Domestic Violence Homicides Increase - | WBTV Charlotte

Domestic Violence Homicides Increase

The issue of domestic violence is a growing problem in North Carolina.

In 2012, 122 people died statewide as a result of domestic violence.  It's the highest increase in these types of crimes since 2008.

Mecklenburg County ranked second in the state, behind Wake County.

Janice Richardson says her abuser was her husband.

"He was a very controlling person, initially when I met him he was a very loving, very caring person," she said.

But over time, Janice says the abuse turned from emotional to physical.

And then he threatened her life.

"I saw a rage in his eyes I had never seen before, he banged on the table and he said I'm going to kill you," said Janice.

Janice packed her bags and left. But some victims never get to share their stories.

Out of the 122 people killed statewide in domestic violence related homicides last year, 78 victims were women. Men made up 44 of the victims and seven people had protective orders from a court.

"Domestic violence does not discriminate, anyone from any class or background or financial status can be affected by it," said Sandra Guynes.

Sandra Guynes runs the nonprofit, Pearls for Creative Healing.

A domestic violence survivor herself, she's made it her mission to educate others through art.

"We've watched people as they're exploring, as they're creating art, we've watched as they've expressed themselves not just in what they're creating, but also outwardly," said Guynes.

She says women who attend her art workshops are in different stages of the healing process. Some are still in abusive relationships, but most have been able to get away and move on like Janice. The forgiveness box she created represents hope.

"It was very emotional for me because it brought back a lot of emotions for me, a lot of things that I had dealt with in my past," said Janice.

Guynes says many people are afraid to leave their abusers, too afraid of what they'll do.

But she says victims can create a plan, keep important documents handy and escape before it's too late.

"I think it's important for them to know there is hope out there and there is hope on the other side of the relationship," she said.

Pearls for Creative Healing will hold a Zumbathon fundraiser to help heal hearts through art.

When: Saturday, May 18

Time: 9am-11am

Where: Carole Hoefner Center, 610 E. Trade St., Charlotte, NC

Cost: $10 minimum donation

Emcee: WBTV reporter/anchor Brigida Mack

Tickets available at the door and online at


Resources for domestic violence:

Address confidentiality program:

Safe Alliance:

601 East Fifth Street-Administrative Office Suite 400  |   Charlotte, NC 28202
Tel: 704.332.9034 |  Fax: 704.373.1604 |  Email:


Powered by Frankly