Family of slain mother, advocate speak out about domestic violence

Source: Family

Latika Bowman says her sister Sharika Bowman was smart, outgoing, and artistic until she met Keitran Foots.

“She kind of almost closed herself off a little bit from us,” Bowman said via Facetime from Michigan. “He was very controlling. He was manipulative. He got in her head. I feel he got in her head and changed the whole person who she was,” she continued.

Police say 30-year-old Keitran Foots shot and killed Bowman in her driveway after she dropped her children off for school. Bowman’s says she just talked to her sister Thursday night and she was in good spirits.

“When we started to get more details, her boyfriend Keitran, I wasn’t shocked.” Bowman said. “To think that it was him that would do that to her.”

The mother of five was a licensed practical nurse, working to become a registered nurse. Bowman said her older sister moved to Georgia from Michigan for better opportunities for herself and her children. She met Foots in 2016. He was the father of her two youngest children, ages one, and one month.

Foots ran after the shooting and was captured by police in Vance County, North Carolina Sunday.

DeKalb Police say Foots has a criminal history, but they’d never been called to Bowman’s home for domestic violence.

“Often times it’s fear,” said Ayonna Johnson, Director of Legal Services, Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence. “Power and controlling tactics are used because they are effective. They keep a person stuck and often fearful that further harm would come.”

Johnson says getting out from an abusive relationship isn’t as simple as walking away.

“It’s not always just pack a bag and run out of the door with your children. It’s a process to leave. We have lives. We have jobs,” Johnson said.

According to a 2017 report from the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, Georgia ranked 8th in the nation for its rate of men killing women in 2016. The report indicates from 2003 to 2016, at least 1,671 Georgians died due to domestic violence. Firearms were the cause of death in 71%of domestic violence deaths in 2016.

While the following tips may be difficult, Johnson says it’s always best for women in abusive relationships to let someone know what’s going on, be it family, a friend, or an advocate. She suggests establishing a code word or phrase with that trusted person, and to memorize three important telephone numbers to call in an emergency.

“Oftentimes, we’re talking about what she can do differently, how she can walk straighter or not upset him or what she needs to file in court. What are we saying to the person that’s abusing?” Johnson asked. “What is the list that we’re giving them as community as family members about the decisions they’re making to choose to use violence against their partners? How are we holding them accountable? That’s our charge.”

Bowman’s family has taken her children to Michigan, and are hoping to bury her in her home state. They’ve set up a gofundme page for anyone who would like to help with costs.

For women who are being abused can call the 24-hour crisis line at the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence at 404-688 9436.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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