SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Officials say domestic violence cases are on the rise in the State of Utah. One case over the weekend involved the death of 25-year-old Ashlyn Black.
“If somebody is intent on doing harm, you can’t always protect yourself from that,” said Liz Sollis with the Utah Domestic Violence Colation.
Layton police said Black met Ethan Hunsaker on Tinder. Detectives said he told them he stabbed her to death on his bedroom floor and that Black didn’t do anything to warrant her death.
“The reality is you can have intimate partner violence on a first date,” said Sollis.
Intimate partner violence is considered by law enforcement as an act of aggression, physical, or sexual violence.
The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition says if you are going on a date, meet the person in a public place by taking your own car, and don’t forget to tell friends or family where you’re going and a time you plan to be back.
“Please do not victim blame. It is the wrong approach. We need to help each other,” said Sollis. “We need to teach people about healthy relationships, and healthy behaviors, and how to deal with anger and emotions in a healthy way.”
As Utah continues to open up in the pandemic, people are beginning to ask for that help from shelters and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition instead of police.
“Because some people are in a relationship with that individual, long-term relationship, or maybe it’s even in early stages but they’re trying to work it out,” she said.
ABC4 News took a look at probable cause statements from Memorial Day weekend, finding more than a dozen cases involving some sort of aggravated assault on a family member.
In fact, Salt Lake City Poice is reporting a 29 percent increase in those kinds of cases with a year to date report.
Officials say if you’re ever in serious danger, call 911 with your cell phone.
“Just leave the phone going and they can, with your GPS, they can locate you if you are in need of help or support,” said Sollis.
Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465). If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately.
A GoFundMe has been created to help the family of Ashlyn Black:
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