Know the warning signs of domestic violence

Local News
DV Package

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The death of a University of Utah doctor is the second reported domestic violence murder that’s happened in 2019 in the state of Utah. Domestic Violence advocates say it’s two too many.

“It’s happening far too often,” said Jen Oxborrow, Executive Director of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

ABC4 News went to Oxborrow for insight after news broke that 27-year-old Sarah Hawley and 30-year-old Travis Geddes were found dead in their home. Salt Lake City Police are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide.

Police say there were no previous cases of domestic violence.

With that said, Oxborrow says there are always warning signs.

“We hear this all the time that somebody just snapped, or this just happened out of the blue, but research does not support that,” explained Oxborrow.

What Are the “Warning Signs” of an Abuser?

Red flags and warning signs of an abuser include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Unpredictability
  • A bad temper
  • Cruelty to animals
  • Verbal abuse
  • Extremely controlling behavior
  • Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships
  • Forced sex or disregard of their partner’s unwillingness to have sex
  • Sabotage of birth control methods or refusal to honor agreed upon methods
  • Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
  • Sabotage or obstruction of the victim’s ability to work or attend school
  • Controls all the finances
  • Abuse of other family members, children or pets
  • Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair
  • Control of what the victim wears and how they act
  • Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly
  • Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others
  • Harassment of the victim at work


In addition to providing help and support to domestic violence victims, UDVC tracks the number of domestic violence related fatalities reported throughout the state. Here are the statistics from UDVC.org:

2019 – 2 reported domestic violence related fatalities as of this report
2018 – 35 reported domestic violence related fatalities
2017 – 44 reported domestic violence related fatalities
2016 – 22 reported domestic violence related fatalities

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, click here for resources.

If you or someone you know is in a dangerous, domestic situation there is free and confidential help. Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or at udvc.org or SVSUtah.org. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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