Domestic Violence Turns Deadly

Women in Amarillo are dying at the hands of their husbands and state lawmakers say it has to stop.

Domestic violence was brought to the forefront by the murders in Amarillo this weekend. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problem plaguing our city.

"That's how I got this scar on my cheek." Eiona Sears knows all to well what it's like to be abused. "He had my feet tied to the back of the truck and drug me about a mile and half down a dirt road." And that's just the beginning. "He brought a 35 millimeter with one bullet and wanted to kill me. By the grace of God I'm still here."

Others aren't so lucky, says Casa Director Terri Barker. "There have been killings in Amarillo. Women have been killed because of domestic violence."

In hopes of preventing other tragedies, Texas lawmakers are looking into waiving the 60-day waiting period between filing for divorce and finalizing divorce for those in violent situations.

Barker says, "During that period it's a very dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence. The most dangerous, or one of the most dangerous times she'll go through."

Local shelter managers say eliminating those sixty days will work wonders and save lives. Downtown Women's Shelter Supervisor Ann Sanders says it "helps you to go ahead and cut those ties very quickly where you're not as apt to go back."

We spoke with one woman we'll call "May," to keep her identity hidden at her request. She just left her abusive relationship three months ago and when we asked her how her life compares now as opposed to then, she only had three words for us. "Peace and Happiness."

Proponents of the bill hope hers is the first of many future success stories. The State House tentatively approved the bill, the next stop is the State Senate.