POSTED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 5:09pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 5:10pm
Longview, TX (Longview News-Journal) — The number of domestic violence victims helped by the Women’s Center of East Texas nearly doubled in the past year, even as the number of calls to Longview police for such cases remained unchanged. It’s an indication, authorities said, that victims of abuse — especially men — are becoming more comfortable seeking help.
While the number of victims in all categories increased 40 percent from 2011 to 2012, the number of men aided by the center doubled.
“More men tend to come forward than used to,” said Shannon Trest, the center’s executive director. “It’s just a sign of the times. Men are not ashamed or embarrassed to come to the women’s center.”
The Women’s Center of East Texas, the area’s oldest and largest such facility, serves victims from Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Rusk and Upshur counties, and even some from other counties and states.
In 2011, the center housed 55 adults and 59 children and served 442 non-residential victims, including 33 men. In 2012, the number jumped to 93 adults and 92 children, while the center served 732 non-residential victims. Sixty-three victims were men.
Longview Police Sgt. David Scott said the numbers reflected the increase in community resources to help victims of domestic abuse.
“More options are available today than, say, a decade ago,” he said. “Instead of just calling the police, you have the women’s center, the DA’s office, child advocacy centers, Hope’s Closet, and many other agencies that can help people get out of these situations.”
To read more visit KETK newspaper partner the Longview News-Journal. Included in the article are resources, phone numbers, and websites about domestic violence.