Domestic Violence survivor speaks on escalation of situations after call leads to standoff

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – “Every time we see these, we always ask how does it even get this far,” said Deborah Sheppard, a domestic violence victim advocate.

Domestic violence survivor Deborah Sheppard previously worked with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office as an advocate.

“It’s hard to believe that something can go from a simple argument to being punched or having a gun pointed to your head to even a standoff with law enforcement; some of these situations can happen so fast,” said Sheppard

Sheppard says you never know what is happening in someone else’s mind. While she is working to eliminate domestic violence, homicides are actually on the rise. According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in 2022, there were 50 homicides. In 2023, there were 72, and there have been 12 in the first three months of 2024.

“It’s very important that we work together across the board to make sure that victims not only know that resources are there but that they have full access to those resources,” said Sheppard.

She encourages the community to work together and give victims a safe space to get in touch with the resources.

One neighbor of Tuesday night’s standoff would like to make sure her neighborhood stays safe.

“If we pull all our heads together and we figure out something with the community, maybe something can change,” said Kenya Walters.

Sheppard also wanted to stress the importance of not judging any situation, as you never know what may be happening behind closed doors.

Greenville police also say a 9-month-old child was in the home at the time of this call but was not injured and will be evaluated by DSS.

Resources Sheppard mentioned in Greenville are the Center for Family Violence Prevention, Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Victim Advocacy, and Greenville Police Department Victim Advocacy.