Protecting victims of domestic violence

Courtesy: MGN
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - One life lost is one too many for Deidra Lashley. The executive director of the Bethany House helps victims everyday in Toledo's only long-term shelter. She says the hardest and most dangerous part of the process for those women is leaving.

"Women are 70 times more likely to be murdered in the weeks following leaving their abuser than any other time," she said.

She urges victims to talk to the professionals to come up with a plan.

"It's important for them to reach out and get in touch with an advocate who can talk to them about safety, who can talk to them through steps they can take to increase their safety," Lashley told 13abc.

But sometimes, those steps still lead to deadly outcomes.

Early Tuesday morning, Amanda Mangas, a young mother, was gunned down in her family home. Her 10-month old son and step mother were taken from the house against their will. Police say her estranged boyfriend and the father of her child was responsible.

It's traumatic cases like this that have local lawmakers taking notice.

"It's time to take a look at these things and be serious about protection of the victims," State representative Teresa Fedor told 13abc over the phone.

She plans to re-introduce a bill that will require people served with domestic violence protection orders to temporarily turn over their firearms to police.

"As you have studied domestic violence, we found that there were a lot of domestic violence deaths by use of firearms," Fedor said.

A study by the Associated Press found that 760 Americans a year were killed after being shot by an intimate partner. The goal of the bill would be to curb that violence.

It's one piece to a very complicated puzzle.

"It's an issue that we all have to address together to stop these tragedies from happening," Lashley said.

The bill is still in the very early stages of the process, so specifics aren't known or set in stone at this time.