AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Council and Family Violence has released their 2018 Honoring Texas Victims report, which contains the highest number of domestic violence deaths in the past decade.
TCFV says there are four possible reasons for the increase in women’s deaths: Hurricane Harvey, increased homicide rates, a higher prevalence of firearms, and population changes.
Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath
TCFV says their previous research shows that family violence increases after a natural disaster. U.S. Census data shows that Hurricane Harvey impacted 28 out of 64 counties in Texas, where the number of reported deaths due to domestic violence increased from 90 in 2017 to 123 in 2018.
Homicide rate increases
Previous reports by TCFV showed that when general homicides increase overall, the lethal violence against women by intimate partners also shows a significant raise.
The rate that women were killed by their intimate partners rose from 1.4 per 100,000 female residents in 2017 to 1.8 in 2018. Meanwhile, the state homicide rate rose from 6.5 per 100,000 residents to 6.7.
The amount of women killed by firearms reached 103 in 2018. The report states that this number is the highest the agency has seen in the last decade, at 59% of male perpetrators using firearms to kill their female partners in 2018.
TCFV reports that 38 of the counties where the homicides occurred had a population growth rate that exceeded the state average in 2018. The report states that 80 percent of homicides occurred in those 38 high-growth counties.
Although the report has been released annually since 1980, 2018 is the first to include men and LGBTQ numbers in their report.
TCFV also reports that the youngest victim for 2018 was 16 years old, while their oldest was 85.
Texas Council and Family Violence works to create safer communities and freedom from family violence through public policy, prevention efforts, conferences, and training events.
If you are experiencing domestic violence and need help, you can call the SAFE Alliance at (512) 267-7233 or The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.
For more information, visit tcfv.org.