AUSTIN (KXAN) – A staggering report released Thursday by the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) details the “third worst year on record” for domestic violence fatalities. The report revealed 204 women and men in Texas who were killed by their intimate partner in 2021.
“The Texas Council on Family Violence would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the total number of domestic violence deaths decreased from 2020, but we have a long road ahead to raise awareness and educate the public about this preventable societal issue,” said Gloria Aguilera Terry, CEO of TCFV.
The information comes from TCFV and investigators, prosecutors, district clerk records and victim advocates. It identifies the following key findings:
- Three times as many victims were killed with a firearm than all other means combined, accounting for 75% of total homicides. This is the highest number of deaths by firearm ever recorded in a single year – 154 victims.
- The youngest victim was 16 and the oldest was 85.
- Nearly 75% of the victims were killed in their own home.
- Nearly half of all victims had made attempts to seek help or end the violent relationship, demonstrating that leaving an abusive partner is one of the most dangerous times for survivors, the report said.
- 26 victims were killed immediately following the 2021 Winter Storm, TCFV said that is the highest number of fatalities in any 30-day period in 2021.
“For years, TCFV has shared with our state’s leaders the hard proof that firearms and domestic violence are a lethal combination, but it is also a preventable one,” said Mikisha Hooper, Coordinated Community Response Manager for TCFV. “Over the past 10 years, the number of women murdered by their partner with a firearm in Texas has nearly doubled. This disturbing, increasing trend will destroy countless Texas families and take hundreds more lives if left unaddressed.”
According to TCFV, firearm transfer laws already exist in Texas, which legally and temporarily prohibit convicted family violence offenders and violent respondents of protective orders from possessing firearms. But currently, fewer than 10 of the state’s 254 counties have a program or protocol in place to ensure those laws are upheld.
TCFV is honoring victims and informing solutions to create a safer environment.
If you need help, call 800-799-7233 or visit this list of resources.