Yesterday, a mother in Avon Park, Florida, was desperate for help. She and her two children were being held hostage by her violent boyfriend, Ethan Nickerson, who was wielding a knife. Thanks to her quick thinking, Nickerson is now in jail, and she and her kids are alive and unharmed.
Police say the mother convinced their abuser to let her use a cell phone and order dinner through Pizza Hut’s online app. After all, she wouldn’t be talking to a person. Just clicking the menu items they wanted … Right?
Nickerson agreed. What he didn’t realize is that Pizza Hut’s online ordering form has a comments section, and that’s where this mother wrote …
“Please help. Get 911 to me.”
“So we knew something wasn’t right,” said store manager Candy Hamilton. “I’ve never seen nothing like that, so I told my boss, and he said call 911 immediately.”
Deputies showed up the home within minutes and were able to get the woman and her children out. Eventually, they coaxed Nickerson out without incident.
“I don’t know if I ever would have thought of it – something she did so naturally,” said Lt. Curtis Ludden of the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. “The boyfriend didn’t even know about it until he saw us coming around the corner.”
Needless to say, Nickerson is now facing charges, and we can only hope he won’t ever be allowed near that mother or those poor children ever again.
According to Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA):
- In 2012, there were 38,490 incidents of domestic violence reported in Harris County.
- 26% of all Texas female intimate homicides occurred in Harris County in 2012.
- 30 women were killed in 2012 in Harris County due to domestic violence.
- In 2009, the Houston Police Department alone tallied 27,214 reported incidents of domestic violence.
- The most recent year for which complete area- and state-wide data is available is 2009. Law-enforcement agencies in Harris County received 41,506 reports of domestic violence.
- Since a small fraction of family violence is ever reported to law enforcement, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates that some 250,000 area residents to be victims of domestic abuse.
- 114 women were killed by their intimate partner in 2012.
- 12,356 Adults received shelter from their abusive relationships
- 16,968 children received shelter
Each year, the Texas Council on Family Violence compiles a list of the women killed by their male intimate partners in Texas. TCFV collects the victim’s personal stories from newspapers and other sources so each story can be told.