82ºF

Advocate: Domestic violence injuries in area becoming more severe

Mother of 2 suffers knife wound to neck in domestic violence case, deputies say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mother of two involved in a domestic violence case in St. Johns County will be released from a hospital Monday night after suffering serious neck injuries in a stabbing Friday.

Steven Dobish, 34, the man police believe is responsible, is in jail, charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a weapon.

Friends and family members said the two had a relationship.

"What we're seeing locally is an increase in the severity of some of the injuries and that most of the people dying have not called the police,” said Ellen Siler, CEO of Hubbard House, a shelter for abused women in Jacksonville.

Siler said there are many warning signs when it comes to abuse, whether it be physical or mental.

"People only get bruises so many times accidentally,” Siler said. “If you see someone getting a lot of bruises, be concerned about it. If you see someone who's partner is extremely jealous and they need to know where they are all the time and the person seems to be afraid, afraid if they're running late, those are huge warning signs."

National statistics show about 25 percent of all women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. That number could be higher because many cases aren't reported because of fear or shame or because the abuser prevents the victim from doing so.

Dobish is still facing prior domestic violence charges involving the same mother of two, who NewsJax is not naming. Siler said in many serious abuse cases, the violence has happened before.

"Once that first push, shove, slap happens, it's really important that there be some type of intervention to keep it from escalating,” Siler said.

Resources like domestic abuse hotlines, counseling and law enforcement agencies can help victims and those who want to stop abuse. If you witness or suspect abuse, authorities say you also have a responsibility to speak up and report it to police.

"Just don't stay silent, because if you stay silent, there's no chance for things to change,” Siler said.

​Domestic violence resources:

  • Duval County: Hubbard House – If you need safe shelter or want to talk to someone, call our 24-hour hotline at 800-500-1119 or 904-354-3114 / TTY: 904-354-3958. For more information, go to http://www.hubbardhouse.org.
  • St. Johns County: Betty Griffin House – Their 24-hour crisis hotline is 904-824-1555. For more information, go to http://www.bettygriffinhouse.org. For warning signs of abuse, click here.

Always dial 911 for emergency help.