HARLINGEN — Reading from their prepared lines, two TSTC students reenact a typical violent scene.
“Why are you home so late?” the man representing a romantic partner asks his female partner. After both of them argued fictitiously, he tries to choke her.
According to District Attorney Luis V. Saenz, these types of scenarios are likely to occur every day and night in Cameron County, which is why domestic violence awareness events are held.
“In the month of October we do these almost every day. We started in Port Isabel, went to San Benito, and covered about four of the high schools in Brownsville,” Saenz said.
“We have been doing this for five years, recognizing that domestic violence is a very serious problem, almost epidemic. By the time we show up as prosecutors, the damage has been done,” he said.
The event at TSTC yesterday included informational booths from organizations such as Family Crisis Center in Harlingen and Friendship of Women in Brownsville.
A presentation by Assistant District Attorney Edward A. Sandoval explained statistics, explained both emotional and physical abuse signs, as well as showed visual examples of what to look out for.
The District Attorney’s office also had as guests the Harlingen Police Department, and Police Chief Michael Kester informed attendees they can always reach out to them for help.
Patty Flores, Support Services Coordinator, prepared yesterday’s event to raise awareness on the subject.
“We do this every year because we want our students to know there is help outside of school. If they are victims or bystanders, we want to make sure they have the resources available to them,” Flores said.
What you should know
– On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
– Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).
– Women ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.
Numbers to call:
(956) 544-7412 Friendship of Women in Brownsville
(956) 423-9304 Family Crisis Center