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Number of domestic violence victims on the rise in Texas

This summer, family crisis centers in Texas have seen a dramatic increase in the number of domestic violence victims seeking shelter and assistance. While it is not entirely clear what has caused the rise in domestic violence victims this summer, a combination of factors including the unemployment rate, the tough economy and the weather likely have contributed to the increase.

Family crisis centers in Central Texas are seeing the maximum capacity of their facilities being exceeded this summer as a numbered increase of domestic violence victims seek assistance. Even though the number of domestic violence victims who are seeking shelter this summer has increased, the number of reported domestic violence cases has not increased. However, the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault generally find it difficult to come forward because it is a painful experience and some victims may not want to implicate their aggressor.

The family crisis center in Killeen, Texas has 80 beds and last month the average number of people the center housed each night was 95. The center resorted to using cots and sofas to accommodate those in need. The rise in the number of domestic violence victims seeking shelter is the largest family crisis centers in the state have seen over the last 10 years. A police sergeant for the city of Waco believes the rise in the number of victims is the result of a mixture of factors like the economy and recent temperatures.

Families who seek assistance from centers generally reside at the shelters for up to one month. People who stay at the centers are given free food, housing and counseling. The majority of the time family crisis centers are able to provide enough support to help individuals and families progress to the next step.

Source: kxxv.com, "Domestic violence victims flock to overcrowded shelters," Stephanie Jacksis, Aug. 16, 2011

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