2 women have tragically been killed as they tried to protect a rape victim from hitmen who were paid to kill her by her abuser...

And it's truly one of the most devastating stories...

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Because abuse is something that has been happening for way too long now.

So many people sadly become victims at the hands of their abusers...

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And it can truly alter their lives in the worst possible way.

More than often, abuse happens behind closed doors in families...

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Which means victims often can't find a way to escape.

Thankfully, the awareness of domestic abuse is higher than ever...

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And people are wanting to help these unfortunate victims escape from their dangerous situations as much as they can.

Well, this brings us to today's harrowing story.

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Thirty-four-year-old Brittany Cormier and thirty-seven-year-old Hope Nettleton were tragically killed recently while trying to protect a rape victim... and people have been left utterly heartbroken.

Last month in the small Louisiana town of Montegut, 2 men - Andrew Eskine and Dalvin Wilson - were said to have been paid by Beaux Cormier to kill his niece, who he had allegedly abused and raped last year.

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Beaux, who is thirty-five, reportedly wanted her dead so she couldn't testify against him after she had taken legal action against him for the abuse he inflicted upon her, police said as per The Washington Post.

The hired hitmen arrived at the victim's house to find 2 other women there - Brittany and Hope.

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Brittany was Beaux's sister and Hope was Brittany's neighbor, and when the men - who were armed with guns - asked who the rape victim was, Brittany lied and said that she was in order to protect the victim's identity.

The hitmen ruthlessly opened fire and fatally shot Brittany...

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And afterwards, they decided to shoot and kill Hope too.

While all of this horror was happening...

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Brittany's children remained hidden in a closet while their heroic mom confronted the gunmen, the Acadiana Advocate reported.

"Maybe they hid in the closet because they were scared but I like to think she locked them in the closet to protect them," Samantha LeMaire, a close friend, told the Advocate.

Police praised Brittany for intentionally claiming to be the victim in an attempt to protect the woman accusing her brother of rape.

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"Brittany Cormier tells the shooter she's the rape victim, accepting her fate to save the life of an actual victim," Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said on Monday.

On Friday, authorities charged Beaux Cormier and the 2 alleged gunmen with 2 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the women's deaths.

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Both hitmen confessed to killing the innocent women.

The 3 men were each given a bond of $2 million...

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‚ÄčAnd are being held at Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex, according to Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joseph L. Waitz Jr.

"The death penalty is absolutely on the table," Waitz said on Monday.

Rest in Peace, Brittany and Hope.

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Our deepest condolences go out to their families during this terrible time and we hope justice will soon be served.