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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to keep in mind the untold number of people in Texas and across the nation who suffer from abuse at the hands of a partner or family member. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime.

Many Texas residents have struggled with this issue, either directly or indirectly. One statistic puts the number of Texans who have been affected by domestic violence at 74 percent. And in 2010, 142 women were killed as a result of domestic violence. That year's Crime in Texas report stated that across Texas, police responded to 193,505 reports of domestic abuse. But even this number doesn't fully represent the scope of the problem, considering the number of incidents that go unreported every year.

Domestic abuse doesn't just happen to married couples with children. The violence can occur between people who are just dating, or who have already been divorced. It can go on for years, no matter how willing the victims of abuse are to leave the relationship. But even one act of domestic violence is more than anyone should have to endure.

If you've successfully left an abusive relationship, you know how difficult it can be to do so. But for the thousands in Texas who find themselves trapped by the harm of family violence, there is help. Not only are there organizations and 24-hour hotlines offering a safe environment for you and/or your children, but there are legal avenues to help you out of your situation. Working with a family law attorney to secure a restraining order or a family violence protective order is just one of your options. A professional who understands what you're going through can offer concrete, effective assistance in getting you to a safe place, physically and emotionally.

Source: MyFoxHouston.com, "Domestic violence calls on the rise in Houston, HWAC says," Kristin Kane, Sept. 27, 2012

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