Published: Sep 14, 2010 3:11 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 14, 2010 12:04 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A recent spike in cases of battered women across the county has abuse shelter officials concerned. The abusive trend was out of control over the weekend when deputies arrested four men for beating their wives and girlfriends with weapons.

On Friday, an East Naples man was arrested on charges he choked and dragged his wife down a street until deputies arrived. The following day, another man was accused of using a hammer and an axe during a fight with his girlfriend. On Sunday, a 26 year old man allegedly pulled a knife on his girlfriend before choking her until she passed out. That same day, another man was arrested accused of wielding a machete over his wife's head before punching her.

"The cases tend to be more violent and just more severe", said Linda Oberhaus, Executive Director of the The Shelter for Abused Women and Children in Naples.

Also troubling she says are the number of elderly victims trying to get out of violent relationships. A program at the shelter is already up and running aimed at getting the word out to the elderly that it is never too late to leave an abusive relationship.

Oberhaus warned that what happened over the weekend could have very well ended in tragedy.

"The ultimate act of power is the death of the victim", she said.