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WEEK: Tazewell County Coroner Speaks Up Against Domestic Violence

PEKIN, Ill. (WEEK) — – We are almost to the end of the second week in Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One local official who has seen the results of these cases firsthand is taking a stand and saying “enough.”

Tazewell County Coroner Dr. Jeff Baldi is all too familiar with death. But he said he is deeply upset by the number of murders and suicides that stem from domestic abuse.

“It comes down to issues that I think we need to grab early, that there is no shame,” said Baldi.

Since 2012, Tazewell County has seen 14 of these domestic homicides, the most recent one taking place last Tuesday.

Police said a man in Creve Coeur ended a violent domestic situation with a single gunshot to his partner’s head. Then he took his own life the same way. This situation was the final straw for this coroner who hopes bringing awareness will end the stigma associated with getting help.

“This has been something that is whispered. That when family dynamics are involved, whether you want to call it over-riding pride, the need for secrecy or whatever it is,” said Dr. Baldi.

Also on board with the coroner’s new initiative is the Center for Prevention of Abuse, who know all too well how hard it can be for someone to open up about their violent relationship.

“If you’re hoping that person will spill the details and tell you everything about the relationship, more than likely that is not going to happen. Friends and family need to be supportive, but also need to understand that it takes time, and it may take multiple attempts,” said Sara Dillefeld with the Center.

The coroner said the recent Women’s Marches taking place are perfect time to start the conversation about domestic abuse.

Watch the full story here.