Dealing with the challenges of domestic violence

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Over the weekend, a Norfolk man accused of first-degree murder was arrested by Sioux City Police in connection with the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Hailey Christiansen.

Deshawn Gleaton, 28, is now held in Madison County Nebraska on a $5 million bond.

Court documents show that in the four previous years, Gleaton had been charged with domestic abuse in Iowa and Nebraska.

The victim of Friday’s shooting, Haily Christiansen, had a protection order against Gleaton, but it had not yet been served.

Gleaton was out on bond at the time of the shooting for a domestic assault charge involving Christiansen.

The recent shooting has shed a light on the way domestic violence is a persistent problem for the victims and for law enforcement. There’s no simple solution for dealing with domestic violence.

KCAU 9 looked into criminal records that showed Hailey Christiansen was at the Norfolk Police Station the night before she was killed.

Police said she reported receiving multiple phone calls from a restricted number which she believed belonged to Deshawn Gleaton.

South Sioux City’s Police Chief said if a protection order hasn’t been served, it makes it more difficult for law enforcement to intervene.

“Our job is if we can prove a domestic violence situation occurred, and we’re fairly certain that it did, our duty is we shall arrest. But, there’s proof we have to do it. If there’s no real marks, and it’s he said, she said, it’s very difficult for us to make an arrest,”

South Sioux City Police Chief Ed Mahon said if they can’t prove domestic violence is happening, officers still provide resources to an alleged victim.

One resource is Safe Place in Sioux City.

Safe Place’s hotline is open 24 hours a day. They provide shelter and food free of charge to victims of domestic abuse.

Norma Garza Ramirez is a domestic violence counselor at Safe Place.

She said it takes the entire community, friends, and family to spot signs of domestic abuse.

“Someone who is experiencing domestic violence, they tend to distance themselves. They’re always sad, kind of stay quiet. They’re not as happy and outgoing like they were before,” Ramirez said.

Sergeant Jeremy McClure, with Sioux City Police Department, said when it comes to domestic violence, there’s only so much law enforcement can do to be proactive.

“Some of our frustrations are, and I understand people are frustrated, when we can’t do anything in a situation where two people are arguing. It hasn’t been physical, but there’s some indicators that it’s possibly an abusive relationship, and we can’t force someone out of the house because they’re a legal resident of that, and they haven’t committed a crime, so we can’t take an enforcement action against them,” McClure added.

Ramirez with Safe Place said it’s best to come up with a safety plan, like leaving on your porch light on during the day as a sign of danger or coming up with a code word to send to a loved one.

Safe Place crisis hotline is available 24/7: 1-800-982-7233 or locally at 712-258-7233.

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