar school to everyone else in our society, the big red flags,” said Murphy.
The Family Justice Center says some of those red flags include someone making threats towards their partner and if you know someone who’s afraid of their partner.