Advocates are speaking out about a spike in domestic violence-related homicides in Wake County. There have been five alleged such killings in the last four months - one more than in all of last year. Organizers of a silent march in downtown Raleigh yesterday say about 75 people turned out to honor Agata Vellotti. Police say she was killed by her estranged husband 2 weeks ago. Another march will be held for Kathleen Bertrand, allegedly shot by her ex-husband at a Raleigh shopping center on Monday. Christina Brewer with InterAct Wake County says the marches are meant to encourage productive conversation about the issue.
Christina Brewer states, "We need to stop asking, 'Why don't they leave?' and instead we need to be asking the question about what are the barriers to keeping them safe once they do leave. In both these instances, both women had protective orders, and letting the community understand that a protective order is more than just a piece of paper, and to let your co-workers and your bosses and your family and your friends know that you have these protective orders."
Brewer says North Carolina is ranked fourth in the nation in homicides committed by men against women.