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Rate of domestic violence extremely high in Houston area

The highest rate reported domestic violence in the state of Texas occurs in Harris County. Unfortunately, Harris County also has the highest number of deaths that occur due to domestic violence as well.

It was reported that 35 women were killed in Harris County in 2010 alone. Though that statistic is disturbing, the rate of deaths due to domestic violence actually was higher in 2009 with 55 deaths.

While many tend to view domestic violence as phenomena that occurs someplace else and not in their neighborhood, domestic violence appears to be unrelated to race, wealth, social class or educational attainment. Also, some people question why the individual that is abused doesn't leave - rather than placing the blame upon the individual that is committing the abuse to begin with.

Divorce may not be an option for all victims of domestic violence. Financial impediments sometimes interfere, and threats from the abuser to the abused (or to their children) must always be taken seriously.

Changes made to laws have provided victims of abuse with certain options. Criminal complaints can be filed against an abusive spouse, and temporary and permanent restraining orders can be obtained. Victims of abuse can also seek additional resources such as counseling and temporary shelters when such shelters are available.

No one should be forced to remain in an abusive marriage due to finances. There are also attorneys that specialize in the area of family law that can advise clients on what steps could be taken to insure safety for both the abused spouse and any children. More and more family law matters are resolved through mediation rather than through trial, and attorneys can prepare paperwork and stipulations for clients that may help them bypass expensive proceedings.

Source: KUHF News, "Most Domestic Violence in Texas Happens in Harris County," by Laurie Johnson, Oct. 9, 2012

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