136 Texas women murdered by intimate partners in 2017, Texas Council on Family Violence says

Vigil in Schertz honors victims; speakers send message of support to survivors

SCHERTZ, Texas – Last year, 136 women in Texas were killed by intimate partners. Bexar County was the second highest on the list with 18 murders, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence in its annual Honoring Victims Report.

Across the state Tuesday, vigils were held to honor the 136 women killed.

At a Schertz memorial, people read the names of murdered women they likely never knew. Still, survivor Cathy Marston felt connected to them.

"These events create community for all the survivors. It gives a safe space to talk in. We didn't have any education like that," Marston said.

Marston's first abusive relationship was in high school, but it was the second, many years later, that almost took her life.

"There was a 90-minute beating, where he smothered me by shoving my face into the sofa. I thought I was dead there. Everything was going gray, and then he put me in a stranglehold. I bit his arm and he loosened up. I was able to throw my head back into his nose," she said.

Marston was the keynote speaker at the Schertz vigil and had a powerful message.

"I was a published, feminist, doctoral educated media researcher before I moved in with him, and this still happened to me," she said.

Abuse can happen to anyone.

"I wanted women to not feel stupid or ashamed like I did, but I wanted to talk about that shame and how I didn't report either one of them to the police," Marston said.

She begged victims to report abuse quickly, to create a case and have an exit plan.

"Is there something that's standing in the way of your reporting? Are you financially dependent and you feel like if you report it, the rug will be pulled out from under you?" she asked.

Marston said all those worries can be covered by local organizations catering to domestic violence survivors. She reiterated that the priority is survival.

Immediate help is available at the Battered Women's Shelter emergency hotline by calling 210-733-8810.

There is also a full list of domestic violence resources at www.ksat.com/domesticviolence.

About the Author: