Domestic violence is intentional acts of a physical, psychological, or sexual nature by a family member against another family member, violating their rights, freedoms, and legitimate interests and causing them physical and mental suffering. Domestic violence can affect anyone, whether a child, an adult, an older person, a woman, or a man. A spouse can be aggressive toward a spouse, and vice versa, parents toward children, children toward parents, and siblings toward each other. Children may show aggression in the form of violence toward their siblings. Domestic violence is represented by repeated periods of multiple types of violence over time. Prolonged, systematic, and uncontrolled domestic violence can lead to domestic homicide. Domestic homicide is defined as an issue of global public concern. Women and girls are overwhelmingly the victims of domestic homicide. This paper will present an examination of a domestic homicide report in Bristol.
The victim, in this case, was a sixty-one-year-old woman named Rasa. She was white Lithuanian and lived in a coastal city on the Baltic Sea, working as an accountant and auditor for the Lithuanian government. She came to the U.K. in May 2011 to be near her son after her husband died (Safer Bristol, 2018). Her son, Mattis, described his mother as friendly and open-minded. Mattis did not classify his mother and father’s relationship as abusive. Mattis remembered that his mother drank a little when he was a child, but she did not drink excessively. When Rasa came to the United Kingdom, she lived with her son for about 16 months (Safer Bristol, 2018). She later leased apartments from several private owners before obtaining a house of her own. She cleaned private homes, and shortly before she died, she joined a cleaning company. The woman’s neighbors describing her noted that she did not speak English well, so she did not communicate with many people. In addition, she sometimes smelled of alcohol.
While still living in Lithuania, Rasa met Nojus, her future partner. He, too, is Lithuanian, lived in the U.S. for some time, has three adult children and three grandchildren, but has no relatives in the U.K. Nodjus moved to Great Britain soon following Rasa and lived with her in her son’s household. According to the victim’s son, at first, Nojus drank moderately and then started drinking so often that he was fired from his job. With him, Rasa also became addicted to alcohol. Because of his constant drinking, Rasa’s son kicked the man out several times, both from his apartment and from his mother’s home. Rasa did not try to stop Nojus’s alcohol addiction, which led to them not living together for some time. During these periods, which sometimes lasted for weeks or even months, Rasa did not drink and returned to her talkative and friendly state. Nevertheless, Rasa and Nojus got back together anyway. Rasa’s son cannot guess who instigated these reunions.
However, when Rasa and Nojus were together, she seemed to reduce contact with others, spent funds on alcohol instead of essentials, and was insecure about the payment of bills and handling her finances. Mattis found that Nojus occasionally used Rasa’s cards, though he wasn’t sure if it was with his mother’s permission. Despite his son’s concern, about all his questions about domestic violence on Nojus’s part, Rasa replied that nothing was going on. Neighbors also did not notice any hostility from the man toward Rasa. Nevertheless, to control the taking of alcohol as well as his mother’s financial matters, the son kicked Nojus out of the house for three months and took control of the finances. At the end of this period, however, things returned to their usual course.
Nojus stabbed Rasa with a kitchen knife in her house in June 2016, the day they were both drinking. At 1:34 p.m. that day, Rasa first called for help from emergency responders by pulling the emergency cord in her apartment (Safer Bristol, 2018). The woman spoke very quietly and asked for help. Arriving on the scene seven minutes later, the housing support counselor found Rasa naked on the hallway floor, covered in blood. The woman’s throat had been cut. At that point, she was still conscious and asking for help. The counselor called the emergency services and waited for them at the scene. An ambulance arrived at 2:02 p.m., and paramedics identified the cut on Rasa’s throat as the only source of significant blood loss (Safer Bristol, 2018). She was transported to Southmead Hospital, where she received first aid, but passed away at 3:10 p.m. Police arrived on the scene after Rasa left for the hospital. They talked to several residents of the complex who were aware that Rasa and Nojus were in a long-term relationship.
Following directions from the residents, the police discovered that Nojus was hiding in a space under the staircase. Officers noticed blood on his sweater and arrested him on suspicion of killing Rasa. Upon arrest, Nojus implicitly admitted that he was guilty and also said that he now felt crazy because he had just been killed. An examination of the crime scene revealed a significant amount of blood. This means that the woman bled for a long time before calling for help. The murder weapon, a large kitchen knife, was found in the kitchen. The alleged cause of Nojus’s attack on Rasa was alcohol intoxication and, as a consequence, uncontrollable aggression. Nevertheless, the man was thoroughly tried for premeditated murder without extenuating circumstances.
The case of Rasa and Nojus is a tragedy for all who loved this woman. However, such tragedies are far from isolated. To prevent such situations, it is necessary to work with the cause of their occurrence (Reed et al., 2018). In this case, the cause was an abusive relationship and alcohol abuse. Although there were no obvious signs of domestic violence, there were some factors that indicated an unhealthy relationship. For example, Nodjus’ use of Race’s financial resources or her limited contact with the outside world. In a violent relationship, the victim is repressed, and one of the ways she is repressed is by depriving her of contact with the outside world. Furthermore, even according to Rasa’s son, during the absence of direct contact and control from his partner, his mother behaved in a much more open and friendly manner.
To avoid such situations, women must be trained to recognize the signs of domestic violence, which can lead to domestic homicide. Many people believe that domestic violence consists solely of beatings (Liem & Koenraadt, 2018). However, the example of Rasa shows that psychological violence can also lead to dire consequences. Educational paper materials can be distributed to educate women, as well as free public lectures. In this way, women will be able to recognize the signs of violence in time and prevent catastrophic consequences.
Liem, M., & Koenraadt, F. (2018). Domestic homicide: Patterns and dynamics. Routledge. Web.
Reed, A., Bohlander, M., Wake, N., Engleby, E., & Adams, V. (2018). Homicide in criminal law: A research companion. Routledge. Web.
Safer Bristol. (2018). Report into the homicide of Rasa. Safer Bristol Partnership. Web.