WACO, Texas — After losing her daughter to alleged domestic violence, a Waco mother is advocating for victims and wants to change the way we talk about domestic violence.
Sa'Kyra Young's mother, LaToya Wells, says her daughter lost her life at the hands of her boyfriend in August 2020. Wells said Young, 21 years old at the time of her death, was in a violent, abusive relationship for years and died trying to escape.
Reflecting on the years leading to her death, Wells said she struggles to look at pictures or travel to certain locations that remind her of the pain her daughter endured. One of those photos is Sa'Kyra before her prom.
"Because I'm already knowing she didn't show up for prom," Wells said. "She showed up for pictures. But she didn't show up for prom. Because he was calling her phone and calling her phone and making threats for her to come home."
Wells is now an outspoken community advocate for domestic violence victims, often talking to victims and families about their struggles. She wants people to understand that victims often feel trapped and that they have no escape.
"It's not a smart thing to say 'She should've got out,'" Wells said. "The whole thing is he shouldn't have killed her."
Her daughter's alleged abuser and killer is now in jail awaiting trial.
"I'm not a person to sit here and say I want a person's life to be taken, but in a situation like that it's just so sad when the aggressor is the one that's still alive," she said. "She didn't deserve to lose her life."
Sa'Kyra lives on through the "Forever Young" Scholarship Foundation created by Tracy and Keith Guillory. Eleven Waco students received the scholarship just last week.
Wells hopes that her daughter's story is making a difference and hopes to help people better understand victims of domestic violence.
"Her name is not forsaken. She'll always be remembered, and for good reasons," Wells said.