SAN ANTONIO – To many people, a front door camera may seem like just any other electronic, but for domestic violence survivors who are still living in constant danger, the device could be lifesaving.
Over the last three months, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office deputies have installed free Ring security cameras for nine domestic violence survivors.
One survivor said the device will not only give her peace of mind but also an ability to strengthen a legal case against her abuser.
“Just to hear a knock at the door is uneasy sometimes,” said the survivor, whom KSAT is not naming for her safety.
The survivor said she heard BCSO was installing free Ring cameras for abuse and stalking survivors, so she reached out to Rosalinda Hibron-Pineda, who is with Bexar County Victim Services.
“It's an app that you actually download to the phone. (Survivors) can share it with their children. They can share it with their family members. Other people can see that somebody else came to their house,” Hibron-Pineda said about the security system. “Stalking victims, especially — maybe (a stalker is) not actually coming to the house, but they're driving by to see if (the victim is) home so they can look for them or follow them around. The Ring system is huge.”
Advocates say this type of system not only provides peace of mind but also deters perpetrators.
Marta Pelaez, with Family Violence Prevention Services, offered the following statement:
“This is a wonderful idea. Any abuser and victim should remember that when there is a protective order in place, ringing the doorbell is a violation and the victim should report it. The abuser can be arrested."
“This thing right here is going to give me some liberty again,” the survivor said, referring to the security system. “I'm not going to have that sense of uncertainty.”
The survivor said she would never have been able to afford the system and feels grateful for the free installation and training, and she even received a home security assessment.
BCSO has a limited supply of the Ring cameras, which is why the agency is vetting requests and only giving systems to those who can’t afford it and are in immediate danger.
Anyone who believes the fit the requirements is asked to call Bexar County Victims Services at 210-335-6070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.