by Kim Powell
ODESSA - Another life lost to domestic violence; 22-year-old Alexandra Kennedy died on July 4th in Gardendale after her common law husband, Danny Munguia, assaulted her. This is just one of many in a rising number in Ector County.
In light of the recent tragedy, The Crisis Center in Odessa is reaching out to victims and their families in an effort to avoid anymore stories like this one.
"The murder that happened on Friday was a horrible loss to our community and to a family, and we were hoping that we could use that to educate the community on the severity of family violence," said Tara Holt, Community Services Manager for The Crisis Center.
Holt says that they are seeing an increase in both family violence and sexual assaults in our area.
"Since the population has gone up, due to the work here, which is a positive for the economic boost, but it's also a downfall for a lot of the centers around our area because we're seeing a rise in the violence that's coming," said Holt.
A sad but serious reality that comes with domestic violence is that it can lead to a homicide. According to Holt, there have been five deaths in Ector County as a result of abuse since 2013.
"A lot of victims--most people don't know--they feel guilty or they blame themselves for the situation that they're in," said Holt.
Holt says this is a common feeling of control that their partner has put on them, but wants people to know, it can be just as dangerous to stay.
The shelter holds 24 people, including families, but despite being at full capacity, The Crisis Center says if someone's life is in danger, they will find a way to help.
"The main thing we want them to know is, they're not replaceable. And that's one thing that's a key factor for us," said Holt. "We can replace clothes, furniture, medicines, things like that, but we cannot replace you. And there's going to be someone out there who's going to miss you."