22 domestic violence deaths in 2018; SA record highest in the state

City has highest number of abuse related deaths in 1 year

SAN ANTONIO – It's a disturbing record. San Antonio is seeing its highest number of domestic violence deaths in one year, and it's only October.

San Antonio police have counted 22 murders so far this year. Fourteen of those murders were committed by intimate dating partners, not just family members.

The Texas Council on Family Violence confirmed that's the highest number in the state. The question is: Why is this happening?

"The generational violence. When a child grows up in a home where abuse and disrespect is the norm," said Marta Pelaez, with Family Violence Prevention Services.

Pelaez said out of many factors generational violence is the most blaring.

Research confirms the cycle of violence, meaning many of those children will become abusers themselves.

"That has to be addressed, and parents can do that. Schools can do that. All sectors can contribute," Pelaez said.

On Wednesday, Pelaez addressed the number of deaths on Texas Public Radio's "The Source." She said the conversation must begin with talking about those who have lost their lives.

"Were they sheltered? Where did they go? Where were the gaps in the case?" she said.

Pelaez always reminds the public that abuse is gradual.

"It is progressive. It never begins with someone putting a gun to your head," she said.

That's why she tries to find out if anyone saw signs of abuse and tried to intervene.

"There’s a teacher that is seeing something in the children. At work, as well, many times, the employer, those colleagues at work, they have seen something. 'She looks removed. She looks distracted. She's wearing dark glasses indoors,'" Pelaez said.

Identifying red flags and learning what to do gives everyone in the community the power to lower the devastating numbers.

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