July 1, 2020, Anchorage – In less than 10 days, five people were killed in Western Alaska. The first was Lawrence Paul; he was killed in Grayling on June 22, 2020. Two women, Rhoda Adams of Noatak, and Carol Whalen, of McGrath, were killed a day a part later in the week in their respective communities. Early this morning in Alakanuk, two men, Ray Phillip and Bajon Augline, appear to have killed each other. All these deaths appear to be the result of domestic violence.
“These deaths are tragic and a stark indication that the blight of domestic violence occurring across Alaska hasn’t ebbed. The DPS can’t stop the violence alone; we need the public’s help,” said Commissioner Amanda Price, Department of Public Safety. “Stopping the violence will take community involvement. Communities must partner with law enforcement to take proactive efforts to support victims and survivors of domestic violence by holding offenders accountable even before relationships turn physically violent. The DPS will continue to seek even more solutions to help end the violence and welcomes community dialogue so Alaskans can have meaningful participation in the process.”
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is committed to doing its part by providing prevention programs and funding victim services as well as providing law enforcement services. The Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), which is housed in the DPS, funds 35 such programs across Alaska. Programs include victim services programs, child advocacy centers, mental health services for children and youth who are victims or witnesses to domestic violence, legal services and advocacy, prevention programs and perpetrator rehabilitation programs.
"Alaskans know that our rate of domestic violence is one of the highest in the nation. This is not acceptable nor is it a distinction we intend to continue," said L. Diane Casto, Executive Director of CDVSA. "The Council, in conjunction with partner agencies, works diligently to provide a myriad of services to victims and to fund programs to prevent domestic and sexual violence. Our focus is to have a continuum of services across Alaska to prevent domestic violence, intervene in violent relationships earlier, support and advocate for victims and to end domestic violence and its impact on victims, families, perpetrators and communities. All of us must work together to end these senseless deaths, as well as all domestic violence."
Victims, Survivors and family members can find a plethora of resources online at https://dps.alaska.gov/CDVSA/Services/VictimServices. Even if people don’t want to make a police report regarding incidents, they can still get help and are encouraged to reach out.
Available resources include:
For immediate response call 911
Alaska 2-1-1 for assistance, referrals, resources
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Text LOVEIS to 22522
Online chat at www.thehotline.org
Alaska’s CARELINE at 877-266-4357
National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673)
To report child abuse at 800-478-4444 or online at ReportChildAbuse@alaska.gov
For a more CDVSA information on programs and services go to: https://dps.alaska.gov/CDVSA/Home
“The Department of Public Safety offers up our sincere condolences to the families of victims and survivors of domestic violence,” said Commissioner Price. “We stand ready to partner with you and your communities to prevent other families from having to grieve the loss, or navigate the despair of abuse, of a loved one at the hands of their partner.”