28 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 23, 1997
Nortlwood feels grief in loss of friend
* Neighbors described Williams as an
"excellent friend," and a "caring and giv-
By Jodi S. Cohen
Daily Managing News Editor
The laughter of small children that usually is so abundant in
the Northwood apartment complex on North Campus was
replaced today with tears, shock and grief.
Friends and neighbors of Tamara Sonya Williams, a 20-year-
old LSA senior, wondered how the life of such an "excellent
friend" and a "caring and giving" person could end in such hor-
"We are a very close community. I feel safe up here. The kids
all play together" said Chris Balmann, 27, who lives just a few
doors away from Williams. "This is just a tragic, freak event."
As media swarmed around the red, wooden apartment build-
ings, University students who live in the quiet neighborhood
gathered in the grassy areas to comfort each other.
"I feel a lot of grief for the little girl. This is rather fresh right
now," said Margaret Vantteyningon, who was visibly shaken by
"We are a very close
community, Ifeel safe
up here. The kids all
play together. This is
just a tragic, freak
- Chris Balmann
Vantteyningon was one of
the first residents to call
was as strong as the feel-
ing of hopelessness she
had on the phone hours
earlier. She said she felt
the situation was so des-
perate while she called for
help, the community's
assistance could never
have made a difference in
"Calling 911 wasn't
said. "The woman was
desperately calling for help. She knew she was in great danger."
The residents in this secluded community, who are usually
consumed by day care, work and school, took time today to wipe
away the tears and comfort each other through the startling
"None of us slept last night" Balmann said. "It's terrible"
While the tragedy struck the Northwood community the hard-
est, University students, faculty and staff around the entire cam-
pus were affected by the murder.
"This is a loss for the entire University of Michigan communi-
ty - all of us grieve with her and her family during this very sad
period," said Walter Harrison, vice president for University rela-
tions, at a press conference this morning.
Above, Vice President
for Student Affairs
Director of Housing
Alan Levy and police
and housing offlolals
possessions from her
apartment and load
them into her car for
transport to her family
which occurred at
about 12:15 a.m.,
stirred up so much
attention that resi-
dents trying to call
the Department of
Public Safety could
not get through.
"I tried to get
through three times
before I actually got
Balmann, as he
clutched his 1-year-
Eric Lucisk, the
"Tisis Ia loss for the
- Walter Harrison
Vice President for University Relations
University family housing, said about five counselors were
spending today talking with residents.
"It is very unfortunate that a situation could happen like this in
Ann Arbor - of all places," Lucisk said.
Death from domestic violence not rare
Expert says domestic violence murders are a nationwide problem
Daily Staff Reporter
LSA senior Tamara Williams' tragic death at the
hands of her boyfriend is not an uncommon end to
domestic abuse cases.
Deaths resulting from domestic violence occur
nationwide, said a University sexual assault expert.
Sarah Heuser, interim director of the University's
Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, said
many victims may die after aggravated domestic vio-
"The possility of lethality always exists with
domestic abuse," heuser said. "It's not uncommon to
get to this point."
The signs of domestic abuse, Heuser said, include
intimidation from the abuser and alienation from fam-
ily and friends. Many abusers also stalk their victims
at the workplace, she said.
In Michigan a woman is killed every five days as a
result of domestic violence, Heuser said.
"In our society, this is unfortunately common," she
FBI statistics states that in 30 percent of all homi-
cides committed against females, the woman's
boyfriend or husband is the murderer.
SAPAC's counseling and advocacy program
received 17 reports of dating and domestic violence
from June 1996 to June 1997, while its crisis line
received an additional 11 reports during that period.
The domestic violence rate at the University,
Heuser said, follows a nationwide trend.
"On our campus, the rate is consistent with other
campuses that have similar prevention programs,'
Heuser said college and university students are just
as likely to be involved in domestic violence as non-
"The risk is equal to other groups," Heuser said.
The severity of domestic violence progresses over
time, Heuser said.
"This is a pattern that develops over time;' Heuser
said. "As time goes on the abuse gets more frequent.
Although Williams was African American, Heuser
said the victim's race does not affect the
"Domestic violence is not discriminating. The same
statistics go for every race.
Domestic abuse among people who are dating,
Heuser said, is not rare.
"It is not uncommon to have violence in dating rela-
tionships;' Heuser said.
SAPAC offers counseling services through a 24-
hour hotline, as well as many other prevention pro-
grams. The phone number for the 24-hour crisis hot-
line is 936-3333.
Ae you In an abusive
1 Frightened at times by your partner's behavior?
Afraid to disagree with your partner?
t Constantly apologizing for your partner's behav
ior (especially when he has treated you badly)?
4 Verbally degraded?
1 Not able to see your friends or family because
of his jealousy?
0 Afraid to break up with your partner because
he has threatened to hurt you or himself?
A Feel like you must justify everything you do to
avoid his anger?
n Avoid family or social situations because you
are afraid of how your partner will act?
Have you been:
Hit, kicked, shoved, thrown down, choked,
grabbed or had things thrown at you?
Forced to have sex or perform any sexual acts
against your will?
Call the SAPAC Crisis line at 936-3333.
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