Domestic abuse victims need to take ‘one small step’

Katelynn Armand was killed on Christmas 2016

Katelynn Armand, 24, was allegedly shot and killed by her husband James Tylka, December 25, 2016. (Facebook)
Katelynn Armand, 24, was allegedly shot and killed by her husband James Tylka, December 25, 2016. (Facebook)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Recently released documents reveal the abuse 24-year-old Katelynn Armand was going through leading up to her senseless death on Christmas 2016.

She was separated from the man who killed her, James Tylka, and had a restraining order prepared against him. Documents showed he sent her hundreds of text messages, some threatening to kill her, others begging her to take him back.

Katelynn Armand, 24, was allegedly shot and killed by her husband James Tylka, December 25, 2016. (Facebook)
Katelynn Armand, 24, was allegedly shot and killed by her husband James Tylka, December 25, 2016. (Facebook)

Sara Wade, the executive director of the Washington County Domestic Violence Resource Center, told KOIN 6 News the text messages were “classic” behavior by an abuser.

Wade wants victims of domestic abuse to know there are resources and they’re not alone.

“Him saying to her ‘I’m going to kill you’ is a way to control her and at the same time if he’s saying ‘I love you I love you.’ in fact he may think he loves her but he’s just trying to manipulate her to keep that relationship intact so he can maintain control,” Wade said.

After Tylka shot Katelynn 8 times, he later engaged in a shootout with OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg. Cederberg was shot 12 times — 5 were stopped by his bullet proof vest — but suffered serious injuries.

Detectives later searched Katelynn’s car and found the restraining order she filled out and an anniversary card from Tylka that said, “I’m sorry for what I am about to do.”

Warning Signs

Wade said an abusive or violent relationship involves control and coercion — what you wear, what you eat, who you see, where you go, checking your phone to see who called. Abusers will also try to make it seem like this is normal behavior.

“That’s the most important thing is that people see this as not a normal experience,” she told KOIN 6 News. “This is an unhealthy experience that they need to remove themselves from or it could get worse and often it does get worse before people are able to get out.”

On average, she said, someone will try 7 times to get out of a relationship before they actually do.

Domestic Violence Community Resources

How to know you’re in danger

If you’re grabbed by the neck of the shoulder or threatened with a weapon of any kind, the odds greatly increase for a dangerous situation, she said.

Sara Wade, the executive director of the Washington County Domestic Violence Resource Center, February 15, 2017 (KOIN)
Sara Wade, the executive director of the Washington County Domestic Violence Resource Center, February 15, 2017 (KOIN)

“If there’s a weapon involved, there’s always a chance for that weapon to be used,” Wade said. “A weapon and strangulation ratchets up the ante on this whole situation significantly.”

A restraining order will keep many abuser away, but Wade said “if an abuser is determined to do damage, he or she will disregard the order.”

But a restraining order may give the abused person time to make some plans, get counseling services or find another place to live, she said.

What to do

“The shame is what sort of keeps us quiet about (the abuse),” she said. “It makes you safer actually to tell people (to) look for help.”

The Washington County Domestic Violence Resource Center has information and resources available on their website.

“Take one small step toward your own safety, one small step,” Wade said. “It may mean telling a friend, it may mean making a phone call, it might mean just going on the Internet. But take one small step toward your own safety.”


Below: The document released February 14, 2017 on the death of Katelynn Armand