CONTACTS: Michelle Vigil
Office: (210) 207-8172
SAPD: Sgt. Michelle Ramos, 210-207-7579
Laura Mayes; Government & Public Affairs
SAN ANTONIO, TX (October 26, 2020) – In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, City of San Antonio officials gathered to remind the public of the warning signs of domestic violence and ways victims can seek help and/or shelter. This month provides another opportunity to educate and engage the community and help people learn more about types of domestic abuse and how the community can break the abuse cycle.
In 2019, there were 21 family violence-related murders in San Antonio. This year, San Antonio has already surpassed 2019 with 29 family violence murders. Local service providers continued to respond to calls for help during all phases of the Stay Home orders. This year, the San Antonio Police Department has responded to 79,748 family violence-related calls. Even with COVID related restrictions, the SAPD Crisis Response Teams have made 2,213 home visits.
“Domestic violence is not always physical violence. It can also occur in the form of financial or emotional abuse. With more people facing financial hardship or isolation from others, it’s now more important than ever to know the warning signs and help victims escape the cycle of abuse,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “The crushing truth is every one of us knows someone living with domestic violence or abuse right now.”
The City of San Antonio’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Budget included the creation of a new Violence Prevention Division in Metro Health, substantially increasing the investment in Stand Up SA, a gun violence prevention program within Metro Health, and continued investment in domestic violence prevention program including transitioning 20 civilian Crisis Response Team positions to the new division from SAPD. The FY 2021 Budget also included funds to support 25 officers dedicated to expanding family violence coverage related to specialized services.
"Over the past couple of years, our residents asked us to invest resources in public health services and support for strong families and children. This year’s budget includes a stronger relationship between Metro Health and the San Antonio Police Department, with crisis response and violence prevention at the forefront of this partnership,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “If you need help, please don’t hesitate to call us. Social distancing does not mean distancing from your safety and security.”
The City of San Antonio continues coordinating closely with Bexar County and local community partners through the Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence (CCDV). The CCDV was the first coordinated community effort to address domestic violence in San Antonio and Bexar County. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, coordinated community approaches have the best evidence to reduce domestic violence.
The CCDV will host the inaugural virtual Domestic Violence Awareness Symposium on October 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and October 30 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Professionals in the legal and nonprofit sectors are invited to learn from and interact with experts in the field, considering the increase in domestic violence incidences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speakers and special guests include; San Antonio Spurs Basketball Player Patty Mills, Dr. Peter Jaffe – Academic Director of Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women & Children, and more.
To learn more, visit the Domestic Violence Prevention website. Registration to attend the free virtual Domestic Violence Awareness Symposium is open until noon Wednesday, October 28, 2020.