Survivor speaks about the importance of recognizing signs of domestic violence

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ODESSA, TEXAS (Big 2/ Fox 24)- Symela was just eighteen when she found herself in a dangerous cycle of abuse.

“I had a hard time trying to breathe just because you know, you’re crying and you’re overexerting yourself and trying to scream. He covered my mouth and then to get me to be quiet he slapped me,” she recalls.

Experts, like the West Texas Crisis Center Case Manager, say isolation, control, and making excuses for your partner are signs of an abusive relationship.

“Like ‘it wasn’t that bad,’ ‘he just yelled at me’ or ‘the words that he was telling me it wasn’t that bad,” says Cristina Flores.

Symela saying that oftentimes “it would be like an ‘I’m sorry’ type of thing and always kind of end up crying together sort of thing.”

At the time she was pregnant and stuck on the idea of a perfect family so she stayed with her partner and tried to make things work.

“It was always about trying to please him so that he didn’t get upset with anything. In one of our fights, he intentionally said that if I wasn’t going to be with him and he wasn’t allowed to have the baby then I wasn’t going to have the baby either and so he was trying to make me miscarry like hitting my stomach and everything.”

Until one day, months later, she decided to leave for the final time.

“He threw me to the floor and actually tried to rape me and I told him if he didn’t stop I was going to scream and it was actually that same apartment where he was trying to make me miscarry.”

Flores says, unfortunately, “usually when somebody is in a relationship it takes 7 to 9 times” and when somebody is trying to leave “that’s the most dangerous and unfortunately this is when some deaths happen just make a safety plan for you.”

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