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By Danielle Ohlemacher

Honoring Texas Victims Report

In 2016, 146 women were killed by a male intimate partner in Texas. As inexplicable as these tragedies are, the Honoring Texas Victims report identifies promising practices for understanding and preventing future fatalities. The report recommends new ways to elevate survivor safety through community collaboration to address the threat of firearms, recognition of crucial periods for intervention, and identification of technology facilitated abuse. We highlight solution focused responses, including a critical change in the law to allow for victim-advocate privilege, prevention collaborations between athletic communities and family violence programs, improved evidence collection tools, new understanding of traumatic brain injuries, and effective media reporting within communities.

Key facts:

  • A man killed his female intimate partner every 2.5 days in Texas.
  • These intimate partner murders make up one in every 10 homicides in Texas.
  • Fatalities occurred in 55 counties across the state.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Victims’ ages ranged from 15 to 92; 82 women were between the ages of 20-39.

The report helps us come to both know a little about these beautiful women who tragically lost their lives and  inform our collective work across the state.We know that family violence deaths are identifiable, knowable and preventable, and we continue to hold tight to the belief that we can eliminate family violence in our communities.

Read the Report

2018 Young Hearts Matter Award Nominations Open

Texas Council on Family Violence is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Young Hearts Matter awards. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and lead their communities to promote healthy relationships for young hearts in Texas. Recipients will be honored in February 2018 and will receive a $200 honorarium for the Activist of the Year and Advocate of the Year award categories.  

Award Categories 

Young Hearts Matter Activist of the Year recognizes a young person who has been a driving force for social change among their peers and has done significant work to promote awareness and prevention of dating abuse in their community or school.  Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year recognizes an adult ally who partners with young people, is a leader for violence prevention in their community, and has made prevention programming more accessible as a result of their efforts.  

How to Apply 

Sound like someone you know? Submit an application onlineDeadline: December 21, 2017 

Nominees will be directly notified of their nomination by TCFV and the final award recipients will be announced in February 2018 in observance of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  

For additional questions, please contact: Shannon Spriggs Murdoch, Prevention Director 512-685-6317 or email smurdoch@tcfv.org 

 

Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

For Immediate Release

Gloria A. Terry, TCFV, 512-627-5295 gterry@tcfv.org
Mikisha Hooper, TCFV, 580-380-6615 mhooper@tcfv.org

Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

Domestic Violence Tears at the Very Fabric of Texas with 146 Women Killed by Their Male Intimate Partners in 2016 and 24 Additional Family Members, Friends and Bystanders Also Harmed

Make no mistake: domestic violence causes far reaching impact and devastation on Texas families and communities.  Violence at home too often erupts into neighborhoods, workplaces and indeed places of worship.  These heartbreaking domestic violence related murders over the weekend tear at the very fabric of Texas. 

Points of fact: In an analysis of mass shootings nationally between 2009 and 2015 perpetrators killed intimate part­ners or other family members in 57% of the cases. In 15% of the cases, the perpetrator had a prior domestic violence charge. Moreover, in Texas in the last year, 146 women lost their lives at the hands of a male intimate partner, an additional 24 children and adults were killed in those 146 incidents. Also in 2016, Texas experienced eight incidents of familicide – a significant increase from the prior year total of zero, where perpetrators killed their children and partner before killing themselves. Additionally, firearms were used in 68% of the 146 incidents, 15% were stabbed, 10% were strangled and the remaining 7% involved other means of death.

We continue to underestimate the reach and devastation of domestic violence.  Seeing it only as a microcosm, as something that happens privately between two people. Yet domestic violence thrives in the silence and obliviousness we give it.

Only when we confront the very conditions which allow domestic violence to exist will our homes, public spaces and places of worship be truly safe.

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Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/

Go Purple – Celebrate!

As October comes to an end, we want to take a moment to thank domestic violence advocates and service providers throughout the state for their amazing work in supporting survivors. Last year, nearly 73,000 Texans found support and guidance on their path to leave abuse with the help of advocates like you. Texas domestic violence programs save lives, and TCFV is proud to represent and support you as your state coalition.  

We also want to thank all the survivors who tell their stories during DVAM. Your voices lead the way. Your courage galvanizes us all to confront the conditions that permit violence to occur. And your strength inspires us to build a safer Texas.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s DVAM! Tell us what you learned and your favorite moments from this month on our Facebook and Twitter.

Stay in touch with domestic violence news and awareness opportunities all year long – sign-up for our email list!

Go Purple – Honoring Texas Victims

At TCFV, we are committed to telling the story of domestic violence in Texas. Since 1990, we’ve published the Honoring Texas Victims report – because we know that every woman deserves to be counted. This report gives factual accounts of the women killed by their partners, telling each story with utmost care and respect.

