No individual in Houston or anywhere in the country deserves to experience domestic violence. Domestic problems come in various forms, such as physical abuse and domestic assault. The abuse can impact children, spouses and intimate partners. Recently, the United States Senate took action to address the growing problem of domestic violence across the country.
Domestic violence is an important issue across the country, including Texas. Such domestic violence may include spousal abuse, online stalking and emotional abuse. Some Houston readers may assume that family violence only involves one-sided abuse or violence against the other spouse. However, these domestic violence problems may also victimize family members, children and intimate partners, as in the following case in Dallas, Texas.
There are many things that need to happen before the problem of domestic violence can at least be reduced, and it requires that many parties work together. Law enforcement, the courts, politicians, local agencies, families, private charities, attorneys and judges need to all be involved in making the situation better.
The tragedy this past week involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher's murder-suicide of himself and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins has brought domestic violence to the national stage front and center.
The Texas Council of Family Violence blames the domestic violence problem in part on the tendency of Texans to excuse the violence for other reasons. Individuals in our state sometimes blame the victim or other circumstances for why the domestic violence occurs, and too often the perpetrator of the violence is let off of the hook.
Though there has been an increase in women killed due to domestic violence during the year of 2011, what is called familicide (the killing of members of the entire nuclear family) has increased by 600 percent. There were six instances of familicide in 2011 as compared to 2010.
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.
Without question, resources for domestic violence are badly underfunded. That's why even a $20,000 grant from the Mary Kay Foundation to a Texas domestic violence shelter is a newsworthy event.
The need for assistance in the battle against domestic violence is overwhelming. One particular Houston area resource named Project Hope continually is attempting to raise money to help victims remain free of domestic violence, but this Baytown organization is badly in need of additional funds itself.