Wise Latina summit showcases services available to women after leaving abusive relationships

Several El Paso women’s groups are helping victims of domestic abuse by providing them with resources to resume a healthy, productive lives after leaving abusive relationships, speakers at a recent conference said. Among the services provided for domestic violence victims are rental assistance, replacement of damaged property, medical bills, counseling, and protective orders from the County Attorney’s Office are available for victims of violent crimes, but shelter is the most need resource, said Jessica Ugarte, a certified crime victim compensation services provider. “They’re used to receiving financial support from their abuser, so when they leave they’re not sure where they can go or how can they support themselves,” Ugarte said during the annual summit called “Enough is Enough. Ya Basta” on Oct. 6 at the El Paso Community College.

El Paso domestic violence shelter sees increased demand for services

EL PASO – Domestic violence reports are on the rise in Texas, which may be a sign that community education efforts are helping more victims to speak up. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 2015 Texas Crime Report family violence incidents rose 4.9 percent in 2015. There were 194,872 reported incidents in 2015 compared to 185,817 in 2014. Figures for 2016 were not available in time for this article. Public safety agencies reported 5,382 incidents of domestic violence in El Paso county in 2015.

One in every six girls in the United States and one in four boys is molested during childhood, according to the National Institution of Justice Report.

Fear of deportation stops women from reporting domestic violence

EL PASO – The woman standing in front of the audience could barely speak, signs of abuse still resonated in her voice, as she began her words became loud and clear. “She was strangled so badly by an abusive spouse that it literally affected her ability to speak, but when she did it was obvious that she definitely had something to say,” said Shannon Osborne, coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), during an interview. Osborne witnessed the woman tell an audience of men and women about her experience with domestic violence between her and her partner at a convention on resources available to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Osborne works at the WRC on campus helping provide victims of domestic violence and sexual assault assistance through various resources available on and off campus. “I encourage someone who has survived domestic abuse or sexual assault to talk to someone, if its 0-72 hours after the incident occurred I recommend that they contact STARS, the local rape crisis center. If it’s after that mark of time I recommend that they talk to someone at the Center Against Family Violence,” Osborne said.