DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Woman whose daugher was killed by her boyfriend speaks

On average, 105 Arizonans die in domestic violence-related incidents each year.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and so far this month alone, FOX 10 Phoenix has covered more than a half-dozen domestic violence-related murders in its newscasts.

Examples such as a mother who was run over in front of her kids, and a kindergarten teacher allegedly murdered by her boyfriend are but a couple of extreme cases of dating violence that happened in the last few weeks.

When people think of domestic violence, married couples usually come to mind. According to the Department of Justice, however, one group is at higher risk than all others.

Statistics show college students are the most vulnerable to domestic violence, in their dating relationships.

"12% of students experienced verbal relationship violence," said Kristine Kuhn with One Love, citing an ASU report. The same report shows 3% of ASU students experienced physical abuse, and 1% experienced sexual abuse.

In the beginning, many victims don't even realize they're being abused.

"It usually builds up," said Kuhn. "It'll be something like, 'let me see your phone. You should trust me.' 'Give me the password to your social media accounts', and it gradually escalates to more violent forms."

22-year-old Shayley Estes, a former ASU student, was murdered by her boyfriend after she filed for a restraining order against him.

"He had started texting, saying he was gonna kill her," recounted Shannon Estes, Shayley's mother. "He text her coworker and her roommate, saying Shayley was gonna be killed from Russia with love."

After he left for California, she thought she was safe.

"Everybody, I think, let their guard down because of him being in another state," said Estes. "But he came back, so every threat needs to be taken seriously."

Shannon's mother wants to be the voice for her daughter, and warns victims to never underestimate any type of threat. Next month, Shayley would have celebrated her 23rd birthday. Her killer, meanwhile, was sentenced to life in prison.

"No one should be treated like this," said Kuhn.

ASU provides several resources for students to report any type of violence. Victims could file reports anonymously, and support groups and counseling are available, as well as resources to get physical protection from abusers.

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