Archive for October, 2012

Published by kstonebock on 29 Oct 2012

Honoring Texas Victims: 102 Women Killed in Texas

Contact: Angela Hale

New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month is Dedicated to Four Children in the Houston Area Murdered by Their Father

Austin, Texas – October 29, 2012 - The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas.  The latest statistics show in 2011, there were 102 women killed by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.

The report released by the Texas Council on Family Violence and compiled from data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas law enforcement agencies, Executive Directors of individual shelters and media reports lists names of the victims and gives brief accounts of their deaths.

The ages of the victims’ range in age from 16 to 78 years old.  Five women under the age of 20 were murdered.  There was one sixteen year old, two eighteen year olds and two nineteen year olds.  The report reflects that 63% of the women killed were under the age of 40.  However the four eldest victims were 70, 71, 74 and 78 years of age.

Five counties with large urban cities had the highest number of women killed by their intimate partner.  Harris County, which includes Houston, experienced the highest number of deaths (23), followed by Tarrant County (9), which includes Fort Worth and Arlington, Dallas County (8), which includes the city of Dallas, Travis County (6) that includes Austin and Bexar County (6), which includes San Antonio.  The report provides an analysis comparing a domestic violence death in a rural community to an urban one.

There were 40 family violence murder-suicides, 39% of the total fatalities in the report.  Research shows that most murder-suicides result from family violence.  In a national study, 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner.

One particularly tragic case occurred on Christmas Day in Grapevine in Tarrant County.  55-year-old Fatemeh Rahmati was shot and killed by her husband 56 year old Azizolah Yazdanpanah.  He killed five other people including their daughter and son before killing himself.

“The analysis of the 2011deaths identified an alarming pattern,“ said Gloria A. Terry, President of The Texas Council on Family Violence.  “While we are encouraged that we have seen a decrease in the number of women killed from 2010, we identified an increase in familicide – a deliberate killing of a current or former intimate partner and one or more of their children followed by suicide of the perpetrator.  This is an annihilation of the nuclear family.  In several other cases, the batterer killed not only his wife, girlfriend or ex-partner, but took the lives of other family members, friends and innocent bystanders.“

Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities is dedicated to Sean, Daniel, Miguel and baby Cecilia, four children in the Houston area who were murdered by their father in a multiple domestic violence murder-suicide.  Jose Avila shot his wife Laura Gonzalez three times, opened fire on their children and then killed himself.  The small community of Bay City still mourns this tragedy.  Thankfully, Laura survived the near fatal attack.

Terry added, “The senseless act of violence stole the innocence of four young children and the young people who witnessed the incident.  The deaths of these children challenge our collective strength, bolstering our determination to create a safer Texas and underscores the importance of continuing our support at the Texas legislature to support victims across the state of Texas.   Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities recognizes these children and all Texas family violence victims lost in this tragic crime.”

The report serves multiple purposes.  First and foremost, it pays tribute to Texas victims by memorializing their story with a brief account of the crime.  Secondly, this report focuses on key distinguishing characteristics of these most serious family

violence cases.  By examining the circumstances leading up to the deaths and identifying common characteristics, we can influence community and policy decisions, inform response to domestic violence, and strengthen services to Texas families.

The report strengthens our collective communities’ resolve to end violence against women and girls and work earnestly to save lives.  We encourage the media to contact their local shelter or domestic violence program to localize this report in your community.

Link to the full report:



Published by kstonebock on 02 Oct 2012

Get Involved During October- Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995,

223-Thousand Texans called a Hotline and 80-Thousand Texans Used Domestic Violence Services Because They Did Not Feel Safe in Their Home

Austin, Texas- October 2, 2012 – The Texas Council on Family Violence today reports that many shelters across Texas have been over capacity in the last year because of an increased demand for victims of domestic violence seeking services. In the last year, more than 223,000 Texans called domestic violence hotlines and domestic violence programs served more than 80,000 adults and children because they did not feel safe in their home. A recent survey of shelters also reported that there is less money coming in to help victims of domestic violence and more of a demand for their services.

Courtney Sanchez, a domestic violence survivor from Austin says, “After having to make this decision to leave, survivors are often greeted by the frightening realization that the shelter from which they are seeking refuge is full and cannot take them and their children in because there are no vacancies at which time they are placed on a waiting list.”

To raise awareness during the month of October, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) will be participating in a series of events to raise awareness about domestic violence and will hold a forum with agencies and organizations of Tarrant County Council on Family Violence on the Texas Christian University campus on October 2nd. TCFV President, Gloria A. Terry, will open the evening and Mary Lee Hafley, SafeHaven CEO, will close the evening. The Safe City Commission will also have artwork on display done by local middle and high school students.

TCFV is also encouraging Texans to get involved and wear purple this month to support victims of domestic violence. “Budgets are tight and services for victims of domestic violence are in high demand. We are asking Texans to support funding for victims of domestic violence and to “Go Purple” on October 15th and show their support. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the month provides an opportunity for us to raise awareness about domestic violence across Texas,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.

Attached is a list of some of the events across Texas:

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The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.