Community gathers in support of domestic violence awareness
“It takes everybody in the community to end the violence,” said Frances Wilson, president/CEO of the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, on the importance of combating domestic violence.
The shelter hosted its third annual Safe Families Festival at Del Mar College’s East Campus on Oct.1 to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
One in three women and one in four men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. A Women’s Shelter of South Texas 2015 report also showed that the facility provided domestic violence services to 2,830 adults and children living in its 12-county service area.
The event included informational booths featuring area resources and programs families can use, along with live entertainment, children’s activities, arts and crafts and food trucks.
“It is just so important to get people out to see all the resources out there, but also having a good time,” Wilson said. “We all play a part in ending the violence in the community.”
Domestic Violence Awareness Month aims to bring to light an issue that affects the community in a staggering way. Corpus Christi is no stranger to domestic violence. Half the city’s homicides in 2014 were at the hands of a loved one or family member, according to a report in the Corpus Christi Caller Times. One in three women and one in four men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. A Women’s Shelter of South Texas 2015 report also showed that the facility provided domestic violence services to 2,830 adults and children living in its 12-county service area.
“I was a victim of domestic violence a long time ago and I absolutely support this event,” said Jordan Delossantos. “It’s important to know that there are these places you can go to in times of need because every little bit helps instead of keeping silent.”
The event hosted vendors including the Corpus Christi Police Department, P.A.L.S., Nueces County District Attorney’s Office, Wells Fargo, Texas State Aquarium, Del Mar College’s SGA and more. Chicas Rock made a guest appearance and Mayor Nelda Martinez made a pledge to end domestic violence.
“I want to say the problem is going away but the awareness is huge,” Wilson said. “We can’t keep pretending that it happens to certain families or those people in that neighborhood but that it can happen anywhere. We are recognizing that there is a problem but that we as a community are the solution.”