WEB EXTRA: Women’s Center of Rhode Island Statement on Catalan Murder

Statement regarding the domestic murder of Lisbeth Catalan
Domestic violence homicide rate on track to be highest ever recorded

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and community of Lisbeth Catalan. Her tragic death this Saturday in Providence reminds us how much work remains to be done to achieve a society that is free of dating violence and domestic abuse.”

“Ms. Catalan's death marks the seventh life lost to domestic violence in Rhode Island this year. If the violence continues at this rate, we will see the highest number of domestic violence homicides ever, since the Coalition started keeping records in 1980.”

“This tragedy reminds us that even when there is not an official police record of domestic violence, abuse can exist. Domestic violence consists of a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviors which escalate over time.  Victims often experience months or years of emotional, physical or sexual abuse at the hands of their intimate partner without ever having called the police.”

“Victims may be hesitant to contact the police for many reasons, including fears of retaliation from the abuser, economic insecurities about losing the abuser's income, concerns about immigration status, and emotional connections to a long term relationship. However, no victim should suffer in silence.”

“We all must make a commitment to reach out to anyone who we suspect is in an abusive situation. Domestic violence happens in every community, and no one is immune to it. The good news is that help is available. There are six local domestic violence agencies in our state that provide a wide array of services, including 24 hour hotline support, emergency shelter, support groups and assistance with the legal system. We urge all Rhode Islanders to remember that if they hear or see someone being hurt to call 911 immediately and if they or someone they know needs support to call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100.”