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article imageHusband's History Of Abusing Wife Set Pattern Of Violence Before He Killed Her

By Nikki Weingartner     Jul 3, 2008 in Crime
The pattern of abuse so common with domestic violence and dating violence situations never seems to give rise to enough intervention, often landing victims in tragic situations. For Norma Lopez, leaving the abusive relationship that ended her life.
Norma Lopez moved out and filed for divorce in April because she was tired of the abuse. In fact, there was enough evidence there to warrant a protective order to keep her safe from her husband.
According to a court affidavit obtained by an area news station,
"I moved out on April 7th into an apartment, and on May 2nd, Roberto Saucedo followed me into my apartment and he slapped me, pushed me around, and tore my dress off." She said she, "lost consciousness when he slapped me, but I have bruises on my arms so he must have hit me there also."
On that day, Lopez said Saucedo, "threatened to kill me, telling me he had a pistol in his truck, he left the apartment after I begged him to leave. I didn't call the police."
"When my husband would get angry with me or anyone else, he would throw items in the home, he would punch at property such as radios in vehicles, and he often threatened to pour acid on me if I ever left him."
After nearly ten years of marriage to her abusive husband, Norma filed for a divorce, moved out and obtained the restraining order. On June 30th, her soon to be ex-husband, Robert Saucedo, could bear no more, walked into her self-owned business and shot her in the head. Saucedo then returned to his van and shot himself in the head when police arrived on the scene.
Lopez died during transport to the hospital. Saucedo died two days later.
So many questions and comments run through the minds of uninvolved parties but "why" and "how" seem to be the most prevalent when it comes to preventing this tragic epidemic that knows no boundaries and has no protection from the law.
News reports stated that her sons knew of the violence but never believed that her husband would actually go through with the threats to kill her. A common mistake.
In cases of domestic violence, the warning signs often light up like the Vegas Strip on a clear night. Bruises and their rapid explanations, reclusive behaviours, controlling or violent behaviour are all too common yet friends and family drive on by, not recognizing the whole picture of accepting the explanations given by the victim.
"Its a private issue" or feelings of shame, guilt or fear created by the abuser themself help keep the victim from coming forward until, for some, its too late.
In a similar case in Arizona, a 34-year-old woman had left her boyfriend only to be tracked down and shot in the head by him in front of her 2-year-old daughter. Leroy Edward Clark was found in San Antonio, Texas yesterday, according to reports by the Associated Press. Fortunately, the victim in this case survived the attempt on her life.
According to the Texas Council On Family Violence, the commonplace of murders due to domestic violence is a real problem, with a huge portion of estranged wifes, girlfriends and wifes making up the highest number of murders associated with domestic violence.
Nation wide, over one-third of female victims in abusive relationships are MURDERED at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends, compared to just over 2 percent of male victims murdered by their wives or girlfriends.
Why? Why does it continue?
Its a cycle that carries on. Children see it and don't know how to stop it. They treat their spouses and girlfriends the same as they see their parents treat each other. No one intervenes. People dismiss the warning signs. Victims are scared to come forward or are brainwashed into believing that the relationship is normal.
Stories of women like Rachel Hickman, a 23-year-old young woman who was found dead beside her 19-year-old boyfriend along a roadside in Texas. The two had a fleeting relationship and it was said she was pregnant. He shot her and turned the gun on himself.
Stephanie Swearingen, another 23-year-old who had called police in the past for her husband's abusive behaviour was found strangled to death and buried in a cemetery. Her husband confessed to killing her.
Evairena O'Connor, a 41-year-old woman in San Antonio was shot by her husband in a murder-suicide. He had a history of family violence and she had divorced him. The husband, Matthew O'Connor, had a restraining order against him and after violating it, he had been ordered to wear an electric monitor. He violated the order and entered his ex-wife's apartment and killed her.
Emanda Studymire, an 18-year-old girl was shot and killed by her 20-year-old boyfriend. The boyfriend claimed they were playing Russian Roulette but police charged him with murder.
Alveda Edwards, a 43-year-old woman was killed in her own church parking lot by her husband where they met to discuss their divorce. They had been married twenty years. He shot her.
All of these stories happened in 2006 and involve similar issues. Yet, Texas isn't alone. The problem is nation wide.
For Norma Lopez, I hope her story will help other victims see that they cannot go at it alone. I also hope that it will force countless friends and family members to take notice of those flashing signs and ask questions. The expectation isn't to force a victim to get out, but to provide them an ear and a safe house if needed.
For Norma and the thousands of victims, both known and unknown, the hope that at some point their voices will eventually unify against the abusers and become so loud that it overwhelms even the meanest of these horrible abusers remains.
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