Groups urge victims of violence to get help
With two murder-suicides on Oahu in just more than a month, an advocacy group is encouraging people who fear for their safety to reach out for help.
"They won't be forced to do anything or take any action. They'll just find someone that will listen to them and not blame them," said Suzanne Green, a domestic violence educator for the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Groups that help domestic violence victims include the Ohia Domestic Violence Shelter (526-2200) and the Family Peace Center (832-0855.)
For the second time in a month, the coalition is planning a silent march in memory of the latest domestic violence victim, a 45-year-old woman who was shot by her 60-year-old husband Monday night in their Halawa Heights apartment. Police said the man turned his handgun on himself after killing his wife.
Monday's murder-suicide comes just after Domingo "Bunny" Dikito shot his wife Della Dikito before killing himself at their Ewa Beach home on April 25.
Even though the cases are tragic, Green said the media attention to these crimes serves a purpose.
"We're always glad there's coverage because this has been such a secret and silencing crime," Green said. "The longer we keep it silent, the more women get hurt and the more we continue to blame them."
Green said she is disheartened to read online comments about how women in murder-suicide cases should learn to restrain what they say if they see their spouse's anger rise.
"It's irrational thinking by our society that what we do causes violence," Green said. "When someone gets their car stolen, we don't blame them for getting it stolen. A crime is a crime, and someone's choice of hurting someone else is their choice."
The city Medical Examiner's Office has not released the identities of the couple in Monday's shooting, but a co-worker identified the woman as Marissa Dumlao, and her husband as Eliseo Dumlao Jr.
Police responded at 6:39 p.m. Monday to a dropped 911 call at 99-801 Halawa Heights Road in Aiea. Officers entered the second-story unit through a back window and found the couple dead. A 9 mm semiautomatic handgun was found on Eliseo's chest. Marissa is survived by an 18-year-old daughter, who was not living with them, police said. The couple was married recently.
Eliseo Dumlao was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in 1999 and in 2002.
According to accounts from neighbors and the couple's landlord, there were few signs of possible domestic troubles.
But Aurora Doble, who worked with Marissa at Maile's Lei Stand at the Honolulu Airport, said she noticed a recent change in her friend's usual friendly demeanor.
"Only lately she has been quiet," said Doble, adding that Marissa began work at the stand in October. "Somehow I could sense that she had problems, but I didn't ask."
Doble said she found out about the case when she saw morning news footage of the couple's apartment. Doble had given Marissa a ride home to the apartment before.
Doble said although she did not know the couple well, her husband knew Eliseo because they served in the Navy together.
"I'll always remember when before she would come to work, she would pass by the bakery," Doble said. "I'm going to miss her buying my favorite pastries. I'm really going to miss her."