Tuesday, June 29, 2004

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Attorney General Abbott, Texas Council On Family Violence Urge Loved Ones To Join Fight Against Domestic Violence

DALLAS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today urged Texans to take a more active role in combating domestic violence, especially when the victim is a loved one. Attorney General Abbott joined the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) to educate friends and family of domestic violence victims about the vital part they can play in referring loved ones to the National Domestic Violence Hotline and to local safety and shelter assistance services.

“Many victims of domestic violence suffer silently each day, alone and afraid,” said Attorney General Abbott. “We want all Texans to help break this silence by recognizing the signs of abuse and taking an active role to help a loved one in need. Together, we will build a Texas where domestic violence is not tolerated.”

One hundred forty women were killed during acts of family violence in Texas last year, or more than two per week, according to figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety and TCFV. A Texas domestic violence study by the Office of the Attorney General and TCFV found that 35 percent of Texans who directly identified themselves or a family member as a victim of domestic violence said they did nothing about the abuse. “Break the Silence – Make the Call”, a bilingual public awareness campaign, aims to turn the situation around by getting more friends and family members actively involved. They can help domestic violence victims by urging them to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233), and by pointing them to local domestic violence services.

Friends and family members help victims such as Brenda of Dallas. Brenda, who requested that her last name not be used, was often physically and verbally abused by her husband during their 25-year marriage, once being threatened at gunpoint. Finally, with the encouragement of her youngest son, she decided to find a way out. Brenda called the Hotline, and with the help of a co-worker and her employer, she found assistance at The Family Place in Dallas, a women’s shelter. Brenda’s employer further helped by providing her with a secure offsite workspace.

“Break the Silence – Make the Call” began in 2002 with a 16-month public awareness campaign, financed in part by a $2 million grant from the Office of the Attorney General. The grant also funded research on domestic violence trends and attitudes in Texas. The campaign launched today is the second phase of “Break the Silence – Make the Call.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides information about available programs and services, as well as advice on how to approach a friend privately about options.

View domestic violence study by the Attorney General & the Texas Council on Family Violence