Female victim severely beaten after near deadly domestic violence incident

LAS VEGAS - A devastated valley family affected by domestic violence is working to bring change from tragedy. They're pleading with people in an abusive relationship to get out of the situation before it's too late.

Christopher Wood is facing attempted murder and domestic battery by strangulation charges after Metro Police say he strangled his estranged girlfriend, he was arrested on June 4.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/man-faces-charges-of-attempted-murder-strangulation-burglary/732601136

The victim's family says she likely won't ever recover as she clings to life in a hospital the family doesn’t want this terrible violence to happen to others if they can help it.

These last couple weeks have been a nightmare for Jessica Avras and her family.

Police say her sister in law, Stella Martinez, was strangled by her ex-boyfriend Christopher Wood and is now clinging to life with the help of machines.

"Her body is shutting down. So right now her kidneys are beginning to shut down,” Avras said. "Apparently he found her where she was and tried to get at her through the window. She went for the front door to confront him and barged in the front door and dragged her to the back yard with her hair."

Sadly, escaping from an abusive partner is often never easy, according to Safe Nest CEO Liz Ortenburger.
"The most lethal time for a domestic violence victim is when they are about to leave or have just left,” Ortenburger said.

Ortenburger has helped many victims get out of a violent relationship and says people are reporting more than ever, but now the community really has to figure out how to answer that cry.

"We have to look at the laws. Emergency restraining orders are or are not granted. Look at our judicial system. We have to look and what is the upside for a victim to come forward,” Ortenburger added.

Martinez’s family says she worked to get her away from wood, especially when he got violent tearing up the house she lived in, but still managed to track her down.

"We tried really hard to keep her away from him,” Avras said. “We didn't know that he was in communication anymore. We thought that she was safe where she was."

Doctors have told the family it's only a matter of time until Stella's body completely shuts down. As they deal with their pain, they plead with anyone in a violent relationship to get out.

"Get help. I know that you can be strong enough to get away from a person like this," Avras added.

The family set up a Go Fund Me to help pay for medical expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/stella-avras

For anyone who might be in a domestic violence situation and needs help, 8 News Now has provided the following information for help.

http://www.safenest.org/


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