Fresno Co. officials, mother of Clovis murder victim discuss increase in domestic violence incidents

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Six mothers died at the hands of their current or former intimate partner in the Fresno area this year.

On Tuesday, the mother of one of those victims shared her memory from the night of October 7.

Her 38-year-old daughter, Anna Richards-Anderson, was on the way home from the Fresno Fair with her son when her life suddenly changed.

"God was with me because I did not hear the shot, the neighbors heard the shot," says Eleanor Richards. "What I heard was pounding on my front door. I was confused and I thought why didn't Anna open the door with her key, so I went to the front door and opened it. It was my grandson. My eight-year-old grandson pounding on the door to tell me his dad had killed his mother."

Richards describes her daughter and eight-year-old grandson as some of the kindest human beings on earth. Anna moved back home six years ago after dealing with domestic violence.

Eleanor said Anna did everything she could - she got restraining orders and even tried to divorce her husband three times, but 40-year-old Cory Anderson refused to be served.

RELATED: Police identify 2 killed in apparent murder-suicide in Clovis

Ultimately, he was able to get a firearm despite all of the court orders and opened fire on his estranged wife.

"So it took my grandson, eight and a half years old to explain to me that his mom was gone," Eleanor said. "He needed me to be his mom and that was one of the first questions he asked me.

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, the Marjaree Mason Center hosted a news conference Tuesday morning with law enforcement and the district attorney to highlight the severity of domestic violence in the community.

Fresno police average about 30 domestic violence cases per day. Fresno County DA Lisa Smittcamp says there are many ways for victims to get help.

"So if you see something, say something," Smittcamp said. "If there is a problem, get help. Call the Marjaree Mason Center, call behavioral health, call your pastor, your church, your doctor, your boss, you can even call law enforcement. We'll refer you to services. Do something and say something."

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.

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