East Texas seeing an increase of domestic violence victims seeking resources
ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - The pandemic is partly blamed for a spike in reported domestic violence cases. Help centers like the Family Crisis Center of East Texas are now seeing more people who need assistance.
Development Director Melissa Wheeler said the center didn’t see a noticeable change in their number of clients until the aftereffects of COVID-19. People were still concerned to be in public places and group settings.
”Survivors would tend to remain in their living situations and not seek services as much as they do now.”
The center serves over nine counties in deep East Texas and are estimating a 27% increase in the number of survivors they serve for this year. Wheeler said “[victims] are just deciding they need help, they need resources to be able to move forward with their lives and to be able to live that life free of violence.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.
Wheeler said the center is also seeing an increase in the number of adults and children experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault and “higher lethality rate, especially in those domestic violent situations.”
Seeing those alarming numbers, Wheeler said affects the agency partners they work closely with; including law enforcement.
Angelina County jail warden Nick Gardner told us last month one of the reasons the jails are filling up quickly is due the seriousness of crimes being committed. Whereas the years before they would see more misdemeanors charges, but are now seeing charges for, “murders, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults. We’re seeing those increase more,” Gardner said.
Copyright 2022 KTRE. All rights reserved.