Help Is Available For Abused Men - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/01/05 - East Texas

Help Is Available For Abused Men

by Ramonica R. Jones

Lufkin police are still investigating a horrific case of abuse that left two teenage girls beaten, bruised, and malnourished.

What's even more shocking is the girls' father apparently knew about the abuse but never reported it.

The man is now charged with endangering a child by omission and investigators are wondering if he was also a victim of his wife's abuse.

Even though it's called the Women's Shelter of East Texas, counselors say it's important to know they help everyone in any abusive situation.

Assistant Executive Director Josalyn Penner, said, "We do help men. We offer the same services to men that we offer to women. It's not right for anyone to live in an abusive situation. If anyone feels uncomfortable in their situation that they're living in, whether it be verbal or emotional or physical abuse, they should come forward and at least seek their options and see how the women's shelter can help them."

If you're in an abusive relationship, you don't have to leave the situation, there are several other options available.

"We offer free counseling, we offer crisis counseling, we can do personal safety plans, and help people decide when the best time would be for them to leave and how the best way would be for them to leave."

And women who abuse can't escape the law.

Lufkin Police Lt. Harold Cottle said, "The law makes no distinction based on gender. The abuser is criminally responsible, regardless of which gender they are."

Men stay in violent relationships for many reasons. Women often use their kids to intimidate or threaten men into staying. Men are also more likely to be too embarrassed or ashamed to leave an abusive woman.

Last year, 31 men in Texas were killed by abusive women. For more information, call the Women's Shelter of East Texas at 1-800-828-7233.

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