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Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Domestic Violence Shelters Urge Vigilance Following Alleged Homicide


Domestic abuse helpline and shelter contact information. | Image by City of Dallas

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A woman and her teenage daughter were allegedly shot in their apartment on the night of July 13. The gunman was the woman’s, Karla Castillo’s, boyfriend, Jorge Saldenos Escobar Flores.

Late last week, Castillo’s daughter remained in critical condition, but her mom died. After a standoff with SWAT, officers found Flores dead from a self-inflicted gun wound in the Audelia Road apartment.

Reportedly, Castillo and Flores were fighting at the time when shots were fired.

Advocates from women’s shelters, such as Genesis Women’s Shelter and The Family Place, spoke with CBS about their concerns for women’s safety.

According to Jan Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women’s Shelter, one in three women in Texas will experience domestic violence.

The CEO of Dallas’ The Family Place, Mimi Sterling, pointed out that “62% of women who are killed are killed by an intimate partner.”

From 2010-2014 to 2015-2019, the annual average of “firearm-facilitated intimate partner femicides” increased by 25%. In 2021, there were 184 domestic violence homicides of women in Texas.

Advocates wonder if more could have been done to stop deaths such as Karla’s from happening.

Hotlines such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, offer confidential help for anyone in need. Shelters offer services from counseling and shelter to even legal support.

Genesis also accepts text messages from those in need; they get about 15,000 texts a year.

Shelters worked with police to create an assessment to predict which domestic abuse calls indicate the most significant risk of lethal violence. After completing their assessment with those in need, they can determine whether the victim is at risk of being killed.

Preventing homicide and domestic abuse also involves the community and the community’s mindset. Langbein believes that the burden should not be entirely on the victim to figure out how to stay alive.

She also believes the mindset of victim blaming needs to be remedied. According to her, the community should not be asking why victims do not leave abusive situations but should be asking why the abusers abuse.

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