Family Shelter: Domestic and family violence still an ongoing problem in the community

News

SAN ANGELO, Texas – October was officially designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the 1980s. The issue continues to be a problem for communities of all sizes.

“One out of five women are abused and one out of nine men are abused. There were approximately 185 adults, children, and men killed in the state of Texas last year because of domestic violence,” Valerie Tillery, Policy and Legal Director at the Family Shelter, said.

“Domestic violence continues to be our highest call for service in San Angelo and Tom Green County alike. We have a serious problem,” Tracy Piatt-Fox, Public Information Officer for the San Angelo Police Department said.

“The physical violence is very prevalent here whether that’s physical assault or sexual assault,” Tillery said.

Domestic abuse and family violence includes elder abuse and dating violence, those who are under 18, and in abusive relationships. Despite the current COVID circumstance challenges, the Family Shelter has continued to provide services for those who need it most.

“Last year we had 483 adults and children residentially, and approximately 200 non-residentially, where they could receive services and classes and support services,” Tillery said.

Valerie Tillery has been working at the family shelter for nearly 15 years. First, for a period of time in the 1990s, and then after a break, came back to the Family Shelter staff in the 2000s. She has seen some changes to policies during that time.

“Back in the 90s there weren’t many laws having to do with family violence. In 1994 it became a law against those who rape their wife. That only came about in 1994. Since then there’s been several laws on the books that will help victims of domestic violence. It also helps the law enforcement agencies trying to assist those crime victims who need assistance. It’s no longer a personal problem or their own business, it’s a crime against the state of Texas,” Tillery said.

But Tillery emphasises it takes all of us standing together to combat this problem.

“They need to take a proactive stance on this and don’t tolerate the abuse of women and children and even men,” Tillery said.

Some signs you can look for include the following — “People that are constantly trying to cover their bodies, maybe cover bruises. If they’re not allowed to go out of the house and run particular errands, if they are constantly saying no to invitations to just going out or participating in activities or extended family activities. Signs of being controlled,” Piatt-Fox explained.

People who need the services of the Family Shelter do not have to live in San Angelo.

“The family shelter offers residential and nonresidential services here, whether they need counseling or legal advocacy or just general victim advocacy, you don’t have to be living here to receive the services,” Tillery said.

For more on their services, watch the video below.

You can contact the Family Shelter at (325) 655-5774 or go to their website, www.familysheltersa.org.

You can also follow them on Facebook.



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