Annette Torres - A Domestic Violence Murder
Domestic violence has afflicted our community, once again, in its most ultimate form with the suspected murder of Annette Torres by her partner, Mark Morris, who then took his own life, in Bergenfield last Saturday. Their 11-year-old son found them dead the next morning in their home. The last 5 months have been particularly horrific in Bergen County. In October 2015, Arthur Lomando reportedly stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend, Suzanne Bardzell. Michael Stasko of Edgewater apparently shot his wife, Melissa, their 8-year-old daughter, Mellie, and himself; they were found dead, on Christmas Day. On January 31, 2016, Luisa Pleger of North Arlington was killed. Her husband, Eric Pleger, was charged with her murder.Every year, 3-4 million women in the U.S. are abused and 1,500-1,600 are killed by their abusers. We, as a community, must heed higher standards in intervening for families where domestic violence exists. We all must take responsibility for helping our neighbors trapped in abusive, potentially lethal, relationships. If you are a friend, please listen, believe and reach out for help. Houses of worship, schools and community groups can bring in experts to provide awareness about domestic violence, intimate partner abuse and dating violence. Every store, in every town center can post a sign that includes the names of local resources that can help.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, or even if you just suspect abuse, please call the 24-hour hotline of Center for Hope and Safety at 201-944-9600. This is a confidential hotline if someone just needs to talk or if referrals are needed. Center for Hope and Safety also provides community education and outreach material. “Connect with us to take action against domestic violence and strengthen our community” said Julye Myner, Center for Hope and Safety Executive Director.