BELL COUNTY – Aware Central Texas works with victims of abuse and violence in central Texas. Their Family Violence Unit, which started in 2012, works directly with abuse victims to help them out of their situation.
The Family Violence Hotline number is 254 813 0968.
While the Family Violence Unit is always busy, they see a significant spike in the summer, and during the holiday season.
“We see about a fifty percent spike,” FVU Director Ednalyn De Dios said. “It has been going on for at least three years now. We know there is definitely a pattern and we prepare for it.”
De Dios said the pressure of family expectations in the holiday season, pressure to provide presents or spend money even when things are tight, can make already struggling relationships turn abusive or violent.
De Dios also said there are different types of abuse and it does not have to be physical. Some abuse can be via manipulation. It can also be verbal.
Those stuck in an abusive situation have several options to get out, however.
According to AWARE, there are more than seven shelters in the area where those fleeing violence can go. De Dios said there are programs such as Crime Victims Compensation which pay for three months rent for the victim to relocate.
The victim may also protect themselves through a protective order, which will require the abusive individual to stay away from them. To do this, the victim has to file an application with the local district clerks office. The Family Violence Unit can help with that process.
Abuse does not always have to end in separation however. The Family Violence Unit can also refer families to domestic violence classes where they can work to form healthier relationships.
If you or someone you know needs help from the Family Violence Unit, contact them at the number at the top of the article.