Recent domestic violence deaths spark conversations about risk f - – Rockford’s News Leader

Recent domestic violence deaths spark conversations about risk factors


In the past two weeks, six people have lost their lives in domestic violence and suicide in Winnebago County. 

"I think it's okay to be sad. I think it's okay to be outraged," said Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney. "Its an incredibly tragic situation." 

First, Danielle Son and Sergio Quiroz. Police say they were shot and killed by Danielle's estranged husband Hand Son, who then shot and killed himself. And most recently, John and Christopher Ruckman also shot and killed and their father, Peter Ruckman, who the coroner says died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

"As a person of faith, why does something like this happen? There is no good reason," said Haney.

But while Haney doesn't have an answer for why...

"Then the question is what can we do about it?" asked Haney.

He and organizations like Remedies Renewing Lives want to answer that question in the wake of these deadly tragedies, and they say it all starts with talking.

"It's always good to keep the dialogue going," said Remedies Vice President of Marketing Kathy Branning. "Keep talking about domestic violence, keep talking about the risk factors." 

Those risk factors are the signs a person may be the victim of domestic violence. 

"Prior violence, attempts at strangulation, jealousy, threats that involve child visitation," said Branning.

However, recognizing those signs isn't easy, which is why leaders are asking the community for help. 

"What can we do in our churches, in our places of businesses, in our neighborhoods?" asked Haney. "We can look at those who might be struggling and we can do something." 

A see something, say something approach, connecting victims with resources already in place throughout the Rockford area. 

"I feel like we are addressing a number of our challenges as a community head on and I guess that's consoling and exciting to me," said Haney.

One of the resources available to people in domestic violence situations. If you are in a violent relationship or you know someone who is and you need help, you can call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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