With recent incidents, domestic violence advocate says ‘it can be any kind of relationship’

Local News

Valerie Craig says domestic violence can come in many forms. 

“It could be siblings,” said Craig, co-founder of Tennessee Voices for Victims. “It could be a parent and child. It could be child, parent. It could be grandparents. It could be cousins.” 

“It could be aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews.” 

It’s something Craig says often spikes around the holidays. 

“There’s lots of tension, lots of factors that go into play around a time which you would traditionally think is a very joyous time for families,” she said. 

A joyous time that’s turned deadly for three families in middle Tennessee the past week. 

The most recent incident happened Thursday afternoon on Harold Drive in South Nashville. 

Forty-seven-year-old Sonny Coulter shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend then shot and killed himself, according to Metro Police. 

Last Wednesday, a daughter shot and killed her sister and mother then shot herself in West Nashville. 

“A murder-suicide a lot of times is domestic violence,” Craig said. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, Jerry Matthews fatally stabbed his wife, Emma Teeters, and stabbed her father. 

The father then shot and killed him. 

“You have these horrible stories that are unearthing these family secrets,” Craig said. 

She says the recent tragedies are examples of how quickly domestic situations can turn deadly and why people need to reach out for help. 

“It can be any kind of relationship,” Craig said. “It absolutely applies to any type of family situation.”

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