Michelle Rowling was a proud mother of two small children. She was also a woman struggling to escape an allegedly abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Montrell Cooper. It wasn't easy. In fact, once after he was arrested for assaulting her, Rowling actually helped her boyfriend escape jail time in exchange for probation.
But that all changed after his most recent arrest. After another attack on Rowling, Cooper found himself in jail, where he's been since August. The time apart from her abuser gave Rowling the time and space she needed to realize that she had to make a break from this man forever.
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Sadly, this realization came too late for Rowling. Within a week of his release from jail, she would be discovered stabbed and bleeding to death. She would be rushed to the hospital but pronounced dead upon arrival. Her children would lose their mother. Rowling would lose her life. The primary suspect? Her ex-boyfriend, Cooper, who is currently wanted for questioning by the police.
The saddest part of this story is not that none of it had to happen. Just a handful of days before she was attacked and killed, she posted a status to Facebook that was chilling in its straightforwardness. In it, Rowling said that if anything happened to her, she wanted her friends to pass on her love to her children and to her mother. It is now believed by her friends that Rowling knew Cooper was coming for her and that he meant to do her harm.
Domestic violence is evil and pernicious. It's so hard for those in the thick of a violent relationship to reach out. Rowling did, and even so, she wasn't able to get the help she needed. If someone like her couldn't get help by being so direct, it shouldn't be a shock that we are usually blind to less obvious cries for help. We've got to change how we offer assistance to victims of domestic violence before we hear another story like this one.
What can we do to help prevent domestic violence?
Image via KDSK