Victims, Officers Give Real-Life Advice on Abuse - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Victims, Officers Give Real-Life Advice on Abuse

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Ouachita Parish, La. (KNOE 8 News) -

Last week, KNOE 8 News brought you the tragic story of Natalie Raymond.

Six years ago, her boyfriend was beating her for reasons as simple as putting onions in the spaghetti.

On Monday, KNOE 8 News brought you the story of Lieutenant Mark Wynn, not only a domestic violence trainer but a survivor himself.

KNOE 8 News told Raymond's story to Wynn, so he could use it to give advice to any victims watching this report.

But his advice is also for officers.

"We should listen to the victims," Wynn said. "They've taught us how to respond to these calls and we're talking about that with these officers today."

Raymond told us she knew something was wrong early.

"I noticed certain behaviors that were red flags but I ignored them," she said.

But Wynn said you need to report them, that these abusers aren't just angry people.

"These offenders know very well," he said. "I'm talking about years and years and years and years of observation and practice."

Raymond took KNOE 8 News back to the night she tried to break free.

"I had the police come to the house to remove him and he hid in the woods behind my house," she said.

"There were times when we didn't pursue," Wynn said. "We do today."

But Raymond's boyfriend was never found.

"I packed a bag and after the police left, he came out of the woods and he says 'Well, let's go into the house and talk,'" she said. "I actually trusted him and thought we were going to go talk and we didn't."

"That's what they want you to think, that if you are more passive, if you do what I say, then I'll stop hitting or threatening you," Wynn said. "It puts this false impression in the victim's mind that there's something they can do to make it better."

Wynn's telling all officers to study every report and intervene.

"You are the gatekeeper," he said. "You're the one who may be the first time this victim's ever come to anyone, even a family member. Don't fail that victim. Get them to services."

If you see those red flags, call the police immediately.

There are places here in Ouachita Parish you can go.

Call this hotline at 1-888-411-1333.

You can also call the Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish at (318) 323-1543.

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