Family Abuse Center works to prevent domestic violence

WACO, TX - According to police, domestic issues led to Hewitt's first ever murder suicide which was discovered on Monday.

In 2017, there were six reported cases of domestic violence in McLennan County that resulted in deaths. In fact, more than five million Texans have suffered from domestic violence in their lifetime.

"All too often sadly people wait too long to ask for help," said Kathy Reid, Executive Director at the Family Abuse Center.

Reid is on her ninth year as the Executive Director at the Family Abuse Center. She says many times victims are either scared to come forward, or have excuses for their partner's behavior.

"She'll say 'oh no, he's just mean' or 'he just beats me' or 'he's an alcoholic'," added Reid.

She says most domestic violence situations start small: controlling, verbal abuse, then gradually escalate, that's why some victims don't even realize they are in a dangerous situation.

"Doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter how much money you have, doesn't matter what race you are, doesn't matter whether you have a job or an education, it can happen to anybody in any kind of a family," said Reid.

In Hewitt's first ever murder suicide, both were in their 70's.

"I think what happened yesterday is just an indication that you know you think that when you're older, when you are an elderly person that you're unlikely to be in an abusive relationship, but you're age isn't an indicator of what you're life could be," said Reid.

Anyone can be on the lookout for obvious signs like unexplained bruises or broken bones, as well as signs of emotional abuse.

"He's the kind of person that will get really angry and gets angry maybe not only with her but with co-workers and neighbors and other people, whose maybe a big bully kind of," said Reid.

The important thing to keep in mind is to say something.

"But there is help out there and you don't have to wait until you're in the hospital or until the police are called to get hep," said Reid.

The Family Abuse Center is always accepting donations and volunteers. They are a 64 bed shelter and 50% of their clients are children. They need the essentials like clothes, toiletries, and food. You can drop those donations off at the Second Chance Thrift Store.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence call 1-800-283-8401.

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