LONGVIEW -- The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. TylerPaper.com covered the news conference, and the video is available on this page.
One hundred nineteen women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013. 114 women were killed in 2012. 102 women were killed in 2011.
Ten women were killed in 13 east Texas counties. Three women were killed in the six county area that the Women's Center of East Texas serves which includes: Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Upshur, Rusk and Panola Counties.
In addition, if you look at the numbers for the last 12 months, which includes not only 2013, but deaths so far in 2014, nine women have been murdered in Gregg and the surrounding counties representing a two-thirds increase in domestic violence murders.
Rhonda Yocum, the mother of Cheyenne Green who was murdered in a parking lot during an east Texas football game and Hank Hunt, the father of Kari Dunn who was murdered in a Marshall hotel joined Shannon Trest, Executive Director, Women's Center of East Texas, Gregg County Judge Bill Stout and Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Longview today to discuss the tragic murders of their family members and to discuss ways future domestic violence deaths may be prevented.
Seven other women were killed in other east Texas counties including: Angelina, Bowie, Smith, Van Zandt, Wood, Hopkins and Texarkana.
"The Women's Center of East Texas works year round with individuals and families who have been subjected to violence in their own homes. Our efforts to provide immediate shelter and long-term advocacy and support are supported by our colleagues in the judicial system and law enforcement. The support of the community and the launch of a new fatality review team will be a critical component of our mission to prevent and reduce domestic violence and sexual assault," said Shannon Trest, Executive Director of the Women's Center of East Texas.
Trest announced the formation of a Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team that will examine domestic violence homicides for clues to preventing future deaths. The team is comprised of the women's center, Gregg County Sheriff's Department, the Longview police, the Department of Public Safety, District Attorney Carl Dorrough's office and Good Shepherd Medical Center.
"Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and predictable," said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. "Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities recognizes all Texas family violence victims lost in this tragic crime. We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships."
The report released by the Texas Council on Family Violence and compiled from data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas law enforcement agencies and media reports list names of the victims and gives brief accounts of their deaths. Harris County has stood alone as the county in Texas with the most women killed for many years, but this year Dallas County and Harris County are tied with the highest numbers of domestic violence murders of any county in Texas at 20 domestic violence homicides in each county. In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members. This includes 5 minor children; 5 other children were severely injured as a result of the attacks.
The perpetrators killed 12 adults and 6 adults were severely injured during the attacks. The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013. 55 children witnessed their mother's die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
Some key statistics include:
• Three women were killed in the six county area that the Women's Center of East Texas serves which includes: Greg, Harrison, Marion, Upshur, Rusk and Panola Counties.
• 10 women were killed in 13 east Texas counties.
• Harris County & Dallas County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county
• 76% of the women were killed at home
• 58% were shot
• 22% were stabbed
• 6% were strangled
• 21 women had taken steps to leave
• 17 bystanders or witnesses killed
• 11 bystanders or witnesses killed
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the Women's Center of East Texas at call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.