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Nine deaths since 2003
By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
LOCKNEY — On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. The National Statistics for Domestic Violence reports that for one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
There have been three deaths resulting from domestic violence in Hale County since 2003 and nine total from the area served by the Crisis Center of the Plains.
According to the statistics by the Texas Council on Family Violence, 150 women were killed in Texas by their male intimate partners in 2019 and the youngest of these victims was just 15 years old. In domestic violence situations, the focus is usually placed on women being the victims but this report also showed there were 31 men killed by female partners in 2019 with the youngest male victim being a 17-year-old male. Same sex relationship can also be affected. The very same report also reported that one woman and three men were killed by their same sex partner, the council’s website stated.
Domestic violence occurs when a person consistently aims to control their partner through physical, sexual or emotional abuse, the council said. The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner.”
Domestic violence can be physical or psychological and it can affect anyone of any age, gender, race or sexual orientation. It may include behaviors meant to scare, physically harm, or control a partner. While every relationship is different, domestic violence typically involves an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to assert control over the other in a variety of ways, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence.
Insults, threats, emotional abuse and sexual coercion all constitute domestic violence. Perpetrators may use children, pets or other family members as emotional leverage to get their victim to do what they want. Victims of domestic violence experience diminished self-worth, anxiety, depression and a general sense of helplessness that can take time and often professional help to overcome, according to the council’s website.
Not every victim reports their situation to authorities, nor do they seek any kind of help, according to the domestic violence website. And just 25 percent of all domestic physical abuse assaults get reported and 20 percent of the rape victims report it, the site said.
Victims usually prefer to avoid any kind of unwanted negative attention. This is the main reasons behind underreporting, the council said.
If the violence alone was not enough, victims of domestic violence are prone to HIV or STDs, some suffer severe effects on their mental health which can lead to severe depression and even suicide, according to the site.
In honor of the nine area victims, Lockney FFA ag students made nine life-size silhouettes to represent the women who lost their lives in the counties that the Crisis Center of the Plains services.
“The counties include Hale, Floyd, Lamb, Castro, Swisher, Briscoe and Hall Counties. The Crisis Center operates a 24-hour hotline, 1-800-293-7273,” said Crisis Center advocate Brandy Heavs.
The students involved in this project were mostly upper-class Lockney FFA ag students. The students are Anson Rendon, Audrey Rexrode, Jose Sanchez, Valeria Tijerina, Noah Henderson, Maliki Alvis, Thalia Ascencio, Andrew Bustillos, Johnathan Cienfuegos, Shi Cochran, Kalebh Cook, Annalicia Hernandez, Jose Martinez, Cameron Poole, Damion Gonzales, Miguel Lara, Ashton Urrutia, Justus Abbott, Jordyn Varner, Nathan Ceniceros, Josh Jimenez, Josh Cienfuegos, Jadin Lara, Madison Johnson, Derek Luna and Austin Rodriquez.
“All these students worked so hard until COVID put an end to it. Even though my students were unable to finish this project, they worked hard,” Perryman said. “I know this project touched each and every one of their lives. I am proud of these students for stepping up and working so hard on this project.”
“Domestic violence is something that everybody needs to be aware of. I am so glad that my students were able to take part in this particularly important project,” Lockney Ag teacher, Darryn Perryman said.
The students at LHS also were able to read some of the plaques that were placed on the silhouettes with the narratives on how that person died. “One plaque that really stands out was of a 35-year-old mother who was shot in face as her 15-year-old daughter watched, and the ex-husband left the scene in the woman’s car. He shot and killed himself when he was stopped by police. So many lives changed that day,” said Perryman. “Domestic violence is something that everyone needs to be aware of, and the lasting effects that just keep going on.”
The Crisis Center of the Plains is a non-profit organization that offers emergency services, support services, safe housing and additional resources for people who need them. In connection with the services the Crisis Center offers, Broadway Treasures, an avenue where women and men can shop with vouchers from the crisiscenter to help in starting a new life. The Crisis Center always has a “Christmas store upstairs, where parents who are getting crisis services can shop for their children at Christmas time,” said advocate, Ms. Heavs.
“We accept new items to be placed upstairs at Broadway Treasures here at our office, which is located at 115 E. 7th Street in Plainview. We also accept monetary donations that help to buy bus tickets for our clients that may not be from this area and want to get back home. Or we buy birth certificates and drivers licenses that may have been destroyed. There’s a number of items that we use the money for,” said Heavs. “Broadway Treasures takes donations of household items, clothing for men, women and children. Furniture also is an item that they accept for our clients. These larger items like beds and living room furniture are always in needed by our clients. Really anything a person would need to start over in life.”
To make a monetary donation or donate gift cards from a grocery store or Wal Mart, those donations can be mailed to Crisis Center of the Plains, P.O. Box 326, Plainview, Texas, 79073.
“The Crisis Center of the Plains will have the nine silhouettes on display sometime in November at the Plainview Courthouse, then they will be on display in Lockney at a later date. The place and date have yet to be determined, due to COVID,” said Heavs.