Everyone Has A Right To Protect Themselves

A 50-year-old Lufkin woman accused of killing her common law husband is out of jail on bond.

Rose Barlow reportedly shot and killed 51-year-old Clarence Richards Monday night during a domestic dispute. The shooting happened at the couple's home on Westmoreland Street in Lufkin.

Police say the two were fighting when Barlow ran into the bathroom to get away from Richards. She allegedly shot him after he kicked in the bathroom door.

Barlow's charged with murder.

Both authorities and victims' rights groups say women, like everyone else, have the right to protect themselves if they're in danger, but using deadly force is just one way to do it.

Margie Preston, director of the Women's Shelter of East Texas, said, "We can help women with protective orders. They can come stay at our Safehouse. We can do safety planning with them, we do licensed counseling with them, so there are some really good opportunities. They should always seek law enforcement first, if there's an emergency."

The Women's Shelter of East Texas is here to help women get out of abusive relationships. If you're in an abusive relationship, here's some advice that will help you in the long run:

"It's very important to document in a report to the police. Number one, there's a history of violence for future reference, and also, it's very helpful for the women because they can actually start feeling like they're taking some responsibility and some ownership in trying to seek help."

The clients who go to the women's shelter are from all over East Texas. Women and their children go there to get their lives back on track.

Soon, victims of abuse won't have to travel as far for safety. Plans are in the works to build a Safehouse in Angelina County.

To make a donation to the Women's Shelter of East Texas, stop by one of the agency's three thrift stores in either Lufkin, Nacogdoches or Houston County.

For more information or to get help, call the shelter at 1-800-828-7233.