LUBBOCK, Texas — Amid a national conversation on abusive relationships ignited after Gabby Petito’s story gained national attention, local advocates are pointing towards resources that can help victims of domestic violence.
According to statistics cited by Lubbock Area United Way, Lubbock’s domestic violence rate was twice the state average as of 2018. The Lubbock Police Department reports family violence was the leading cause of homicides in 2020, with 11 local residents losing their life to the crime.
Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock said they notice the problem in the high number of residents receiving their services.
“There is a lot of violence here, unfortunately,” Stephen Garcia of Women’s Protective Services said. “We don’t necessarily know why. But it is important for us to continue the struggle, to continue to provide education and safe haven for these families.”
Women’s Protective Services provides housing, counseling, and legal aid to people of all sexes struggling in abusive relationships. Their number is (806) 747-6491.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE and can connect victims with more local resources.
Open Door Survivor Housing is a local charity that provides housing and therapy services to survivors of sex trafficking, which they say can be closely related to abusive and manipulative relationships.
“Cases in the national news, a lot of the times allow us to pause and consider what’s going on at the local level,” Director of Open Door Survivor Housing, Jaime Wheeler, said. “It’s really important that, while we hear some of these cases in the news, to remember that is just barely skimming the surface of what we know of how many people experience domestic violence.”
All services are free and confidential.