Experts speak out to help victims of domestic violence

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - The man accused of killing six members of the Stay family sits in the Harris County Jail. Investigators say Ronald Haskell fatally shot six members of his ex-wife's family after he drove from California to Texas looking for his former wife, who had previously reported abuse at Haskell's hands. Local experts are speaking out, saying they are offering hope and help to victims of domestic violence.

While domestic abuse has been a big story for the past week in Houston, it happens in neighborhoods throughout our community. And experts say it can be stopped. 

Investigators say what happened at the Stay family home was the result of domestic abuse that started years ago, many states away. It's believed Haskell traveled to Texas from California and killed his ex-wife's family after they said they did not know where to find his ex-wife, Melanie. Six members of the Stay family were killed. Cassidy Stay, 15, survived, reported the attacks and saved many others.

"Our condolences go out to the family," said Gloria Terry, with the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Experts on domestic violence say three women are killed daily in the United States in domestic violence murders.

"It happens every day in every part of our community. In apartment buildings, quiet neighborhoods, suburban subdivisions and amongst our homeless," said Sheryl Johnson, with Northwest Assistance Ministries.

Experts gathered Thursday to say the abuse can begin with name calling, threats of violence or isolation.

"If you see something, say something. Help your friends. If you know someone who is in trouble, have them give anybody a call," said Amy Smith, with the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council.

They remind you there are 24-hour domestic abuse hotlines that are available if you need help.

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