Outside the Hillsboro home of Cindy Givens, a small memorial speaks to the violence that took her life Monday and shattered her family's peace.
Just before she died, police say she told them her husband Steven had stabbed her. They found his body along Highway 26 a short time later.
The following day, a Salem family of five was found dead in an apparent murder suicide. The father was suspected of killing his family before taking his own life.
The news hit hard at domestic violence shelters like the Bradley Angle House.
“It was really sad,” said Molli Mitchell, manager of the agency’s emergency shelter. “I felt as though there was yet another loss in our family, in our Portland community, the broader community that there's another candle snuffed out for no reason,” she said.
Crystal Hilton felt the pain of domestic violence herself. “For calling an old friend I got slapped a lot, just like really hard you know?” she said. Hilton had started a relationship with a man she had known for just a short time.
“Things changed dramatically, immediately. Ha, ha. To where I was sort of a prisoner, literally, you know? I couldn’t have a job, I couldn’t use the phone, he would take the phone when he left the house. If he pretended he left the phone he'd take the batteries from the phone," Hilton said.
According to Mitchell, at the shelter, those are the classic traits of an abuser. Other warning signs are blaming others or drugs or alcohol for their abusive behavior, hiding facts about their past, demanding absolute control over finances or isolating you, according to Mitchell.
Crystal Hilton escaped after four months with the help of a social worker. Two years later, she feels strong enough to turn the tables and said she will pursue legal action against her abuser. “I don’t think he should be doing this to other people. I don’t think he should be free,” Hilton said.
Anyone who feels they need help is urged to call the Bradley Angle House hotline at 503-281-2442