Everyday in the United States, at least three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
Pretty alarming isn't it?
But sometimes these statistics don't hit home until you know someone affected.
Justin Lopez, a 23-year-old Bryan resident and Sam Houston State University Student is raising his sister because his mom was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.
Justin doesn't want anyone else to experience the pain he has, and that's why he doesn't mind sharing his story.
Justin's mom Angie was murdered in 2012 by her ex-boyfriend.
"I knew exactly what had happened when I got the phone call. I had no doubt that Billy had shot mom," Justin Lopez said.
Billy Parker and Angie Lopez started dating in 2010 and quickly moved in together.
Justin was attending Blinn College in Bryan at the time.
He says a difference in parenting styles put a strain on his mom's relationship.
"It didn't take long for mom to realize that it was going to be a rocky relationship," Lopez said.
Justin says Billy drank too much, was verbally abusive and two years after his mom moved in, she and his sister Porsha left.
"She was done. She was not going to have Porsha in that type of atmosphere. She was not going to have herself in that type of atmosphere," Lopez said.
But Justin says Billy couldn't handle being apart.
"She made the step to leave, but he wasn't happy. He was so in love with my mom that it was one of those if I can't have you no one else can," Lopez said.
On September 15th, 2012 Billy sat outside Angie's Sante Fe, Texas home and waited.
"He got out of his truck after nearly 30 minutes of sitting in the driveway and he knocked on the door. My sister was asleep at the time and he pulls out a gun and he commenced to shooting my mom," Lopez said.
Angie ran but she couldn't get away, and her daughter Porsha, 12 at the time, saw her mom killed.
"As mom runs down the side of the house she collapses in the neighbor's backyard and Billy gets on top of her, puts the gun at her and fires it for the fifth time," Lopez said.
Billy Parker was convicted of murder in September and sentenced to 99 years in prison. A victory for Angie's family, but the story doesn't end there.
Justin and his sister Porsha formed Angie's Awareness Angels an organization supporting domestic violence awareness. Since inception the non-profit has raised thousands for organizations including Phoebe's Home, a domestic violence shelter in Bryan.
"We have started this organization and it has really helped us move forward. I wake up and I say God what can I do to help someone else today? What can I do to help someone out in memory of my mom? What can I do to be more like her," Lopez said.
Justin says his mom knew to leave but doesn't know if she knew how to get help.
That's why he's so passionate about telling her story to save lives and keep his mom's memory alive.
"I miss my mom more than you can even imagine. My mom was my best friend," Lopez said.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from domestic abuse call before it's too late.
The number to the local Domestic Violence Hotline is 979-775-5355.
The services are completely free.
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