BOISE- Advocates for domestic abuse victims say Natalie Davis death is cause for people to pay attention.
The executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence says if you think domestic violence won't affect you, think again.
I think over half of the domestic violence fatalities- the individual who was ultimately killed wasn't even part of that initial intimate partner relationship. It was an extended family, a new boyfriend, a new girlfriend, a mother-in-law or a law enforcement officer, said Kelly Miller of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Miller says certain risk factors are signs of a violent relationship and some she believes she identified in Davis' relationship. These include a history of domestic abuse, prior police contact and Davis' attempt to leave.
Miller says despite some red flags, victims stay in their relationships.
Likely threats of harm, and intimidation and isolation. Sometimes finances can really hold people, said Miller.
For Eva Lopez, the main hold was the young daughter she had with her abuser.
She endured two years of verbal abuse and violence. One night, he choked her. It caused her to black out.
He was holding me against the wall and he was holding me from the neck, said Lopez.
Instinct told her if she didn't get out, he would kill her.
Finally she told a co-worker. Eventually her boyfriend was charged and she got custody of her their daughter.
It was hard but you keep fighting. I kept fighting and I think that's what got me through it. I think my daughter got me through it, Lopez said.
Both women say it's not impossible to leave.
There are services and trained advocates who can help. They say do not be afraid or ashamed to reach out at any time.
Advocates say while a majority of domestic abuse victims are women, male victims cannot be ignored either.
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