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Domestic violence goes beyond beating, bruises

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Updated: 2/28/2013 12:30 pm
LAS VEGAS -- It’s been a bloody start to the year for victims of domestic violence.

That's how the founder of a local domestic violence shelter describes the first two months of 2013.

So far this year, there have been seven domestic violence homicides and while that number is grim, the abuse isn't limited to the physical. As news 3's Christine Kim explains, domestic violence encompasses a wide array of abuse.

A local shelter founder says it's all about power and control. That could mean retaliation to keep that power including emotional abuse using children.

We want to warn you, some of the pictures in the video are graphic.

The wall of victims at Safe Faith united puts a face to the numbers.

Those who lost their lives and survivors of brutal physical violence.

But Tania Lopez's face shows a different kind of abuse. The one that's psychological and emotional.

Lopez believes her ex-boyfriend took their 3-year-old daughter Tania because she wanted out. It was a trigger Rebecca Ferreira says for many domestic violence relationships.

"Sometimes things don't work out they feel the victim is their property because you leave me I'm going to leave you and take the child," said Ferreira, the founder of Safe Faith.

Lopez says they were separated for a year but when she started dating another man he changed. She had to file a protective order against him and told police he threatened her, saying if he saw her with that man again she would never see their daughter again.

Then, a few weeks later, in the middle of a custody battle, he disappeared with Tania.

“He left his job he sold everything in the apartment and he took the child against court order," Ferreira said.

The last time Lopez saw and spoke to her little girl was December 30.

"She said I love you mommy and that's it," she said.

That was the last thing she hear her daughter say to her.

While Lopez gained sole custody of Tanya, She doesn't know where she is.

She's speaking out in hopes other women won't experience her pain. The emotional torture of a mother now into three months without her baby.

"I cry for everything. I cant work," Lopez said.

That is what's violence. It is a crime even for a parent to abduct his or her child. If you see Tania, Safe Faith United asks you call police.

Safe Faith is a nonprofit organization that helps women affected by all types of domestic violence.


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