COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - Tara Loo is a woman who's got an inspirational story of how she overcame a potentially deadly situation in 2009. Tara's boyfriend of six months beat her and choked her to unconsciousness, "My abuser thought I was dead. He put me outside of my house because he thought I was dead. He was going to clean the mess, the murder scene."
Tara's "ex" had been a high school friend for years before entering a relationship with him. She reflected back on this past weekend's murder suicide in the Kansas City area. Chiefs football star Jovan Belcher is accused of murdering his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then shot himself in front of Chiefs staffers. Reportedly Belcher had a recent history of arguments with Perkins which in some cases focused on money. Tara said this in general terms about abusers, physical or verbal, "They're such manipulators. They're good at what they do. Looking from the outside in, it's hard to see the red flags." Tara reminds those who are abused to not be afraid to get help. She says alert, friends, family, anyone to this behavior. Also talk with the experts about an exit plan from this potentially dangerous situation before doing anything." Tara's "ex" is serving time in a Colorado prison. He could be paroled in 2017. Tara tells me she will fight that freedom for him.
Tessa is a Southern Colorado organization to help someone exit a potentially deadly situation like Tara's. Tessa Rep, Amber Besse tells me, "Our nation has an issue with power and control and personal based violence." Tessa received 6,582 calls for help in 2011. This year it's 6,828. There's no real specific reason for that increase. However, Besse believes, "El Paso County does do a good job of reporting domestic violence. In an odd way, it's sort of a positive that we keep track of what's going on in our community, even though the numbers are horrific."
Nationally, one in four women are victims of domestic violence. In Southern Colorado, it's one in three.
If you believe you or someone you know is a victim, don't hesitate to call Tessa. Their crisis number is 719-633-3819. I've also put a link to their website on our front page. It's under links we mentioned.