Domestic violence is a pervasive, life-threatening crime that affects millions of individuals across the United States regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or education. High-profile cases of domestic violence will attract headlines, but thousands of people experience domestic abuse every day and they come from all walks of life.
For the twelfth consecutive year, on September 13, 2017, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) conducted a one-day unduplicated count of adults and children seeking domestic violence services in the United States. This annual census documents the number of people who sought services in a single 24-hour period, as well as the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet due to a lack of resources, and the issues and barriers that domestic violence programs face as they strive to provide services to victims of domestic violence. This report is instrumental in raising awareness about domestic violence and the incredible work that local domestic violence programs do every day.
According to the Domestic Violence Counts: 12th Annual Census Report, in the state of Texas, 6,217 victims were served in one day; 1,782 hotline calls were answered, and 2,650 attended prevention and education trainings. To read the full report, visit https://nnedv.org/mdocs-posts/2017-texas/.
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control). It’s important for survivors to know that the abuse is not their fault, and they are not alone. Help is available for those who suffer from domestic violence.
Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) is one of those places where victims of domestic violence can turn to for help. The Family Violence Center at NAM has a crisis hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all services are free. A trained advocate can offer guidance on personal safety, legal options, or, even how to help a friend.
“We get about 1,000 calls a month that come in through the hotline,” said Sheryl Johnson, Director of NAM’s Family Violence Center. “Sometimes these are individuals looking to flee, sometimes they need information, and some are calls from people with a family member that’s in trouble.”
“When somebody comes to our door they just need to say they need help due to domestic violence or sexual assault,” explained Johnson. “We’ll do a full assessment with them and then we help lay out what their options might be.”
The Family Violence Center has provided services to more than 5, 500 individuals annually. They offer counseling for adults and children in both English and Spanish. The program also provides crisis intervention, emergency shelter, safety planning, and legal advocacy. Plus, through NAM’s other services, those seeking help can receive assistance with food, clothing and other basic needs.
If you or someone you know needs to talk about violence in a relationship, please call NAM’s Family Violence Center crisis hotline at (281) 885-HOPE (4673) or 1-888-750-HOPE (4673). For more information visit http://namonline.org/get-help/family-violence-center/ or follow NAM on Facebook, @NAMNeighbors.
The Family Violence Center is dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence by assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence through crisis intervention, long-term support services, and through community violence and awareness prevention education. In the fiscal year 2016-2017, the FVC received more than 7,400 hotline calls from victims in crisis and individuals seeking assistance. They also offer year-round programs, workshops and different events that bring awareness to the domestic violence problem in the area.