Dangers of ending relationships

If you need help, you can call AVDA's 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-355-8547.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Kimberly Lindsey, Watisha Wallace and Gemma Burlakoff: All three local women died as a result of their relationship falling apart according to investigators. 

Mary Cauthen is a survivor who nearly lost her life the same way when she divorced her husband. She said it is hard not to think of her situation when seeing what happened to Lindsey, Wallace and Burlakoff. "I'm thankful that I'm still here because, by the grace of God, that could have been me," said Cauthen. 

She remembers the day she left, packing up her four kids, heading to South Florida after filing for divorce. 

Much like the other recent fatal situations, it would not be the last time she would see her estranged husband. 

Cauthen said it would become dangerous. Her ex-husband began stalking, calling and leaving verbal threats. "When you leave, just like he doesn't know what you're doing, you now don't know what he's doing. Where he is or what he's doing? You don't know, so you don't know what's to come," said Cauthen. 

The mother of four, who now helps victims at the YWCA, said it often comes down to control. 

Cauthen said when someone loses control in a bad relationship, they will do anything to gain it back. She said murder is the ultimate control. 

"We find that 75 percent of women who are killed by their partners are actually in the process of leaving, planning to leave or they've already left their partner when they're killed," said Jennifer Rey at Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Inc. in Delray Beach

Women often brush it off according to Rey. She said they will blame themselves and then it often becomes too late. 

Cauthen said she had a gut feeling, acted and credits it for saving her life. "When you have that feeling, you need to take it seriously. You need to take it seriously that it could happen to you," said Cauthen. 

Experts said if someone suspects even a sliver of danger, they need to tell someone and document it. 

They also said if a person has to meet with their ex-spouse, they should do it at a safe location like a police station.

If the harassment does not stop, experts said a restraining order can help and so can hiding the location of residence.

If you need help, you can call AVDA's 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-800-355-8547.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.