June 4, 2014 –Cynthia Serrano, 48, her sister, 35-year-old Cathy de Leon, and daughter, 21-year-old April Serrano were found dead in their Fort Worth home on Tuesday morning. Later that evening, The Fort Worth Police Department issued an arrest warrant for capital murder and arrested Cedric McGinns, who is listed in police reports as the ex-boyfriend of one of the victims.
“These very intentional acts of murder are horrific. No husband and father should come home from work to such devastation,” said SafeHaven CEO Mary Lee Hafley. “These extreme acts of violence against an ex-girlfriend and her family prove that the web of control spun by an abuser literally takes her life and endangers those who try to protect her.”
Unfortunately, homicides involving violence against women and girls are not rare. In addition to Tuesday’s victims, at least three other Tarrant County women have lost their lives in 2014 in domestic violence homicides. Several other women and children have been severely injured.
- On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.
- Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.
- Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a “family annihilator” — a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide. Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well, before killing themselves.
Hafley hopes anyone in an abusive relationship hears this crucial message.
“Don’t wait. The time to contact someone for help is right now. Don’t underestimate the danger and what your partner will do to keep you in the relationship. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, call our hotline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-877-701-SAFE. We will help you develop a plan to get you and your children to a safe place.”
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
SafeHaven of Tarrant County is the oldest and largest nonprofit organization in our community working to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change. We operate the only two shelters in Tarrant County specifically for victims of domestic violence. SafeHaven creates safety for women and children: immediate safety for now; permanent safety for the future.
In 2013, SafeHaven answered 43,930 hotline calls, sheltered 784 abused women and 998 children, provided counseling, legal advocacy and other services to 3,350 other victims, and educated over 37,000 students and community members on domestic violence and agency services.
If you or someone you know is being abused, call SafeHaven’s 24-Hour Hotline: 1-877-701-SAFE(7233) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
- Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
- Violence Policy Center (VPC), American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States, April 2006.