What makes an abuser snap... It apparently happens a lot in Amarillo since more than 15,000 domestic violence cases have already been reported this year.
The tri-state area ranks as three of the worst states in the nation for domestic violence..
Nationwide, more than 1,800 women killed in 2005 were linked to domestic violence.
Based on those numbers, the Violence Policy Center ranks each state for domestic abuse murders.
After seeing these numbers, we decided to dig deeper inside the mind of an abuser. According to experts there are three types of abusers... Those who have been taught that violence is the only way to solve a problem.. Number two... Those who lose control and feel they are entitled to use abuse tactics... And finally those with an anger management problem.
Psychiatrist Doctor Son Vi Nguyen says, "We talk about very difficult way to improve their behavior and a lot of them end up in the legal system."
Doctor Nguyen says the first type of abusers are the most violent because of how they see their victims.
"They don't have really compassion or remorse. The person they abuse ends up being just an object. If I'm angry, you make me angry, and can beat you up, and I end up one day killing you, I don't even think they have this awareness that they are killing a human being."
Doctor Nguyen tells me that women should be aware that in a large majority of cases, once a man becomes abusive, they will continue to be abusive.
Despite these high numbers....experts say many abuse cases are never reported.. Because women end up trying to protect their abusers and hide their crimes.
Vicki Craig with Family Support Services says, "The woman is not verbal about being domestically abused because they are afraid their husband will be arrested. So they come in and say they fell, or they hit their face with the door, and so a lot of the time we don't know."
So what should you do if you are a victim of abuse?
First thing is get away and get help... And there are several ways to do that in Amarillo.
You can call the Downtown Women's Shelter at 372-3625.
Family Support Services at 342-2500
Family Violence Center at 669-1788
Also Family Support Services will be holding a Childrens and Adult education carnival on October 20th from 2-5pm at 26th and Paramount. There you can learn more about abuse help and treatment.
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