TEMPLE, Texas – According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in nine men are abused by their partner. But there are ways out.
“Any individual that’s experiencing abuse in their home can approach the Police Department in a variety of different ways,” says Temple Police Crime Victim Liaison Lisa Hatfield. “They don’t necessarily have to call and file a police report. They can access victim services simply by calling or emailing, or simply coming to the PD.”
This is just some of the ways Hatfield said people can make the first step out of an abusive relationship.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner – and with the pandemic keeping many inside, it can make it harder for victims to feel like they can leave.
“So when we encounter an individual that is requesting that, we want to first assess their safety. What we need to do to make sure they’re either safe in their home, safe in their residence, or get them to a safe location,” she said.
Hatfield says once the person is safe from their abuser, the Police Department has multiple resources to assist them in their healing process and to help them move forward.
“We do have a program here through our Crisis Assistance Program that offers victims access to immediate counseling to help them with that with the emotional part of that journey,” she said. “And we also, like I said, work with community partners that can help us establish safe shelter. With that safe shelter sometimes goes transitional housing to help get them into independent housing, so they’re not financially or emotionally dependent on the abuser.”
Hatfield ended by addressing the myth that men cannot be victims, and here is her message to anyone who may be struggling.
“We believe you, that we are here to support you in whatever decision you make regarding your situation, and that we’ll do anything that we can to assist you through the process,” she says.
If you need assistance, you can dial 9-1-1 or the Temple Police Department at (254) 298-5500 – or if you are in Waco, you can dial the hotline at (254) 754-6000.