Preventing Domestic Violence In West Texas

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The bodies of an Odessa couple, found Tuesday in an apparent murder suicide are expected back in the Basin Thursday. As family members finalize funeral arrangements for 22-year-old Kelsei Weaver, they have this message: Stand up and walk out of an abusive relationship before it's too late. 

"You've got to make the break, you can't keep going back to something that doesn't work out," Laura Golden, Weaver's Aunt, said. "You've got to make that break, but you've got to have support."

Strong words from relatives of 22-year-old Kelsei Weaver as authorities continue to investigate whether or not Weaver's husband shot her Monday night, and then himself. However, family members said there was a pattern of abuse. 

"When you're in an abusive relationship, it's hard to make that disconnect with that person, because they manipulate you," Golden explained.

Kelsei is just one example, though, of what can happen inside a home. Counselors said there are a few warning signs:

"He or she will often times call constantly, check see where they're are, what they are doing, who they are talking to," Jennifer Tarin, a coordinator at The Crisis Center in Odessa, said. "Check the milage on their car, see where they've been, see why they have so many miles, where did you go? Controlling, controlling the finances, not letting them do anything with money, go grocery shopping, wearing makeup."

Tarin said abuse can start small and spiral out of control.

"Typically, it starts with verbal abuse," Tarin explained. "Like criticize her, degrade her, and then it escalates into pushing and 'I didn't mean it,' you know apologies and then the next time it might get worse. He might bruise her, and then the next time it gets worse until it can escalate to death."

Tarin said help is there if you need it.

"The Crisis Center offers as well as some other agencies offer some services, if they have a safe place to stay for now, they can come into an agency such as the Crisis Center and ask for assistance and we can explain to them, these are the things you need to do," Tarin said.

For information on the Odessa Crisis Center or you can contact them at their Toll Free Hotline, 866-627-4747 or 432-333-2527.

For information on Safe Place, you can call them at 432-570-1465 or 1-800-967-8928.