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'It's time we take action on this': Domestic violence homicides on the rise in Lexington

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-25 18:14:33-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Of the more than 40 homicides in the City of Lexington this year, more than a quarter of them have been related to domestic violence. The latest death was this past Wednesday on Bay Colony Lane. Police say 59-year-old Stephon Henderson shot his wife, 47-year-old Talina Henderson, who also went by Tina.

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Greenhouse 17's executive director, Darlene Thomas, says global changes may contribute to the rise. She says, "The world has opened back up, and those that have kind of been sanctioned with complete power and control over their intimate partners have seen more stress in the family as the world opens up and survivors are able to maybe reach out for help."

Court documents show that Talina filed a petition for a protective order days earlier on November 20, and court paperwork shows that it was not immediately granted.

Tina worked at UK Health Care since 2001.

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"We are grieving along with all who knew and loved her and will of course offer support during this terrible time," UK Health Care said in a statement.

Thomas says, "Well, you know it's so hard when somebody's experiencing intimate partner violence. A., to tell people. Maybe they minimize themselves, or maybe they are afraid that people won't believe or understand the severity of their fear and why they feel the way they feel because those that do harm often present a different outside persona than what they do in the context of that relationship."

So far this year, there have been at least 12 domestic violence homicides in the city, and Mayor Linda Gorton says that that's more than even. Non-profit and city leaders agree that it will take the entire community to stop the violence.

Thomas says, "Once a person is believed, that lifts the load off of them, off their shoulders a little bit that they are not alone, people are going to support them. Their biggest fear is not just of the person that is doing the harm. That is terrifying for survivors. On the other hand, it's also fear of not being supported."

The City of Lexington announced a domestic violence prevention campaign this month. Greenhouse 17's director says she's glad to see the community stepping up.

Thomas says, "It's time. It's time that we understand and recognize it, but beyond that, it's going to be time that we do things and take action on this."