Friends of Amber and Robert Seymore, the couple that died in a murder-suicide in North Carolina earlier this week, say they were having marital problems while they lived in the Tri-Valley and had moved away about a year and a half ago for "a fresh start."
But the 9-1-1 call Amber made two weeks before her husband shot and killed her reveals they were unable to leave their problems behind. Amber tells the police dispatcher that her husband, a former BART canine officer, had a bad temper and numerous guns, and she feared how he might react when she ended their relationship.
Tri-Valley Haven, based in Livermore, is the primary local community resource for those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, rape and homelessness.
The group provides shelter to domestic-violence victims, runs a 24-hour crisis line and works to educate teens and adults about the warning signs of an abusive relationship and how to get help.
Prevention is key, says the organization's staff.
Warning signs of an unhealthy relationship:
— Possessiveness and jealousy. A person may try to isolate their significant other from friends and family members.
— Name calling. A person may demean and degrade their partner.
— Abusive behavior toward animals is usually a precursor to violence against another person.
— Controlling finances.
— Threats of violence through body language such as waving a fist or lunging at another person.
— Emotional abuse. It's important to remember abuse is not just physical but also verbal and emotional.
— Repeated break-ups/reconciliations. There may be attempts at reconciliation or making amends between the perpetrator and the victim. But advocates say it's important to remember that statistically it's unlikely an abusive relationship can change, especially between the same partners.
— It's important to remember that men can be victims of domestic violence as well, though they may be less likely to come forward.
If you think you or someone you care about might be in an unhealthy/abusive relationship, Tri-Valley Haven offers a 24-hour crisis line: 925-449-5842 or 800-884-8119 .
If a friend or loved one is in an unhealthy/abusive relationship, it's important the victim feels she can come to you and not be judged or made to feel embarrassed.
Keep lines of communication open and be a support for your loved one.
— A physician, school counselor or a trusted adult.
This information was originally published in conjunction with the 2009 Pleasanton Patch coverage of the murder-suicide of Michel David and Daniel Shoemake, a young Pleasanton couple living in San Diego.