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Sister of domestic violence victim urges others to get help

Posted: 5:59 PM, Oct 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-10-03 06:20:34-04

Domestic violence is more prevalent in the Treasure Valley than you might think.

Dispatchers for the Ada County Sheriff's Office answered a little over 3,300 calls last year that were all related to domestic abuse.

A memorial walk was held Sunday to help spread awareness.

The SueB 5k Run/Walk is always held during the first part of October. It's a way to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month and to remember the life of Sue Newby.

The Kuna woman died when she fell into a ravine while riding a horse with her husband, Mark.

Those who knew Sue and her background in training horses didn't believe it was an accident. It wasn't until after she was gone that those close to her saw the warning signs of abuse.

"Sue was my only sister," said Majory Sente, Sue's sister. "She was five years younger than me."

Isolation is one of the first signs of an abusive, controlling relationship.

The race was also an opportunity to learn about healthy relationships.

"Families being out together and modeling that kind of relationship in so many different faucets," said Beatrice Black, executive director of the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise. "That is what this day is about."

Becki Woodbury brought three of her children with her to walk in the race. The Meridian mother is using the race as a way to start a dialogue about what a healthy relationship looks like.

"It's better to talk about things and be honest and out in the open... and be as good as we can be with each other," she said.

Sue Newby didn't get the chance to seek help. As the investigation into her death was just getting started, it was discovered that Mark had a girlfriend. Shortly thereafter, in May of 2008, he shot and killed himself.

Majory has since turned her grief into action. She's one of the race founders and has traveled to Idaho from Arizona the last seven years for the event.

She hopes that anyone suffering from abuse gets help before it's too late.

"A victim of domestic violence could be anyone's sister, mother, daughter... so, it's a really important message to get out," Sente said.

Proceeds from the race will support all the services WCA provides to those in need, free of charge, including counseling, court advocacy work and the shelter.