Advocates concerned about high rate of domestic violence in San Antonio

Local groups gather for the state of domestic violence and share findings on issue

SAN ANTONIO – Advocates say San Antonio’s domestic violence rate is at epidemic levels. Local organizations are tackling this issue and shared details about what’s happening in our community and what their strategy is to save lives during Friday’s State of Domestic Violence event.

Family Violence Prevention Services shared statistics about domestic violence and said in Bexar County, one in three women will be affected by domestic violence.

Martha Pelaez, CEO and president of Family Violence Prevention Services, said there are many resources they offer and they can’t address this issue alone.

“We need the entire community engaged and making sure that they know what the signs are, that they know what a safety plan is and that they know where to go,” Pelaez said.

The organization said two-thirds of the victims of domestic violence are children.

“Three children per mother. If those three children that do not come to us are not properly intervened and continue to live in abusive situations, in an abusive home, these three children represent the exponential growth of domestic violence,” Pelaez said.

In 2019, 150 women in Texas were killed by a domestic partner, leaving close to 750 children orphaned.

Elizabeth Rejino remembers what her life was like when she was in a domestic violence relationship.

“Everything that you can think of when it comes to domestic violence, I endured,” Rejino said.

Rejino said it was difficult to escape but she eventually did.

She said the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter saved her life.

“They saved my life because my abuser was still on the run for four months and looking for me, and they gave me a safe haven,” Rejino said.

In 2019, the shelter served 1,519 survivors.

Pelaez said next week the state will be releasing the latest domestic violence statistics that includes information on San Antonio and Bexar County.

To contact the Family Violence Prevention Services, the crisis hotline is 210-733-8810.

More on KSAT:

KSAT to host a domestic violence awareness town hall on Oct. 6

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.