DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The case of Gabby Petito is one that has shaken the nation, the homicide of the young women has caused many to take a closer at the signs of abuse.

According to Karen Boyd, the Prevention Educator at House of Ruth their mission is to serve those who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and strives to educate those on the cycle of abuse before it’s too late.

“The relationship starts off pretty much honeymoon, everything is just fine,” Boyd said. “Moves to the next phase which is the tension phase, this is where the behavior is starting to change now. Then there is another change it moves to the explosion phase and now what we have is a person who is yelling at you, possibly physically abusing you, isolating you. It’s a cycle abuse is a cycle.”

Boyd said that as an outsider looking in and encourages if you see someone who might be a victim of abuse the best thing you can do is provide them with resources for a shelter or a phone number of an organization, like the House of Ruth, who can help.

“You have to reach out for help because some relationships are so toxic and abusive the victim can not handle it by themselves,” Boyd said. “They need to seek help.”

Boyd said awareness is key to detecting domestic abuse and that one’s intuition should always be trusted.

“If you are in a relationship and your instinct is telling you something is not right, something’s wrong trust your instincts,” Boyd said.

For anyone seeking help, you can call the House of Ruth crisis hotline at 334-793-2232.