The family of slain Butler woman Melissa Barto are urging others to reach out for help if they find themselves in an abusive relationship.
Mother Lisa Barto believes her daughter’s boyfriend, Ishemer Ramsey, was controlling and likely mentally or physically abusive.
“I just want any woman in this community to know if this is what’s happening in your life, go to someone for help,” Barto said Tuesday. She suggests talking to the police, a pastor, friends and family, or contacting the Victim Outreach Intervention Center, known as VOICe.
Lisa Barto also urges parents to take an active role in their children’s lives and to be aware of who they are hanging out with, even if they’re grown.
“I just wish Melissa would have reached out someone,” she said. “I missed a sign.”
Police believe Barto was shot by her boyfriend late last week during an argument in his vehicle. Investigators believe the argument started because the boyfriend believed Barto was cheating on him.
VOICe provides confidential services at no coast to individuals and families who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes. The organization is located on South Cliff Street in Butler. VOICe’s 24-hour hotline is 1-800-400-8551.