A woman on the mainland is killed during a domestic violence assault. A woman in Galveston County commits suicide after a sexual assault. Women and children on Galveston Island are seeking shelter from abuse at an alarming rate. The demand for services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are unfortunately on the rise in our area.

• Did you know 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

• Did you know intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report on Nonfatal Domestic Violence for 2003-12?

• Did you know women between the ages of 18 and 24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner, according to the same report?

• Did you know 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence, according to the justice department’s National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence?

• Did you know 158 women in Texas were killed by a male intimate partner in 2015, according to the Texas Council of Family Violence?

Domestic violence and sexual assault are not just social or behavioral issues — they are also economic issues. In the United States, 8 million days of paid work are lost each year because of domestic violence, according to the American Psychological Association.

Originally founded in 1978, and after undergoing a couple of name changes, the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County is responding to the increased demand for services and shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. With the help of major donors and dedicated volunteers, the center will be opening a new facility in 2018 to meet the growing need in Galveston County.

The center purchased the former campus of Our Lady of Guadalupe church and school and will be transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility providing shelter and therapeutic services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Professional counseling services, on-site child care and a comprehensive support staff will be able to provide services to almost twice as many clients as the center is currently serving.

The center has had wonderful support from Our Lady of Guadalupe Alumnae, Holy Family Parish and other Galveston groups and individuals interested in preserving a campus that played a major role in their lives. As an introduction to the community, we will be holding “Carnival for a Cause” from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at 1204 45th St. in Galveston. Admission is free and the focus will be on family fun with children’s games, bingo, a “Sweet Shop” and so much more. We hope everyone will come and see what the new campus will be like and enjoy an afternoon of family fun.

Selah Tacconi is executive director of the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County.


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