Domestic Violence

The Austin skyline during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin has enacted a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19 — but home isn’t a safe space for everyone.

The SAFE Alliance, which aids survivors of domestic violence or abuse, has seen a significant increase in calls to its help hotline amid the coronavirus pandemic, said SAFE’s co-CEO Kelly White in a conversation with Austin Mayor Steve Adler streamed on Facebook on Tuesday night. 

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Many Americans are working and recreating at home during the coronavirus pandemic. But not everyone can easily shelter in place because of work or family obligations. Others choose to ignore stay-at-home orders altogether. That poses a challenge for law enforcement officers who are responsible for enforcing the state and local public health provisions.

Published with permission by Sopitas

From Texas Standard:

On Sunday, thousands of women protested in the streets of Mexico City, demanding a stop to the growing problem of femicide in Mexico. Femicide – the killing of a woman because of her gender – is also a hate crime. According to some estimates, the demonstration on Sunday, which coincided with International Women's Day, was one of the largest of its kind in Mexico's history.

Matthew C. Wright/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The recent death of a Houston police officer reignited an aspect of the gun control debate that intersects with domestic violence.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo
Austin Price / The Texas Tribune

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo called out prominent Texas Republicans on Monday for opposing gun restriction legislation to close the so-called "boyfriend loophole" after one of his officers was killed over the weekend responding to a domestic violence call.

'Coerced Debt' Often Follows Domestic Violence Survivors

Jan 18, 2019
Photo via Flickr/smemon (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Once survivors of domestic abuse are in a safe place, and looking to start building their future, they can face another roadblock: debt. Abusers can use debt to hurt or trap a potential victim. And for many, credit cards and loans taken out under two names, but never paid back, can cripple a survivor financially. It's called "coerced debt." The person who coined the term is Angela Littwin, a law professor at the University of Texas specializing in bankruptcy and consumer protection.

Caleb Zahnd

The body of a 3-year-old girl found in a culvert in a Dallas suburb over the weekend has been identified. Sherin Mathews had been missing since Oct. 7. The girl’s father – now in police custody – originally said she had gone missing after he left her in an alley outside his home early one morning, as punishment for not drinking her milk.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Immigration officials arrested an El Paso woman who alleged she was a victim of domestic abuse, according to multiple reports.

And the tip that got her arrested may have come from her alleged abuser, according to the El Paso Times.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Legendary Gospel, Pop, and R&B recording artist Candi Staton.

flickr.com/tudor

The holidays are a time for gift-giving and celebration but, for some, it's also a time of increased family and financial pressure. Some mental health health professionals say this pressure can lead to a spike in domestic violence. 

In Texas, domestic violence victims who find the courage to leave an abusive situation can now have their pets included in protective orders.

Patt Nordyke of the Texas Federation of Animal Care Societies fought for eight years to pass the law in the Texas legislature.

In Austin, Biden Announces Funding for Domestic Abuse Hotline

Oct 30, 2013
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Vice President Joe Biden visited Austin today to announce that the underfunded 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline will be getting more dollars.

He helped create the hotline when the Violence Against Women Act that he sponsored in Congress was passed in 1994. 

Since 1996, "in most cases, the voice a woman in distress hears is yours -- the folks here in Austin, Texas," he told a small, packed room of activists, stakeholders and staff. "They're prisoners in plain sight. And the only voice so many of them hear is the people at the other end of the line here."

http://www.flickr.com/photos/publik16/3116450658/

Guns were used in nearly a quarter of violent crimes and disorderly conduct cases in Austin from 2010 to 2012, according to an analysis by Austin police. 

Crimes most likely to involve the use of a gun were murders and robberies. About 40 percent of murders and 38 percent of robberies involved firearms. More than 17 percent of aggravated assault cases involved the use of guns. Firearms were used in almost three percent of the 675 rape cases reported from 2010 to 2012. 

Flickr/Camilla Nilsson http://www.flickr.com/photos/49365126@N07/5489383908/

Victims of spousal abuse in Austin have a new option if their children are to receive supervised visits with the other parent. Travis County has opened PlanetSafe at 11th and Nueces, a supervised visitation and safe exchange center.  Its grand opening is today. 

The facility is operated by the local non-profit Safe Place, and was established with the help of $600,000 in federal grants from the Office of Violence Against Women. Travis County supplied the use of the building for a nominal rent and is paying for staffing. 

Lawmaker Pushes for More Funds to Address Domestic Violence

Mar 20, 2013
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) wants to restore some state funding of domestic violence-related services.

Last legislative session, lawmakers cut funding for Batterer Intervention and Prevention Programs or "BIPP" in half. It went from $2.5 million to $1.25 million.

General funding for main domestic violence services like shelters is at about $51 million.