Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone. Updated October 7, One in five high school students in Bexar County will report being abused by someone they are romantically involved with, according to domestic violence experts. Bexar County is the second highest Texas county, after Harris County which includes Houston, for reported cases of adult domestic violence, according to another TCVF report.
Texas ranks number two in the nation for call volume to the hotline and San Antonio ranks number four in the state behind Houston, Dallas, and Austin. The digital world, namely smartphones and social media, has changed the face of abuse. But those controlling behaviors can escalate and eventually lead to complete isolation of the victim from family and friends. Some of the worst cases have even ended in death. This is true for both adults and teenagers. Victims and perpetrators often subconsciously imitate the behaviors of family members on either side of an abusive relationship.
Freda Thompson is one of them. Her ex-husband began controlling her everyday interactions and then escalated to physical abuse if she resisted. She went to the shelter about two months ago and found specialized care, a place to stay, food to eat, and a community of supporters who are helping her get back on her feet after her traumatic experience, she said.
They should know that they can seek help. Community Resources for Victims Family Violence Prevention Services FVPS is just one of several local advocacy organizations that provide invaluable support for domestic abuse victims, and they never turn anyone away. FVPS even offers healing programs and classes for perpetrators, too. City officials believe violence is a public health concern, though more often treated as a crime and safety issue.
The new teen dating and youth violence grant would put a special emphasis on the StandUpSA gun prevention and youth violence initiative, but would fund other programs that address the risk factors of teen dating violence as well.
Addressing Dating Violence in Schools Abuse at any level has a ripple-effect throughout the lives of the victim and the aggressor. Lawmakers have attempted to combat dating violence across the country. Northside Independent School District is the biggest school district in the city with public schools including five specialized magnet high schools. When teachers, counselors, coaches, or administrators learn of an abusive situation in NISD, they immediately contact the parents or guardians of the perpetrator and the victim to assess next steps which could include separation of the students or individual counseling sessions, said NISD Director of Guidance Counseling Kimberley Ridgeley.
For more serious cases, they have the option to get the San Antonio Police Department involved. Beyond that, voluntary counseling is made available to the students at the school.
Fictional reenactment photo by Scott Ball. These counselors provide group and one-on-one counseling for a variety of issues, including teen dating violence. Adults can show young people how to react respectfully and calmly to those around them. Sometimes that can make all the difference. For more information and stats on domestic and dating abuse in Texas, click here.