Domestic Violence in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Domestic Violence in the Panhandle

"A lot of times we have victims that don't want to file a police report or are to scared to go to authorities, but want help and our services," says Melissa Touchet "A lot of times we have victims that don't want to file a police report or are to scared to go to authorities, but want help and our services," says Melissa Touchet

More than five million women will be affected by domestic violence this year. A staggering statistic gaining speed.

While Amarillo is seeing a dip in numbers, surrounding towns are seeing a significant hike.

The Amarillo Police Department says they are seeing fewer cases of domestic violence each year since 2003, but some say more cases are just going unreported.

Take a look.... These numbers represent how many police reports have been filed in 2006, for Amarillo, Pampa, and Childress.

2006 Domestic Violence Cases

--------------------------------

Amarillo - 2,227 (2,272 in '05)

Pampa -720

Childress - 121

While Amarillo's number is down from previous years... Towns like Pampa and Childress are both experiencing a surge in reports. In fact...Pampa experienced 7 times more domestic violence calls in 2006 than 2005, and Childress more than doubled in cases reported...

Comparing Statistics

-------------------------------

Pampa - Increased 7x's from '05 to 06'

Childress- Doubled from '05 to '06

While some of these numbers are surprising, director for the domestic violence center at Family Support Services says these numbers still do not represent how big the problem is in the panhandle.

"A lot of times we have victims that don't want to file a police report or are to scared to go to authorities, but want help and our services. So even though the police are saying the numbers are going down, our number are still pretty much the same and it is still an issue. On an average full month, we probably see 45 to 60 victims" Melissa Touchet says.

Touchet says they advocate telling authorities when abuse has occurred, but it is up to the victim.  "We encourage it because a lot of the services following after that require a police report. But once again that is solely the decision of the victim, she has to make her own choices."

For more information on services provided for domestic violence victims call the Family Support Services at 342-2500.

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