How you can help someone dealing with domestic violence

Several local domestic violence agencies joined together Friday to speak on the mass shooting that killed the family of 8 in Northwest Harris County.  Advocates say the next step is making sure other victims know how to get help.

It’s been a week of tears, hugs and trying to make sense of the death of a couple and their six innocent young children.

“Today we want to remember Valerie, Dewayne, Nathaniel, Honesty, Dewayne Jr., Kaleb, Trinity and Noah.  We need your help to end this violence,” Executive Director of Harris County Domestic Violence Council Barbie Brashear said.

It’s a call to action.  Here in the Houston-area you have organizations such as Houston Area Women’s Center, The Bridge, and Northwest Assistance Ministries Center all focused on saving domestic abuse victims.  And those with AVDA work with abusers through battering intervention programs.

“Many individuals would say just throw away the key lock them up, but we know that not a lot of positive things are learned in prison and the reality is most of these abusers are going to get out,” AVDA Spokesperson Sherri Kendall said.

Advocates say they can do the hard part.  Agencies have saved many women by either finding them shelters or helping them file for a protective order.  But they say they need your help by not ignoring blatant red flags.

“When we see a couple at a party and notice something is amiss, or serve with someone on the PTO who has a black eye, or when a coworker is afraid because their spouse shows up in the workplace, or when we hear the disturbance from the apartment next door as neighbors, friends and family we cannot continue to look away or dismiss our instincts the potential that we have seen is just too high,” Northwest Ministries’ Family Violence Center’s Sheryl Johnson/

Now if you know someone who is too afraid to turn for help.  The number to remember is 1-800-799- SAFE.