SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The father, mother and 12 year-old son who were found shot to death in their Andover home Thursday is apparently a case of domestic violence, according to the Essex County District Attorney.

This sad event in Andover, took place on the heels of two other violent family-centered incidents in Cohasset and Duxbury, with many in the state reeling. However, people who work locally for domestic violence programs want you to know they are there to help.

One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. The Springfield YWCA is a local resource for victims of domestic violence and they say it’s a crime that can be hard to detect and even harder to escape from.

“Most of the time, there’s a sense of frightening because when victims are trying to leave an abuser, that’s when they become more likely to be abused,” said Louis Santiago, a Supervisor of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault programs at YWCA.

Santiago added that one of the most basic needs victims have is the need for a safe place to go to figure out what to do. The YWCA has 58 bed to shelter victims of domestic violence and Santiago says they are always full. Beds are available on a first come, first serve.

However, the YWCA works with agencies across the state and can refer people in need to other shelters. The organization also offers legal counseling, day care, access to medical care and employment. People at these organizations stress they are there to help, not to judge and welcome anyone who might need their help.

Professors of criminology say many abusers are born from a cycle of violence and have not learned proper coping mechanisms. Professor Dunton at Western New England University added domestic violence spiked during COVID-19 and we are still feeling the effects of the financial impact and isolation.

“A lot of that contributes to the stress, which can then contribute to intimate partner violence,” said Professor Dunton.

Help for Domestic Violence:

  • YWCA of Western Massachusetts – 800-796-8711 or 413-733-7100
  • Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE
  • Behavioral Health Network – 877-898-3411
  • Alianza DV Services – 877-536-1628