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A closer look at domestic violence after Appleton homicide

Harbor House sign in Appleton on September 21, 2017.             (WLUK/Mike Moon)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Victims' advocates are speaking-out in the wake of Annie Ford's death. Appleton Police say she was shot and killed by her boyfriend.

Advocates say this is a sad reminder of how dangerous domestic violence is and although police are still investigating the facts in this case, what are the signs when someone is experiencing abuse, and how can you help?

Appleton police have said they were called three times to this house the night of Annie Ford's death. The first report was for a "domestic incident." The third time she'd been shot.

"The individuals were arguing over property. They were arguing over the living circumstances," described Sergeant Dave Lund who said officers did not arrest suspect Johnny Scott during the initial two calls, because they did not find enough evidence under the state's mandatory arrest law.

However, victim advocates told FOX 11 News this incident is likely the result of domestic violence.

"And it's happening all over our city, our county, our state and our nation," said the executive director of Harbor House Beth Schnorr who said this homicide is a reminder of how dangerous domestic violence is.

"Domestic violence is a pattern of calculated acts for the purpose of power and control. It often occurs when the victim is trying to leave and it is rarely an isolated incident," Schnorr explained.

Schnorr told us it's on the entire community to stop this abuse.

"We need to take the warning signs seriously. Abusers are dangerous people. Heated arguments and hitting can become lethal," she said.

According to Schnorr we all have to watch for the signs.

"A partner is extremely possessive, if they begin to isolate the partner from family and friends, verbal abuse, verbal put downs," she described.

Schnorr advises if you see these signs, please talk to the suspected victim.

"If you suspect something, take the risk and approach that person," she said, adding you should then offer to find them help.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the national hotline for help. That number is 1-800-787-3224.

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