Shooting victim pleads for end of domestic violence - FOX Carolina 21

Shooting victim pleads for end of domestic violence

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Markers commemorating victims of domestic violence on display in downtown Spartanburg for the Silent Witness Vigil. (Oct. 11, 2012/FOX Carolina) Markers commemorating victims of domestic violence on display in downtown Spartanburg for the Silent Witness Vigil. (Oct. 11, 2012/FOX Carolina)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Upstate family is helping get the word out about domestic violence almost a year after Cherokee County deputies chased down an accused killer for 30 miles following a domestic shooting.

It ended in a standoff where the suspect, Jefferson Perry, was shot and killed.

That suspect was accused of shooting and killing his wife, Bobbi Perry, his brother-in-law, Donald Stephens, and injuring his sister-in-law, Pat Stephens.

Thursday night, Pat Stephens relived what she called the most horrible day of her life for a crowd of people who want to get rid of domestic violence. She said Jefferson Perry had been abusing her sister, not physically but emotionally, and eventually it turned deadly.

SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition sponsored the 15th annual Silent Witness Vigil in downtown Spartanburg. Pat Stephens spoke as a survivor, but others read the stories of those who didn't make it through a violent relationship.

Pat Stephens said it's often difficult for women being abused to get out of a bad situation "because they're scared, they're scared inside, and they're scared of what their abuser will do."

"I was very understanding with my sister about her leaving. The only thing you can do is let them do the talking and you respond then with what help is available," Pat Stephens said.

Pat Stephens said people should look for signs of isolation or depression and know that law enforcement and SAFE Homes are available.

Rep. Trey Gowdy said it's men in the community who need to take responsibility and change their behavior if they ever want to reverse South Carolina's ranking as the No. 2 state in the nation for women killed by men.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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