Troopers Death Draws Attention to Domestic Abuse

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The loss of state trooper Jennifer Jacobs, is calling attention to what authorities say is a much larger problem plaguing society; domestic violence.

According to the national center for injury prevention and control, more than a thousand women are killed each year by an intimate partner.

The shooting death of 30-year old Jennifer Jacobs is a prime example of a domestic dispute turned violent. Jacobs and her ex-husband finalized their divorce just last week, but it was the custody of their almost three year-old son, that authorities say led to Thursday night's violence. Police say Jacobs ex, Ferral shot Officer Jacobs and then turned the gun on himself.

“This is a sad situation. It's not only a someone who died... a mother died... a father died... not only that, she was an Alabama State Trooper," said Alabama State Trooper, Corporal Tracy Nelson.

According to domestic violence advocates, child custody tends to be a heated issue among couples that separate. Advocates say it can often be used by the man in the relationship as a leverage tool to control the break up.

Traci Dunlap of the House of Ruth says, "They use the children to control the woman. They want to use the children, custody of the children to control the victim so they can get the victim to do everything they want her to do. And when they see that they're losing that control over the children or be it the wife, which ever the case may be, they kind of click. And it tends to escalate from there once they lose that grip or their hold on a woman."

But in the end domestic abuse and child advocates agree, when domestic violence occurs at any level, it is the children that suffer most. And authority's say they only hope Jennifer Jacob's son, and her two children from a previous marriage can overcome this tragic event.

"Let’s hope by God's grace they can put their lives back together and go on to be productive citizens. But just think about the love of your mother and father being taken away and both parents being taken away, and how they can get up and face reality and even exist," said Houston and Henry County’s District Attorney, Doug Valeska.

Domestic abuse advocates stress that all a person needs to do to get help in an abusive relationship, is pick up the phone and call police.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, you can call the House of Ruth in Dothan. Their number is (334) 793-5214. The staff there is ready to help you get away from an abusive spouse.