The day after Jennifer Yang was killed by her husband in what authorities called a murder-suicide, her family had to fight to gain custody of her body and for a say in how her funeral would be held.

Now, her siblings are trying to raise awareness about domestic violence, in defiance of what they say are certain patriarchal traditions in the Hmong community.

Yang, 36, was found dead March 10 in her home in Andover. Police say her husband Fue Her, 40, shot her and then turned the gun on himself.

The day after her death, her brother, David Yang, said he and the rest of her family had a tense discussion with Her's family about the specifics of his sister's funeral. In Hmong culture, the husband's family typically has control of the wife's funeral.

When the husband's family refused to budge on certain details, such as whether there would be a closed casket, Jennifer's family bucked tradition and declared that they would plan her funeral.

"We said, 'No, we're going to do this ourselves,'" David Yang said. "Our sister didn't kill their son, so if they didn't want to negotiate, we would fundraise our own money for the funeral."

Still, aspects of Hmong culture have restricted the Yang family, including not being able to retrieve Jennifer's personal documents or belongings. Her club football jersey was displayed at the funeral, but later had to be returned to her in-laws, David Yang said.

"To this day, we haven't received one piece of paper, not her purse, nothing of hers," he said.

Several hundred people attended the May 7 funeral. The service was unconventional, with several domestic violence awareness groups invited to speak and advocate for victims to seek help if they need it.

"We're trying to make those changes so our kids, and especially female kids, have equality and somewhat equal rights to be able to leave a relationship and not feel threatened," David Yang said. "I don't want any family to go through this and lose a sister too."

One group in attendance was Transforming Generations, a Twin Cities nonprofit created in 2016 that works to reduce gender-based violence within the Hmong community. Executive director Xay Yang said the group often works with women fleeing violent spouses in Minnesota and sometime other states.

Xay Yang said she wished her organization could have helped Jennifer before she was murdered. David Yang said his sister planned to leave Fue on the Friday morning she was killed.

In cases where a spouse feels they must leave a relationship but that their departure would put them in danger, Xay Yang urges them to request a police escort or to contact Transforming Generations for advice.

"Every time, we always think about what if she had made it to our door," she said.

The struggles Hmong women and families endure in domestic violence cases are often complicated by cultural norms, Xay Yang said. When a spouse wants to leave a relationship, for instance, women are often required to take part in a mediation session with the families to encourage them to stay.

"A lot of times, they tell you to go back and hold your tongue, to be patient, and it doesn't change anything," Xay Yang said.

Since her murder, Jennifer's three children have lived with Her's parents in Andover, where the entire family had lived before her death.

David Yang said one of his sisters has started a custody case for the children. He said he thinks her family should be given priority regarding custody considering she was murdered.

"We feel like those kids were more of Jennifer's," he said. "The law needs to change where if the husband kills someone's daughter, her parents should have the right to get the kids first."

David Yang described his sister as the favorite of five sisters and said she had a tendency to focus on others instead of herself.

"She had this glow about her. She was just so different and so nice," her brother said.

At the funeral, Transforming Generations' message was about "how we really have to reevaluate the ways in which we practice our cultural processes, because it doesn't work nowadays for us — things are different," Xay Yang said.

Transforming Generations also works with families of domestic violence victims, men who are past offenders of domestic violence, and runs programs for youths and the LGBTQ community.

Other groups at the funeral included the Domestic Abuse Project and the Hmong Family Strengthening Helpline. Jennifer's teammates from the Valkyries, a predominantly Hmong amateur flag football team, also attended.

Some phone numbers for domestic violence victim services are: