RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Two counties held events on Friday to bring awareness around domestic violence.
Cameron and Hidalgo counties are aiming to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to get help.
At the Hidalgo County Precinct 4 Endowment Center where they are hosting a domestic violence awareness initiative.
This is an initiative brought about by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office hoping to bring awareness around the barriers and obstacles in reaching victims during the pandemic.
“The pandemic has created different obstacles for a lot of different people,” said deputy Juan Avila who is a part of the Combat Violence Against Women unit in the Hidalgo County Sherrif’s Office. “Everybody’s situation is different—and we’ve learned that some people just can’t make it out to our office.”
While the Violence Against Women unit is operating this community initiative, they are serving everyone in need regardless of gender or race.
They are holding these in-person units weekly to be closer to victims who may not be able to reach their main offices.
“We learn that a lot of people who suffer from domestic violence can’t always reach our offices, so what we’re doing is bringing all the services we offer at the office to the community,” said Avila.
Deputy Avila says that the pandemic has blockaded their original outreach strategies and are adapting to the times.
He says that anyone can walk-in, call-in, or have someone report it on your behalf.
“I’ve even told people—look if you ever find yourself in a situation where you can’t report it directly because you know the suspects are with you, or whatever the case maybe, you can even report it to a third party,” said Avila.
Cameron County’s District Attorney held a similar event at Texas Southmost College for domestic violence awareness month.
“We need to bring awareness to the issue—it’s about talking about it that we bring positive change to it,” said TSC’s president Dr. Jesus Rodriguez. “We need to talk to our daughters; we need to talk to our sons.”
If you or anyone you know are vicitims of domestic violence, please see the numbers below:
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office:
Or if you’d like to remain anonymous you can call their Crime Stoppers Hotline
Friendship of Women (956) 544-7412
Family Crisis Center (956) 423-9304
Child Advocacy Center (956) 544-7412