Officials with the Battered Women and Children's Shelter in San Antonio are reaching out to the community in the wake of a teen mom who died -- her family says -- at the hands of an abusive ex-boyfriend.
Police say Megan Hernandez, 17, was stabbed multiple times on Tuesday by her ex-boyfriend, 17-year-old Eduardo Reyes.
Hernandez's mother, Virginia Villarreal, said she knew her daughter Megan was having trouble with her ex-boyfriend, saying he would beat her and stalk her.
Professionals who deal with domestic violence cases say knowing the signs of abuse is key.
Shelter Director Marta Pelaez said fear should never be part of a healthy relationship.
“If part of that emotional component in the relationship (involves) you finding yourself afraid of the person who claims to love you, you can declare yourself abused," said Pelaez.
Pelaez said she doesn't want another woman to die at the hands of an abusive partner.
She said 80 percent of teens in San Antonio say they've been abused in their relationship.
"If you're afraid of that person, that means you have reasons to be afraid, that you have been threatened, that you have been controlled, that there have been abusive behaviors," said Pelaez.
In the case of Hernandez, who police say was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend Tuesday afternoon, Pelaez believes abuse was always a part of their relationship.
"It begins with controlling behaviors, with put-downs, name-calling, a lot of controlling behaviors," said Pelaez.
Currently, there are 187 women and children at the shelter, but Pelaez said counselors are always on hand to help women for free.
She says abuse won't stop until something is done.
"They go to the very essence and dignity of the person to maintain her as property, threatening (her), and ends up in these very traumatic situations," said Pelaez.
If you would like to talk to someone at the Battered Women and Children's Shelter, you can call them at 930-3669.
Reyes was charged with murder, endangering a child and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was being held in the Bexar County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling $400,000.