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Family Crisis Center, a haven for the abused

January 12, 2017 GMT

HARLINGEN — The woman had a black eye.

It was clearly visible on her face, and no concealer in the world could hide it. He had used his closed fist this time.

Standing with her were two children who looked scared and confused. One of the children cowered behind his mother. They looked exhausted.

Early one morning, the three of them showed up at the FamilyCrisis Center for help.

They would not be turned away. How could anyone turn away a woman who had been beaten within an inch of her life?

To make matters worse, the children had seen it all. What did they think? What did they know?

“Daddy hit mommy in the face,” is all they’ve known for the past year.

Did he hit the children, too?

So far, they only know that they have walked into a shelter.

Sometimes it takes longer for women to seek help. Some don’t seek help at all. Some are too scared and ashamed.

But the FamilyCrisis Center is a safe haven for women, children and men who are suffering from abuse, families like this one.

Starting from then on, they would rebuild their lives, get back on their feet and no longer be victims of abuse. The center is where abuse victims start their journey, taking back their power.

Laura Martinez strives to empower her clients — empower them to stand up and fight. As the executive director of the FamilyCrisis Center, Martinez aims to give back the power that has been stripped from her clients by the hands of their abusers.

To do that, the center needs monetary support.

The FamilyCrisis Center is one of 20 nonprofit agencies in the Rio GrandeValley that will benefit from the ongoing 2016-17 AIM Charities Fund Drive.

AIM Charities was founded three years ago by AIM Media Texas, which owns The Brownsville Herald, El Nuevo Heraldo, El Extra, the Valley Morning Star, The Monitor, Mid-Valley Town Crier and Coastal Current.

Proceeds will go toward the services the center provides to clients on a daily basis.

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com