Groups that help victims of domestic violence are flooded with calls

MILWAUKEE -- Agencies that work with victims of domestic violence were flooded with phone calls from people seeking assistance after the shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa on Sunday, October 21st.

45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton entered the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield and opened fire, killing three and injuring four. One of those killed was Radcliffe Haughton's ex-wife, Zina Haughton, who worked as a hair stylist in the salon.

Monday, FOX6 News learned more about the man accused in this shooting. Haughton's body was discovered inside the salon Sunday evening. He reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Radcliffe Haughton reportedly had a violent history, and his violence had recently escalated. FOX6 News learned after confronting Radcliffe Haughton about an affair, Radcliffe Haughton slashed Zina Haughton's tires -- leading her to file a restraining order against him. That restraining order was granted Thursday, October 18th in court, when Radcliffe Haughton was ordered to turn in any weapons he had to Sheriff's officials. The Associated Press reported two days later, on Saturday, October 20th -- one day before the shooting, Radcliffe Haughton purchased the gun used in the shooting from a private citizen.

In the hours following the mass shooting at Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield on Sunday, October 21st, Asha Family Services noticed a spike in calls.

"Women are at their greatest danger when they decide to leave, but there are resources and places that can help to safely do that," Antonia Vann, CEO of Asha Family Services said.

The phones were also ringing at the Sojourner Family Peace Center. Director Carmen Pitre said she's most worried about those who aren't picking up their phone.

"What's most concerning are the people who want to call but are afraid now because of what happened," Pitre said.

Pitre said she also worries the shooting will lead to a copycat crime.

"I think that what happened may spur someone who's already thinking about doing it to take that extra step," Pitre said.

Both agencies say they hear from victims who are hesitant to get a restraining order. They fear Sunday's massacre will only make it worse.

"A lot people have said to me, 'You know Carmen, it's just a piece of paper' and I say 'yes it is, but in the majority of cases, it's a very important piece of paper.' Most batterers, when an order is granted against them, they will stop their violent behavior," Pitre said.

"No piece of paper is gonna keep a woman safe, but what it does do is it creates a paper trail. It creates the paper trail that gives law enforcement that ability it needs to prosecute and hold this individual accountable," Vann said.

According to the Sojourner Family Peace Center, Sunday's shooting was the seventh homicide this year in the Milwaukee area connected to domestic violence. The agency says there were 18 last year.

The center reports about 10,000 in-person visits annually, and its hotline receives about 19,000 calls per year.

Sojourner Family Peace Center asks anyone who believes they are either a victim or perpetrator of domestic abuse to call its 24-hour hotline. That number is (414) 933-2722.

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