Doing more to protect victims

Doing more to protect victims

Findlay Courier: Two fatal shootings in northern Ohio (in late March) are the latest reminders that domestic violence can occur anywhere, anytime, and is always too close to home.

The senseless deaths of Kaitlin Gerber and Amy Ross should compel communities to review if they are doing enough to protect domestic violence victims.

On (March 25), Gerber, 20, of Toledo, was shot outside a Toledo gym by a former boyfriend, who then took his own life. Authorities have learned that Jashua Perz, 29, had been stalking Gerber in recent weeks and had previously threatened other family members with violence.

On (March 28), Randall J. Ross, 47, of Fremont, was arrested after police said he shot and killed his estranged wife, Amy, 40, at an Oak Harbor residence where she had moved following alleged abuse by her husband. Randall Ross shot himself twice after shooting his wife, but survives.

The homicides, while unrelated, are examples of how toxic relationships can turn tragic.

Both shootings will likely lead to inquiries by various authorities into how the cases were handled, and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent such tragedies. In the Gerber case, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine may be asked to investigate.

Recently, a domestic violence task force was revived in Hancock County to better support victims.

Meanwhile, the tough questions being asked now in Toledo and Oak Harbor should be asked here, too. Are we doing enough to protect domestic violence victims, and if not, how can we do better?

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