The holidays are a time to celebrate but there's also a dark side with an increase in domestic violence.
This time of year is especially painful for one family grieving the loss of Lori Jackson, a mother of twins who was murdered by her husband.
Her family has suffered a lot, and they will never get over what happened. But they've remained strong in hopes of getting the word out that this is a very real problem for many families.
Merry Jackson’s daughter Lori was 32 and a mother of two young twins. They didn't like the way her husband treated her but Lori’s sister Kacey says they had no idea he would kill her.
"In hindsight, I wish we had done more for my sister,” said Kacey Mason, Lori’s sister.
Lori knew she was in danger. She and her babies had moved out of the house and moved in with her parents. She got a restraining order, but that didn't stop her husband from buying a gun.
He went to her parents’ home and shot Lori and her mother, who survived.
"Help is available 24/7 in our state. That's really important and it doesn't have to be a crisis for them to call it can just be to talk to an advocate on how can I be safe,” said Karen Jarmoc, of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence helps victims find shelter and counseling.
This year, budget cuts have forced them to cut back on support services for mental health and substance abuse.
In Lori’s case, she did everything right. She tried to get help but her family wishes she did it sooner.
Kacey is raising her sister’s children and wants them to be aware of domestic violence.
"We are doing more to get them involved, hoping one day they can be an advocate for my sisters legacy in keeping her memory alive,” Mason said.
The Jackson’s have also been strong advocates. They helped pass legislation that takes away guns immediately when someone is given a restraining order.
Their message this holiday is that there is help.
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