Most Domestic Violence In Texas Happens In Harris County

Harris County has the highest number of deaths from domestic violence of any county in Texas. City leaders are reaching out to law enforcement groups to work on the issue.

Houston Councilmember Ellen Cohen was CEO of the Houston Area Women's Center for nearly two decades. The organization helps battered and abused women.

She says domestic violence has nothing to do with race, wealth, social status or education.

"They can be lawyers or laborers, they can be believers or agnostics, they can be male or female and they can be teetotalers or alcoholics. What they have in common is their overriding desire for power."

Cohen joined with members of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Director Amy Smith says in 2010, 35 women in Harris County were killed by their partners, that's down from 55 the year before.

"Everyone can hold perpetrators accountable. Let's not say, 'Why doesn't she leave.' Let's ask, 'Why does he continue to hit her?'"

The Coordinating Council recently did a year-long Community Safety Assessment and came up with a list of recommendations for law enforcement agencies in the region. They are meeting with the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff's Office and other agencies to discuss their ideas.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...