HOUSTON – Five people died of alleged domestic violence over the weekend in Houston. Now investigators say it’s a pattern that only seems to be getting worse.
“A microcosm of what’s to come, and that’s the harsh, stark reality,” said Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers of Houston. “It won’t go under.”
Factors contributing to an increase in domestic violence include the pandemic and “a revolving door in the courthouse,” Kahan said, and the disappearance of unemployment benefits.
According to Crime Stoppers of Houston, domestic violence crime in Harris County has risen 40% since the pandemic began, including 17 people killed by someone who has committed multiple capital crimes.
“You just got a perfect storm,” said Kahan. “The numbers are overwhelming.”
In addition to the most serious murder cases, including Layla Steele, who was killed in July by a man who police said was on the street for seven capital crimes and had a warrant against him, attempted murders and other crimes are ongoing.
Domestic violence is defined by Crime Stoppers as “the deliberate intimidation, physical assault, brawling, sexual assault and / or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control exercised by one intimate partner against another. This includes physical violence, sexual violence and emotional abuse. “
“We have organizations that work around the clock for victims of domestic violence,” said Kahan. “We need you to reach us, there is help, there is trained specialists. Contact the victim services of your local law enforcement agency. ”
You can also contact the Houston Area Women’s Center, the Aid to Victim’s of Domestic Violence (AVDA), the Houston City Family Resource Center, and many others: https://housingandcommunityresources.net/emergency-assistance/domestic-abuse/
You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.
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