The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). TTY: 1-800-787-3224. You can also text ‘START’ to 88788. You can visit their website at thehotline.org. The hotline is free, confidential, and open 24/7.
The Crisis Center of West Texas Hotline is 1-866-627-4747. You can visit their website at ccwtx.org. Crisis Center of West Texas’ shelter, Louise Wood Angel House remains open to survivors and their minor children fleeing domestic and sexual violence. CCWTX services, including education, counseling, legal services, case management, and reStart classes are offered both in-person and online, where possible.
If you’re in an emergency and need immediate help from the local police department, call 9-1-1.
ANDREWS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Yazmin Iniguez would have turned 36 on July 2nd.
But Yazmin’s contagious laughter, dry humor, comforting presence, and tender compassion will be absent from the celebration.
The mother-of-four tragically lost her life in June. Yazmin was a victim of domestic violence, her mother said.
“She loved hard. If you were her friend, you were her friend for life,” said Yazmin’s mother, Julie.
Julie Iniguez is speaking about Yazmin’s murder, in hopes her daughter’s death can save a life.
Julie sits before dozens of printed photos. She reminisces about each photo, where it was captured, how long ago it was taken, before carefully laying each back down onto the table. She feels them with her motherly touch.
“This is when she began her modeling career. Modeling career!” Julie happily recalls. “Her picture-taking career. This is glamor shots back when she was 5 years old.”
The photos are of Julie’s eldest daughter, Yazmin, whose life was captured in small, but frequent snapshots.
“She does really good photos…. She did,” Julie said. “It’s still not real to me. I feel like I’m going to go see her.”
On Sunday, May 22nd, Andrews Police Department officers were called to Yazmin’s home on NE 2nd Street. There, officers found Yazmin with life-threatening injuries.
Yazmin was taken to Permian Regional Medical Center, and was later airlifted to a hospital in Lubbock. Yazmin died on June 4th, her mother said.
Police arrested Yazmin’s suspected killer. It was her husband, Raymond Fierro. The two had been married for just one year. Fierro is being charged with Murder. He is being held at Andrews County Jail without bond.
“He took something precious from me. I had told him, ‘Don’t hurt my baby,’” Julie said.
Yazmin had four of her own children.
“Being a mother was everything to her,” Julie said. “She cared for her kids. She loved her kids. She doted over her kids.”
Julie says her grandchildren have picked up on Yazmin’s beauty, her intelligence, even Yazmin’s sarcastic-wit.
“One of the legacies they picked up on is sleeping all day,” Julie laughed.
But most important, Julie said Yazmin taught her children how to be self-sufficient. That was something their mother prized most: independence.
“Just recently, she fixed a window in her house. Yasmin had just fixed a window.”
Without Yazmin by her side anymore, Julie isn’t just speaking about her daughter’s life and legacy.
She’s speaking of her daughter’s death.
Julie is pleading to open ears that relationships must be free of violence and abuse, whether physical or emotional.
“As soon as you see a red flag, run and stay away from that,” Julie said. “And focus on these little things, focus on your kids. A man can come and go, but not your kids.”
Julie added: “The most important thing is to love yourself first before you can offer any of your love to anybody else.”
Yourbasin.com reporter Rob Tooke spoke with Crisis Center of West Texas about its available services, and the first step for those who are ready to receive help, but are unsure where to start.
Taking the first step
CCWTX Prevention Services Director Hannah Horick said that anyone who is ready to take their first step in receiving help should call the CCWTX hotline at +1 (866) 627-4747. People can reach out to get more information about services they can benefit from. Horick said after calling the hotline, the caller will be asked three questions: (1) Are you in immediate danger? (2) Is this a safe number to call you back on? (3) Can you tell us about your situation? Horick said the caller can be connected to a “whole world of services” just by calling the hotline.
Hesitancy to take the first step
Horick said it may be difficult for someone to make that first call for help, because (a) they care about the person who is abusing them and don’t wish to see the abuser in trouble, (b) the abuser makes the sole income for the family and there are fears that financial safety may be jeopardized by reaching out for help/starting a conflict with the abuser, (c) shame and embarrassment may prevent a person from seeking help.
Services offered at Crisis Center of West Texas
Horick said CCWTX strives to offer ‘wrap-around’ services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. CCWTX serves adults who experience either type of violence. If you are a survivor, Horick said your children can also access resources at CCWTX. That includes access to a ‘state-of-the-art’ 24/7 emergency shelter which has 61 beds and 16 rooms. Horick calls the shelter an environment conducive to healing for people seeking refuge from violence. Non-resident services are also provided, which includes unlimited counseling and case management. A case manager will advocate for you, helps you set goals, and secure your safety, Horick said. Legal services for civil issues can also be provided to survivors and their families. An education outreach team also intervenes with at-risk youth in the community to better ensure their future welfare.
Types of domestic abuse
Horick said there are four broad types of abuse, which include: physical, emotional, financial, and sexual.
Those broad categories can also include coercion and manipulation.
Examples of abuse may include controlling a person’s movements, controlling a person’s finances, controlling a person’s ability to see friends and family, controlling a person’s ability to go to church, or controlling whether a person can work. These are only a few examples of how a partner can be abusive.
How to help if you are a concerned family member
Horick said it may be helpful for families to realize that domestic violence is “everyone’s business.” She said it is possible for an abuse survivor to hide their abuse because they believe it should be kept private, or within their immediate family’s knowledge, or household. Horick said domestic abuse is prevalent in Texas, with 1 in 4 Texans experiencing a form of severe physical abuse over their lifetime. If a loved one has changes in behavior, are observed pulling back from family relationships and friendships, or has bruising or marks of physical violence on their body, then concerned family members are encouraged to reach out to CCWTX via hotline at +1 (866) 627-4747. Advice can be given on how to have difficult conversations with a loved one.
Horick said her advice to a family member would be to start from a position of caring, rather than blaming. A family member can start a conversation with a loved one by sharing their observations of abuse and then by identifying evidence that causes that family member to feel there is ongoing abuse. Reminding a loved one that you care and that you wish to see your loved one in a happy and healthy relationship is also important, Horick said. Offering support is also important, whether sitting with the survivor during their first hotline phone call, to driving your loved one to their first appointment; even helping them complete household tasks can be tremendous support.
“Be that support network for someone and know that sometimes folks aren’t ready to leave,” Horick said. “If they’re not ready yet, continue to be there for that person. Don’t give up after that first try.”