Lexington police get grant to help domestic violence victims

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Gloria Taylor remembers the night she thought she was going to die.

"He put his hand over my mouth, it was covering my mouth and my nose and then he just took the other hand and put it around my neck," Taylor said.

In November 2014, her ex-boyfriend held her at knife point and strangled her.

"I was hitting him saying 'I can't breathe,’” she said. “I could feel my body turning over some."

He then tried to kidnap her, throwing her in the trunk of his car, she said.

Thankfully, she was able to break free and get help.

"It was horrible,” she said.

Lt. Melissa Carter says stories like Gloria's are all too common and it’s one of the reasons why Lexington police are trying to crack down on abusers and get victims help.

"We want to prevent injuries, assault, ultimately homicide,” Carter said.

This week, the city council approved a $116,000 grant for a police victim's assistant.

They'll work one on one with victims, linking them to counseling and other resources.

"Call the victim, being able to answer the victim's questions, be with them in court, hold their hand if that's what they need," Carter said.

Since 2014, the police department has stepped up its efforts, launching its offender-focused domestic violence initiative.

"We're looking at how many victims they've had before, how many calls we've had there, are children involved?” Carter said.

Along with helping victims, they're also focused on the abusers.

Police keep track of every domestic violence call, abusers are kept on a watch list and are also linked to counseling and mental health programs.

"If we can put these programs in place, if we can break the cycle for the future victims and the children, we want to do it," Carter said.

Gloria says that help will give victims the courage they need to leave.

"It's OK to get out,” she said. “It's OK. You don't have to feel like you're alone."

More than 900 abusers are on the domestic violence watch list.

Carter says the department hopes to hire its victim's assistant within the next few weeks.

High Point and Burlington police also have similar programs.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.