Domestic violence claimes lives of 87 Texans this year

Six days before their divorce hearing, Leanne McClure Hill’s husband defied a restraining order and protective order and burst into her house armed with a handgun. She was on the phone with a friend when Eric Bernard Hill began hitting her. The friend called the police. When a patrol officer arrived, Eric put the gun to Leanne’s head and ordered the officer to leave. After a ninety minute standoff, the SWAT team entered the house and found Eric dead and Leanne critically injured with gunshot wounds to the head. The 28 year-old mother died on October 31, 2000, leaving behind a five year-old daughter and a three year-old son. Sandra Walton dated James Martinez for six weeks and spent the remaining months of her life living in fear of him. She filed six police reports in the spring of 2000 detailing harassment, stalking and threats. She told police that James once came to her apartment dressed in camouflage with an arsenal of guns. At 1 a.m. on September 21, 2000, James ambushed Sandra and a friend in front of her apartment complex, shooting them at close range with an assault rifle. Both Sandra and her friend died. These are just two of the tragic stories of the Texas women killed by their intimate male partners in 2000. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the state of Texas and throughout the nation. To date, in Texas, at least 87 women lost their lives as victims of domestic violence. Department of Public Safety statistics yet to be released will reveal many more. More than 175,282 family violence incidents were reported in Texas within that same time. Sadly, these only account for those victims who actually called the police. Take a moment and consider the following national statistics. 31,260 women were murdered by an intimate partner from 1976-1996. In 1996 alone, among all female murder victims in the United Sates, 30% were slain by their husbands or boyfriends. In 1994, women separated from their spouses had a victimization rate 1 _ times higher than separated men, divorced men, or divorced women. Domestic violence awareness month is a national initiative to commemorate the lives of women who died as a result of family violence and draw attention to the thousands of victims of domestic violence every year, as well as to recognize the numerous services available to victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is one of the most common and least reported crimes in Texas. It is a crime that knows no race, gender, and geographic or educational boundaries. Courtesy of Texas Council on Family Violence

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