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One inspired family member speaks up in the hopes to help victims of domestic violence

Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-11 21:12:12-04

A murder back in 2013 inspired one family member to speak up in hopes of helping other victims of domestic violence. 

October is domestic violence awareness month.

Rachel Tineo says her niece Tina Soto was a very loving and compassionate person who was a victim of domestic violence that cost her her life.

"She was murdered by the father of her children because she decided she needed to leave the relationship because she had enough of the abuse," Tineo said.

She says her niece was in a 10-year relationship with Stephen Malone and during the last three years he started abusing her. 

"He would threaten her on a daily basis that if she left that he would not only hurt the children he would hurt her mother, which is my sister, he would hurt me, he would hurt her cousins which are my daughters," she said. "Anyone that was close to her that she loved."
Tineo says her niece never told anyone out of fear and embarrassment until he abused her in front of their children. 

"We didn't really know how to deal with this situation," Tineo said. "And well we were planning the safety plan is when he was able to find out where she was and followed her, shot her and murdered her."

Tineo says Malone is spending his life in prison.

She says this sparked her calling to help victims get the resources they need so no one goes through what her niece did. 

Anna Harper-Guerrero with Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse says Emerge!'s "Answer the Call" is to help prevent domestic abuse by challenging people to think about their behaviors and beliefs, and step up if someone is a victim of domestic violence.

"Some of the most helpful things you can say to someone are, 'I believe you, I am worried about you, there are places you can go for help.'"

To find out more information on the resources Emerge! offers, click here