The family of a woman accused in a St. Joseph stabbing protested at the Buchanan County Courthouse Wednesday morning.
Melva Moore faces second-degree assault charges in connection to stabbing a St. Joseph man who walked 10 blocks with knife in his chest in early September.
Moore's family held signs at the protest that read, "Accused should be protected, not prosecuted."
Moore's brother, Fred Moore, said his sister was a victim of domestic abuse from her husband, the man she is accused of stabbing.
He said his sister reported a domestic violence incident to police three days before the alleged stabbing.
Booking records confirm police investigated a domestic assault incident between Moore and her husband on Sep. 7.
"A few days later, the perpetrator came back and was abused again and she was just trying to defend herself," Moore said.
Court records show Moore's husband has been in jail on three different occasions for domestic assault, serving more than 2 and a half years since 2008.
Her family said he is the one who should be behind bars.
"We want Melva free because it's not fair to her that the person who initiated it is free while she is incarcerated without bond," Moore said.
Wednesday's protest spoke to a bigger message.
"A lot of people think domestic violence as being just physical violence. We know physical violence is a part of it, but very often, there is emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse and using children," YWCA Victim Services Director Kim Kempf said.
Fred's message is for domestic violence victims to get out the toxic relationship before it escalates, like it did for his sister.
"Please seek help. There are many organizations out there that do help people. And talk to someone," Moore said.
The YWCA has a 24-hour phone number to call for options and resources.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.