Domestic-violence expert on McCluskey murder: 'Lauren did everything she could have'

SEATTLE - “She was honestly one of the nicest people, really fun to be around and she was so genuine. It’s horrific how she died and honestly nobody deserves that,” says Lauren McCluskey's childhood friend Louisa Reilly.

Reilly says she first met McCluskey in the 8th grade.

"It’s weird because you hear about this stuff on the news all the time, but you never expect it to be someone you know,” Reilly said.

The 21 year old superstar athlete and honors student from Pullman died Monday night, after investigators say her ex-boyfriend shot her before killing himself.

“This is absolutely domestic violence, or also called intimate partner violence,” says Rachel Krinsky, executive director of LifeWire, a local organization that advocates for domestic violence survivors.

“Lauren did everything she probably could have and should have done. She recognized the signs of control. She recognized something was wrong in the relationship. She identified she was being harassed and reported it. Those were all really smart things that she did,” says Krinsky.

Krinsky thinks it’s so important we understand the signs of domestic violence and share that information with friends and family.

“Healthy relationships don’t include control, lots of jealousy, one partner tracking the whereabouts of the other or tracking the finances or controlling sex or money. All of those signs of power and control are classic signs this is not a healthy relationship and it could escalate to violence,” Krinksy said.

Krinsky says there’s no way to spot an obvious abuser or victim. She says domestic violence cuts across all kinds of people and all demographics.

“Abuse partners don’t all behave in the same way, and so there is not a recipe in which you can say 'well if you do this and this you’ll be safer.' Listen to your gut, talk to people and support each other,” Krinsky said.

Krinsky says if you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, the most important thing you can do is believe them and stand by them, even when you don’t agree with their choices.

If you or a loved one needs help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.