Name: Jessica Watkins.
Died: May 4, 2014.
Age at death: 21.
Cause of death: Murder (Strangled, stabbed).
Location: Newport, Wales, UK.
Jessica was an extrovert who liked to party. She was a gaming fan who frequented Newport City Gaming, a club that creates videos and live shows based on video games.
Jessica lived with an abusive boyfriend. Just a month before her death, he tried to strangle her and she called the police–and she wasn’t the first girlfriend he had tried to kill; a previous partner had been strangled, but survived. After that incident, the authorities completed a vulnerable adult review on Jessica, but the possibility of domestic violence wasn’t thoroughly investigated and she went back to live with him.
Jessica was with her boyfriend at a pub when they began to argue. Her boyfriend took her home, and she, rightfully afraid, locked herself in the bathroom to get away from him. He manipulated her into opening the door, then strangled and stabbed her twenty-seven times until she was dead.
Editor: Jessica’s death despite that Vulnerable Adult Review which could have saved her life is a symptom of a larger problem: The belief that disabled adults do not have, want, or need romantic and sexual relationships. The people who evaluated her living situation after she was nearly strangled were most likely completely untrained in the signs of domestic violence and unequipped to deal with domestic partner violence if they found it. But Jessica, like many disabled adults, was a victim of domestic violence whose disability made her even easier to isolate, manipulate, and control, and her situation is not unusual.
Woman murdered by her boyfriend had been strangled by him a month before
Kristopher Mitchell jailed for Jessica Watkins murder
Newport man, Kristopher Mitchell, admits murder of Jessica Watkins whose body was found in the bath of a house on Bryn Bevan, Brynglas
Jessica Watkins’ murder ‘could not have been prevented’ – report finds
‘This was a brutal attack on a defenceless 21-year-old’: Boyfriend jailed for fatally stabbing Jessica Watkins 27 times in his bathroom