This week, we want to reflect on these women’s stories and the impact of these murders throughout our state. It is heartbreaking, necessary work to bring domestic violence out of the shadows. While the full Honoring Texas Victims report will be released later, we can share key facts to galvanize our communities:

Now more than ever, it’s essential that we work together to tell the story of domestic violence in Texas. Family violence is knowable, predictable, and preventable. Knowing the facts about domestic violence is the first step in being able to keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable. Find more facts and social media graphics from the Honoring Texas Victims report on our website at TCFV.org/GoPurple.

Honoring Texas Victims: Bexar County is One of the Top Five Counties with the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State with 11 Murders

Aaron Setliff, TCFV, 512-590-9808 asetliff@tcfv.org

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016 – Bexar County is One of the Top Five Counties with the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State with 11 Murders

 New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month Shows Increase in the Number of Women Killed in San Antonio   

San Antonio, Texas – October 20, 2016 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows 146 women were killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  Fatalities occurred in 55 Texas counties.  24 family members and friends were also killed (this includes 13 children); 4 family members and friends were injured during the incidents.  This represents the largest number of related victims since 2011.

Every year more than 100 women are killed in domestic violence homicides in Texas.   This year’s numbers are a reduction from the deaths in 2015 when the Texas Council reported the highest number of deaths in Texas since the Council began releasing its’ report.

But, this year’s report shows Bexar County increased the number of homicides from last year from 9 to 11. In 2014, there were 5 homicides in Bexar County.   Bexar joins Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties in North Texas as four of the top five counties with the highest number of homicides in the state.  Harris County in Houston continues to have the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the state of Texas.

Intimate partner homicides end the lives of women who have roles as loving mothers, caring family members, and engaged community members. The women whose deaths are detailed here represent lives that left indelible marks on those around them. Many of them are remembered for the strong bonds they formed in their families and with their friends and for offering those around them kindness, compassion, encouragement and smiles that brightened rooms. Family members often described these women as the glue that held people together’ and ‘willing to do anything for anyone’. They took pride in their roles as mothers and in the work that they did as students and in their careers. TCFV joins their families, friends and communities in mourning their loss.

146 women were killed in Texas in 2016.

158 women were killed in Texas in 2015, the deadliest year for women in Texas.   132 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2014.  119 women were killed in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  

Other Key Stats from the report:

  • Counties with the most fatalities are: Harris (28), Dallas (13), Tarrant (13), Bexar (11), Collin (6)
  • Tarrant, Bexar, Collin each experienced increases from 2015; Harris is down from 34, and Dallas remains the same as last year.
  • 40% of women killed in 2016 had ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm to murder their female partner.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Women between the ages of 20-39 represent over half of the total number of victims
  • Youngest Victim: 15
  • Oldest Victim: 92

Marta Palez, Chief Executive Officer of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, Amy Zuniga, a domestic violence survivor, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar San Antonio Police Department Asst. Chief James Flavin, Willie Ng – Chief Investigator w/ the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry to unveil the annual report titled: Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

“146 innocent lives were lost and families were forever changed in senseless domestic violence murders in Texas.  11 lives were lost in Bexar County.  We are immensely saddened by the tragic loss of life and we remember the families of those who lost loved ones and we especially want to remember the 146 families who lost a loved one this year.   When a tragic loss like this happens, it reminds all of us, how dangerous domestic violence can be to a family and a community and how much more work there is to be accomplished to ensure victims find help and safety before it’s too late,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities recognizes all Texas family violence victims lost in this tragic crime. “

The release of the 2016 Honoring Victims Report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is in October.  Domestic violence all too often ends with tragic results.  

“During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we focus on three important elements of ending violence – supporting survivors, holding abusers accountable and perhaps, most important, preventing the violence before it begins by challenging the underlying attitudes and beliefs that feed violent behavior.  We are proud to partner with other agencies and organizations locally and across the state that share our commitment to ending violence on all three fronts. Together we strive to make violence a part of our past and we redouble our efforts to educate the public and try to prevent domestic violence fatalities in the future,” said Chief Executive Officer Marta Palez of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc., The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.

The report released by the Texas Council on Family Violence and compiled from data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas law enforcement agencies and media reports list names of the victims and gives brief accounts of their deaths.

Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/

Go Purple – Action Week

How can you make a difference for domestic violence survivors in your community? It’s easier than you might think! For the third week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re asking you to stand with survivors and take action!

There is power in numbers – when you stand up for survivors, you make a difference! Tell us what you’re doing for Action Week on Facebook and Twitter.