Men who are driven to murder-suicide are obsessed and controlling, leading them to take drastic measures when women decide to leave, experts in domestic violence say
“The perpetrator thinks and believes he cannot live without her and he will not,” said Nancy Barton, executive director of Sistercare, which provides services for battered women in the Midlands. “He has got to have her, and you see this picture of real intense, constant jealousy. It’s ‘I’ve got to have her, and I’ll have her in death.’”
For years, South Carolina has ranked in the top 10 in the country in domestic violence rates, said Rebecca Williams-Agee of the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
The most common characteristics of murder-suicide in families are a prior history of domestic violence, access to guns, increased, specific threats and a prior history of poor mental health or substance abuse, according to the National Institute of Justice, which researches crime for the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The perpetrator has lost all control and is just trying to regain it and doesn’t care anymore,” she said.
The most dangerous time for a woman is when she decides to leave the relationship, Williams-Agee said.
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Almost all cases of murder-suicide have prior incidents of domestic violence, experts said.