ST. GEORGE (ABC4 News) – St. George police say domestic violence has not been slowing down since the holidays; in fact, officers in Washington County have made 26 domestic violence arrests in the past 21 days alone.
Hannah Hall, a survivor of domestic violence, told ABC4 News in an exclusive interview her ex-husband Kaiden Green has been physically, emotionally, verbally, and financially abusive for seven years.
As the 22-year-old raises two daughters, ages 2 and 5, she says every day she fears for her life.
“The fear is always there,” Hall said. “Is he going to show up at my daughter’s school? Is he gonna be there knowing he’s not supposed to be around me because I do have a protective order?
Green was arrested on New Year’s Eve after allegedly trespassing onto Hall’s home in St. George and charged with criminal trespass within a dwelling and violating a protective order, which are both class A misdemeanors.
“There’s been multiple times I’ve seen him following me or stalking my house and looking through my windows,” said Hall.
On January 4th, Green was booked into jail again after reportedly assaulting someone else while intoxicated. The Washington City man has been charged with four counts of assault and a count each of criminal mischief, failure to disclose his identity, trespassing, intoxication, and disorderly conduct.
“Obviously with a couple of incidents within a few days, there’s probably something bigger that needs to be addressed,” St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin said. “Emotions can get very high, and I would think for most people it takes a long time to calm down and work through that.”
Atkin told ABC4 News any number of domestic violence incidents is too high. Officers don’t typically keep in touch with victims or monitor abusers after they’ve been released from jail unless they commit another act of violence.
“Abusers get a no-contact order, which means that they cannot contact the victim or go to the victim’s address until they see a judge, which normally is within 24 hours,” said Atkin.
Depending on how the victim answers the questions during a lethality risk assessment, officers call St. George’s DOVE Center to speak to the victim and bring the victim and any children into a safe environment, according to Atkin. Prosecutors then normally request a protective order that lasts about a week to give victims time to apply for a long-term restraining order, authorities said.
But Hall said that in her experience, a protective order wasn’t a big enough deterrent. She said her abuser has been in and out of jails for years, and on multiple occasions, has even posted bail an hour after he’s been arrested.
“They shouldn’t be able to post bail, even within 24 hours,” Hall said. “I was scrambling trying to find a hotel room to stay at because I was nervous, scared. I thought he was going to take my children or hurt me seriously, even kill me.”
While police have ensured Hall initially got in touch with victims services, she said law enforcement should be more involved with victims’ recovery.
“They should be following up, ensuring that you’re not alone and you’re safe,” Hall said. “You know, the truth of it is, he will hit you again, yes it will be worse, yes he can kill you.”
Hannah said the Dove Center in St. George was a huge resource for her and now wants to advocate for other victims and show them that they can — and should — leave.
“You are going to be okay if you choose to stand up for yourself and choose to walk away from a toxic situation,” Hall added. “You’re not alone.”
Law enforcement has made 7 of the 26 arrests in the past 5 days, according to officials.
Victims currently considering leaving an abusive relationship should reach out to one of the many agencies that can help. Often planning to leave is the hardest step, however, with the right resources, it is possible.
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or udvc.org.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 911 immediately.
(Source: The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition) “Domestic violence service providers in Utah offer free support and services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence. These services may include shelter, support, 24-hour crisis line, temporary housing, advocacy and referral programs, counseling, and transportation.”
Canyon Creek Crisis Center; 435-865-7443; Iron, Beaver, and Garfield Counties located in Cedar City
CAPSA (Community Abuse Prevention Services Agency); 435-753-2500 Cache and Rich Counties located in Logan
Center for Women and Children in Crisis; 801-377-5500; Utah and Juab Counties located in Provo
Colleen Quigley Crisis Center; 435-637-6589; Carbon and Emery located in Price
DOVE Center; 435-628-0458; Washington and Kane Counties located in St. George
New Hope Crisis Center; 1-877-732-5600; Box Elder County located in Brigham City
New Horizons Crisis Center; 1-800-343-6302; Sevier, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, and Wayne Counties located in Richfield
Pathways; 1-800-833-5515; Tooele County located in Tooele
Peace House; 435-647-9161; Summit and Wasatch Counties located in Park City
Safe Harbor; 801-444-9161; Davis County
Seekhaven; 1-888-421-1100; Grand County located in Moab
South Valley Sanctuary; 801-255-1095; Salt Lake County located in West Jordan
Women’s Crisis Center; 435-781-0613; Uintah, Duchesne, and Daggett Counties located in Vernal
YCC (Your Community Connection); 801-392-7273; Weber and Morgan Ogden/Northern Utah
YWCA Women in Jeopardy; 801-537-8600; Salt Lake County located in Salt Lake City
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