How to help a neighbor in an abusive relationship: Ypsilanti woman recalls frightening experience

Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 17:14:28-04

“It took me four months before I told anybody or asked for help but there was finally a day that I realized that if I don’t do that he is going to kill me,” said Nicole Beverly of Ypsilanti. 

Nicole Beverly says at first the relationship between her and her ex-husband Kevin Beverly was happy. She says overtime he became emotionally abusive, then the abuse turned physically violent. 

“The worst instance of physical abuse was when he dragged me back into the house as I was trying to flee and he proceeded to hit me with shoes, his fits, he kicked me and then he ended up hold a gun to my head,” said Beverly. 

Kevin is now serving 13 to 35 years in prison on charges related to Nicole's abuse

“Let’s say if it was a disease it would be considered an epidemic,” said the Senior Director of Programs at Haven Emily Matuszczak

Haven is an organization aimed at helping survivors of domestic abuse. News of two deadly domestic violence cases in Oakland County hits this organization hard, but Matuszczak says education is key. 

If you are a neighbor here is what you should look for: 

  • If you are friends with a neighbor, help them set up a plan if they need help. It could be flicking the porch light on to call police, or a phone call with a code word to call police. 
  • If you are not friends and believe your neighbors is in a domestic violence situation, be mindful when starting a dialogue.  “I think a lot of victims may be embarrassed or ashamed cause victims have a tendency to blame themselves so I might not go that route you could do a gentle is everything ok?” says Matuszczak. 
  • If you think you are hearing someone being abused, call 911. Never try to minimize the situation or what you are hearing. 

If you are a victim of domestic violence there is help. Haven has a 24 hour hotline you can call at (248) 334-1274. They can help you put a plan in place to leave an abusive relationship safely. To find about more about Haven, click here.