Battered Women

Maria Elizondo was in an abusive relationship with her husband for 20 years.

"He abused me physically, emotionally, verbally...everything in the book," she said.

Even with all the abuse, it was hard for Elizondo to leave.

"We met in school and he was my first boyfriend. I stuck with him thinking that it was love," she said.

she also had their five children to consider. Support from family members is what helped Elizondo turn her life around.

"I'm just glad my aunt got out of it for her sake and for her kids," Elizondo's nephew Lupe Acosta told us.

But not all abused women have that type of support system in place. That's why the women's shelter of east Texas helps them. But shelter officials tell us domestic violence is not limited to couples.

"It could be the grandparents or adult children abusing the grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles," said Maria Rodriguez, Program Manager for the Women's Shelter of East Texas.

Shelter officials know it's not easy for abuse victims to leave and start over, but it can be done. Maria Elizondo agrees and says her story is proof.