‘Blight of domestic violence’: Troopers say of multiple deaths in Western Alaska
The recent deaths of five people in Western Alaska show a concerning persistence in domestic violence, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.
In the past ten days, Troopers have responded to multiple apparent domestic violence situations in several communities.
Troopers noted the first instance in an uptick this week when Lawrence Paul was allegedly killed by his girlfriend in Grayling on June 22.
Then in Noatak, 31- year-old Rhoda Adams was found dead alongside another man who was allegedly beaten by a Noatak man.
The following day, Carol Whalen of McGrath was killed and a man was charged with first-degree murder.
Wednesday morning, Troopers were called in to investigate two men who were found dead in Alakanuk. Troopers say 39-year-old Ray Philip and 25-year-old Bajon Augline died after a knife was pulled out and both received fatal stab wounds.
That same morning in Tuluksak, Troopers arrested a 21-year-old man for assaulting a “household member.”
“These deaths are tragic and a stark indication that the blight of domestic violence occurring across Alaska hasn’t ebbed,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Amanda Price said in a prepared statement. “The DPS can’t stop the violence alone; we need the public’s help.”
Price is asking the community to support victims and survivors of domestic violence. She said people can do this by holding offenders accountable.
“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,” Price said.
Some of those solutions include prevention programs and funding services that support victims of domestic violence. Within the department, the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault funds programs that are intended to support victims as well as a mental health service for children who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence.
CDVSA Executive Director L. Diane Casto said the council’s main focus is preventing domestic violence in Alaska through its services.
"Alaskans know that our rate of domestic violence is one of the highest in the nation,” Casto said. “This is not acceptable nor is it a distinction we intend to continue.”
Survivors of domestic violence can find resources at the CDVSA
including information on emergency shelters throughout the state. The resources are available in several languages including Inupiaq, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Tagalog and Yupik.
There are several hotlines people can call when dealing with domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline's call number is 800-799-7233 and they also have text and
The Alaska CARELINE can be reached at 877-266-4357. Law enforcement officers can be reached at 911.