Houston, Texas – October 3, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. 119 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013. 114 women were killed in 2012. 102 women were killed in 2011. Harris County has stood alone as the county in Texas with the most women killed for many years, but this year Dallas County and Harris County are tied with the highest numbers of domestic violence murders of any county in Texas at 20 domestic violence homicides in each county. However, last year Harris County had 30 domestic violence murders, so domestic violence murders decreased by one-third in Harris County in the new report.
Antrece Baggett, a survivor of childhood domestic violence, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Deborah Mosley, Executive Director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Pasadena and TVFV Board member, Rebecca White, CEO at the Houston Area Women’s Center and Barbie Brasher, Executive Director, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Houston to unveil the annual report titled: “Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”
“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and predictable,” 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. We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships.“
“This important report should motivate all of us who work to protect victims of domestic violence in Texas to dig deeper and continue to improve our system, strive to better protect victims and understand that the most dangerous time for a woman fleeing a violent relationship is when they are leaving or attempting to leave the relationship,” said Deborah Moseley, Executive Director of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
“While we shine the spotlight on domestic violence during October, the Houston Area Women’s Center works year round with individuals and families who have been subjected to violence in their own homes. Our efforts to provide immediate shelter, services and longer-term advocacy are supported by other area service providers and by our colleagues in the criminal justice system and in law enforcement. Their support, and the support of the entire community, is critical to prevent and reduce domestic violence,” said Rebecca White, President and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center.
As Barbie Brashear, the Executive Director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC), states “The systems that respond to domestic violence in Harris County are committed to working together to increase safety and access to services for victims and their families. This commitment has led to HCDVCC’s strategic plan to examine how we respond, recommend change, and implement strategies to improve how we collectively work to keep families safe. We are very pleased to see that the number of deaths has decreased, but we also recognize that there is still a lot of work to do.”
“My involvement with the HCDVCC is important to me because I wish all of these resources and agencies working together were available to me and my family when I was growing up in an abusive household,” said Antrece Baggett.
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.
In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members. This includes 5 minor children; 5 other children were severely injured as a result of the attacks. 12 adults were killed by the perpetrators and 6 adults were severely injured during the attacks. The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013. 55 children witnessed their mother’s die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
Some key statistics include:
- Harris County & Dallas County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county
- 76% of the women were killed at home
- 58% were shot
- 22% were stabbed
- 6% were strangled
- 21 women had taken steps to leave
- 17 bystanders or witnesses killed
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.