Woman loses three family members to domestic violence - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Woman loses three family members to domestic violence

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CALERA, Okla. -- The beginning of November ended Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but one woman shared her story to keep the fight up year round.

"Some of my very first memories were pretty traumatic pretty violent memories," said Kimberly Mullens. "My dad was an alcoholic and was very abusive, so are leaving, coming back, going to shelters, coming back and just a lot of violence."

The Pierce family household wasn't always easy for Kimberly and her siblings growing up.

"At a really young age I knew I wanted different. This isn't the way it was supposed to be," she said.

She had two younger sisters: Vivian and Amanda.

“My sisters chose a path where they were involved in more violent relationships, which led to the loss of their lives and my mom,” Mullens said.

In 2009 Vivian Pierce was living with her boyfriend at the time Damon Butler. Mullens said her sister was packing to leave him when the worst happened

"He just got very controlling, violent, very possessive stalking behaviors,” Mullens said. "He came home and she was packing and he confronted her and that led to her death that night."

Their mom Rebecca went looking for Vivian in Calera, Oklahoma. When she arrived at Damon’s house he said that she had taken off walking, so he asked if they could get in Rebecca’s truck to go looking for her. Little did she know Vivian was dead inside the home. When they arrived back to the house Damon Butler killed Rebecca too.

“At first we thought it was another man in the house, so my husband had to go identify that it was my mom," Mullens said.

Butler tried to run, but police found and arrested him the next day.

"I sat down with him after the sentencing and was just like why did you do this and he said I didn't want to lose her," Mullens said.

With Butler behind bars Mullens said all they could do was pray and try to recover. Six years later the unthinkable happened to her other sister.

"One of the police officers had called us and said hey Amanda’s at the hospital. The guy said that he found her," Mullens said.

Amanda had been in an abusive relationship for three years with a man who was an illegal immigrant and no stranger to the law.

"The night that she was found this guy Brian had two outstanding warrants for domestic violence against him," Mullens said.

And despite family efforts to help her leave she ended up losing her life in May of 2015.

"It sucked her into a very violent relationship from the very beginning and that was at the end of 2012. And she got wrapped up with him and I feel like the murders of my mom and sister she just never got over it,” Mullens said.

Kimberly said Amanda was packed to leave the night she was found.

"Amanda that night called a friend and said he's going to kill me if I’m not gone. She had her bags packed; she had a ride," Mullens said.

Police ruled Amanda’s death a suicide.

"In my mind I really didn't doubt it at that time. It wasn't until I saw the wound patterns on her neck that I realized that doesn't make any sense," Mullens said.

According to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board on average an Oklahoman dies every five days as a result of domestic violence.  They said in 2016 95 Oklahoma women were killed by men.

"Just to say death can happen and it happens too much and our family is a testimony to that," Mullens said.

And her advice to people going through something similar: If you are in an abusive relationship have a plan to get out and call a local shelter and to always keep your faith.

"I know now that leaving is the most dangerous part," she said. "Losing mom and Vivian and Amanda I can just see God woven through this to help me and help me maybe be a voice for victims and try to find the answer of how to help women.”

Mullens wants people to remember it is possible to break generational cycles of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive relationship call your local shelter. The number for the Grayson County Crisis Center is 903-893-3909.

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