SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — On the morning of Thursday, Oct. 5, San Angelo’s Family Shelter held a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The ceremony honors the lives lost to domestic violence in Texas and the Concho Valley. non-resident case manager Rebecca Alexander says that the wreath of hope resonates with some survivors.

“In the state of Texas, we lost 216 in 2022, and then in the Concho Valley, we lost four. Again, that was in 2022. So far, this year alone, we’ve lost one,” Alexander said. 

Alexander said prevention starts with awareness and learning about the various signs, like constant messaging, name-calling and isolation.

“People don’t understand how much physical violence plays a part,” Alexander said. “It doesn’t have to be body contact upon body contact. If an individual throws something at you or stands in the doorway, that’s actually considered physical abuse because they’re using their body in order to cause fear and terror and have power and control over that individual.”

Alexander says the San Angelo Family Shelter’s services are free and confidential. Services include counseling, safety planning and housing assistance. She also shared some prevention recommendations for the public:

“In 2022 we also lost 28 individuals who were friends, family or just happened to be there when the victim lost their life, and so it’s important for family and friends who support these individuals — including employers — to receive services before and after and that they’re educated on how to prevent it and how to respond,” Alexander said.

If you would like to learn more about support services, you can contact the Family Shelter.

A candlelight vigil will be held at the Family Shelter on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at 79 Gillis St.