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Waupaca County murder-suicide sheds light on domestic violence problems

Posted: 5:01 PM, Oct 26, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-26 22:09:29Z

A tragic case of domestic violence has shaken up a small Waupaca County town and shed a light on the issue in our communities.

On Tuesday, John Cummings killed his estranged wife Cori Cummings before turning the gun on himself in the Town of Royalton, according to the Waupaca County Sheriff's Office.

The two were separated, but were allegedly meeting up to exchange cars before the shooting took place, deputies said.

It's the 53rd death in Wisconsin this year from a domestic violence situation, according to Heather Severson, founder of domestic violence organization Traja.

She said this situation is unusual because despite some convictions on Cumming's record, it didn't follow a normal pattern of escalation.

However, she said some incidents go unreported and the most important thing victims can do is reach out for help.

"Just because you reach out to Harbor House or any of those places, it does not mean you have to stay there," Severson explained. "Just making that phone call or speaking to an advocate is your number one move in the right direction towards keeping yourself safe."

Severson stressed that it's never the victim's fault. She recommended having a safety plan if a partner has abused someone in the past, including having people with them when they meet their abuser.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, here are some resources: