Kate Southward was beaten up last month. Her boyfriend says she didn't go to the doctor because she didn't have any insurance.
He was originally charged with assault, but Southward died Friday, and on Monday prosecutors in Pierce County charged him with murder.
Kate's sister wants Southward’s death to serve as a warning.
Southward’s boyfriend of five years, William Selley, is accused of beating Southward to death. Investigators say three days after the attack he called 911 when she started vomiting a dark substance.
"It's devastating to think she was down for three days with no medical attention, because the outcome may have been different had she obtained medical attention sooner,” said Lisa McAllister, Southward’s sister.
Southward's family worried about this happening. They knew the couple's relationship was violent and tried to get Kate help. But they think she was too scared and attached to leave him.
"That's the hard part, that's the challenging part, if she doesn't want it she doesn't have to take the help,” said McAllister.
"It's hard for friends and family, we don't understand other people's choices," said Karin White-Tauftest of YWCA Pierce County
Domestic violence counselors say worried loved ones have to be patient and persistent about getting someone help. And they have to appreciate it isn't always easy for someone to just get out of a relationship.
"The victim is the person who knows the best what the perpetrator is really capable of doing. They know if they call the police this bad thing will happen to you. They know it's true because it's happened to them in the past,” said Tauftest.
"Kate did not deserve this,” said McAllister.
Rather than mourn privately, Kate's family hopes her death can help someone else.
"We hope Kate's story will help others see patterns speak up and survive,” said McAllister.