BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Texas Council on Family Violence reports on its most recent statistics that 158 women were killed by their male intimate partners in 2015, and The Ark Domestic Violence Shelter in Brownwood will be honoring those victims throughout October, part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This entire week they're displaying empty shoes at Brownwood, Early, Bangs, and Coleman high schools representing the victims across the tri-county area the nonprofit covers.
"If you get into a relationship and things start turning south and you start seeing the warning signs, get out," Savannah Cox, community education coordinator at The Ark, said. "Reach out for help. Contact family. Contact friends. Contact an organization like The Ark."
Cox said there's been a rise in domestic abuse-related deaths for women, although she can't explain why.
The Ark covers Brown, Coleman, and Comanche counties, and the nonprofit hopes these displays serve as a reminder of what people can personally do to help stop the violence.
Cox said victims shouldn't be afraid to speak up.
"I think a lot of people don't reach out because they feel like they're the only person this has ever happened to. You're not alone," Cox said. "This is the big thing, it's not your fault. What happened to you was not your fault. There is help out there, all you have to do is just reach out."
The Ark will hold a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. on October 26 at Howard Payne University's Girling Center, where the names of all of the domestic violence victims in Texas will be read.
For more information on The Ark, please contact 325-643-2699.
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