Domestic violence remains on the rise

Published 8:29 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh


Orange Police responded to three cases of domestic violence in a 24 hour period.

In one case, a woman was found unresponsive at 2 East Sunset after being beaten by her long time boyfriend, Jerry Williams, 28, of Orange.

Williams was served with a murder warrant after Stormy Stanley, 28, was pronounced deceased on Wednesday.

A second case, on Tuesday, a woman reported a family member hit her in the head after a verbal disagreement. As she was fleeing, the person threw a knife at her. The case remains under investigation.

A third case, a couple traveling from Houston to Florida stopped at a convenience store on Farm to Market Road 1442. The woman was hiding in the bathroom as the man fled to the top of the embankment of the underpass of the Interstate nearby. The man had become upset with the woman and started hitting her and tried to prevent her from leaving the vehicle. According to a police report, he told her he was going to kill her and she would never get to Florida. The man had a history of domestic violence and physically abusing her in the past according to what the woman told officers at the scene.

She was transported to the hospital for treatment. He was charged with assault family violence, terroristic threats, and unlawful restraint.

In 2016, 146 women in the state of Texas were killed by a male intimate partner in 55 counties. The victim is not the only one affected by such deaths as those women, those also impacted were 24 family members and friends, and 183 children lost a parent.

While Harris c County had the most deaths with 28, one woman was killed in Orange County in 2016.

At least 40-percent of the women killed in 2016 had attempted to end or in the process of leaving the relationship when the deaths occurred.

Family Services of Southeast Texas takes the stance that domestic violence is a learned behavior.

“They don’t have the tools to know a healthy relationship,” Family Services of Southeast Texas Community Relations Director Angie Kannada said. “Abuse is about controlling another person. They need to know a person is not an object.”

Family Services of Southeast Texas has a Battering Intervention and Prevention program which focuses on educating the batterer on the nature of family violence, changing beliefs and attitudes that lead to violence.

“The program is successful,” Kannada said.

The organization also has a shelter for women in need of such services. While group was founded in 1931, the primary purpose at the time was for food and other resources. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s, the organization has focused on domestic violence.

“We have always about serving families,” Kannada said. “We serve Hardin, Jefferson and Orange Counties.”

In the early days, the shelter was a house but has since become a facility with the ability to house 65-75 people.

“It is an emergency shelter where the women can stay for 30-90 days,” Kannada said. “We assist in helping them find housing, having a safety plan and legal advocacy.”

A transitional unit is also available for women in need of staying longer.

However, one does not need to wait to be in a crisis situation with their significant other to reach out to Family Services of Southeast Texas.

“They can call us at the beginning stages of the abuse,” Kannada said. “The hotline is available 24 hours, seven days a week. We can help talk them through. Many people do not realize the many kinds of abuse.”

Abusers can use :

  • Coercion and threats
  • Intimidation
  • Emotional abuse
  • Isolation
  • Minimizing, denying, and blaming
  • The children
  • Male privilege, such as treating her like a servant, making all the big decisions, being the one to define male and female roles
  • Economic abuse such as preventing or keeping her from keeping a job, or making her ask for money, taking her money

“They can do what is called gaslighting,” Kannada said. “They can make her feel like she is overreacting, crazy and start questioning her own judgment all in attempt to isolate her and leave her without a support system.”

Kannada added the need for the services Family Services of Southeast Texas provides is still growing.

“It’s an issue people don’t talk about,” Kannada said.

The organization will not turn anyone who is suffering from domestic violence and do not have to be in a crisis situation to receive services.

“So many think they have to be in a crisis situation where their lives are in danger to qualify but they do not,” Kannada said.

The 24 hour hotline number is 1-800-621-8882.

For someone to speak about domestic violence, the signs and prevention, at an event, call 409-832-7575.