Story by: Kaley Johnson
Since March, 17 people have been killed in presumed domestic violence homicides — a record number for Tarrant County — according to the county’s District Attorney’s Office.
Over the past few years, the number of people killed by a partner or former partner has trended downward in the county, according to the Tarrant County DA’s office. But this year, domestic violence homicides increased by 112% from 2019. Experts say coronavirus and the isolation it caused is likely to blame for the drastic resurgence of fatal domestic violence.
Organizations in Tarrant County remain open to help victims. Coronavirus may have changed the way some shelters are able to operate, but people can still seek help in-person or virtually.
LOCAL RESOURCES FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
Ken Shetter, president of One Safe Place, emphasized that the Fort Worth family justice center is open at 1100 Hemphill St. to anyone who needs help. People can visit the center in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — an appointment is not necessary. One Safe Place can also be contacted by phone at 817-916-4323 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or through its website, www.onesafeplace.org.
Abusers might try to convince someone that shelters are not open or law enforcement won’t respond to 911 calls during the pandemic, which is not true. One Safe Place has campaigned on social media to ensure people know help is still available during COVID-19.
In an echo of the city’s slogan, Shetter wants people to know that, “If y’all need us, y’all come see us.”
SafeHaven, another Tarrant County domestic violence center, is also still open. The center, which has an office in suite 303 at 1100 Hemphill St., offers immediate shelter and a 24-hour crisis hotline at 1-877-701-SAFE (7233). Another shelter is open at 401 W Sandford St. in Arlington.
Both SafeHaven and One Safe Place websites offer an emergency escape button to quickly close out of the browser window.
Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County provides services to people experiencing homelessness, including women who are victims of domestic abuse. Those seeking help are required to go through an intake process and then can enlist in a program. The center can be reached through phone at 817-339-2553 or at 1321 E. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth.
The Women’s Center provides crisis intervention, legal services and counseling to survivors of sexual assault. The center is open at 1723 Hemphill St. from 9 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A 24-hour rape crisis hotline is open at all times at 817-927-2737. The center’s main office can be reached at 817-927-4040, and the center’s website is womenscentertc.org.
The national Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 via phone at 1.800.799.SAFE(7233) or through online chat at hotline.org.