To raise public awareness about the importance of domestic violence and to encourage the public education about the resources available for victims of domestic violence, Commissioner Court proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Victims Unit and Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, in collaboration with law enforcement, advocacy groups, and agencies, are working to educate the public about the resources available for victims of domestic violence.
The crime of domestic violence violates an individual’s privacy and dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control. Domestic violence extends to the abuse of children and the elderly.
Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. said that victims of domestic violence have trouble finding their voice, and often stay silent in fear.
“We’ve worked up and have built a team within and outside our office, to be the voice for victims who have fought in many instances and are survivors today,” said Rodriguez. “This says a lot about our community.”
DA Victims Unit Director Rosie Martinez attributes community involvement to making the silent epidemic of domestic violence a loud message victims can hear.
“Our office works with many internal and external agencies to assist victims of domestic violence,” said Martinez. “We’re happy to have the ongoing support from Lamar Academy Young Hearts Matters Teen Ambassadors; Hidalgo County DA Victims Unit; Hidalgo County DA Juvenile Division’s Assistant DAs; U.S. Border Patrol; the Edinburg, Weslaco, San Juan, and South Texas College Police Departments; the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council; the Safe Haven Forensics Program; Constable Gaitan; and Chief of Civil Juvenile Division Maxine Longoria Nash.”
The impact of domestic violence is wide-ranging, directly affecting individuals and society as a whole, here in this community, throughout the United States and in the world.
“Domestic Violence does not discriminate,” said Rodriguez. “The problems of domestic violence are not confined to any group or groups of people, but cut across all economic, racial and societal barriers, and are supported by societal indifferences.”
Hidalgo County urges all citizens to actively participate in scheduled activities and programs to work toward eradicating domestic violence, improving victim safety and holding perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable for their actions against individual victims and our society as a whole.