Domestic violence expert offers advice on ending abusive relationships after teenage murder-suicide

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Battered Women and Children's Shelter CEO Marta Prada Pelaez said an apparent teenage murder-suicide was the end result of a vicious pattern of domestic violence.

"When domestic abuse has been part of a relationship, leaving is the most dangerous time," Pelaez said. "It's very paradoxical. You want to leave the relationship, and in doing it, perhaps in an abrupt manner, you cause yourself never to be able to leave and could end up dead."

Pelaez said victims who end their violent relationships should get a protective order and notify police. They're actions that can deter someone from committing a violent act.

Parents and educators should also pay close attention to how young couples interact with one and other, Pelaez said. 

While teenage murder-suicides are not very common, Pelaez said sometimes teenagers don't understand the finality of their actions.

"Someone who is in tears constantly, someone whose grades are coming down, someone who is not behaving in a normal way, please let them know that help is available," she said.

The help is free. Below are resources for those who need help:

The Battered Women and Children's Shelter website is www.FVPS.org and its phone number is 210-733-8810.

The number to the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

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