If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
LOVE SHOULDN’T HURT
Community leaders gathered in front of the La Salle County Courthouse on Thursday morning, October 20, to mark Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month under the slogan ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt,’ with a proclamation signed by County Judge Joel Rodriguez.
Among those present for the occasion were supporters of the ongoing mission to end violence in the home, including representatives of the Wintergarden Women’s Shelter, the Children’s Alliance of South Texas, county government and law enforcement, emergency responders, the county attorney and judge’s offices, probation offices, and the Woman’s Club of Cotulla.
Similar proclamations have been signed at county seats of government across the nation in recent weeks to honor the work undertaken by advocacy groups and others involved in public education the intervention of domestic violence, including Frio County, where Judge Arnulfo Luna signed his proclamation earlier in October.
In La Salle County last week, the group’s display to commemorate the month and to help promote the message of prevention and awareness included silhouettes of local women who have been victims of domestic violence and who have died at the hands of their abusers.
“Domestic violence affects every person in La Salle County,” Judge Rodriguez read from his proclamation, “either as a victim or survivor or as a family member, significant other, friend, neighbor or co-worker.”
The county’s government leaders continue to serve domestic violence survivors by acknowledging, invigorating and rededicating themselves to the goal of eliminating domestic violence, the judge added, and are working “to provide quality services and assistance to domestic violence survivors, responding to emergency calls and criminal justice proceedings.”
Many of those present for the proclamation represent more than one organization directly involved in the interception of domestic abuse as well as furthering education to help make potential victims and those currently suffering aware of the programs and services available to them, including La Salle County Attorney Elizabeth Martinez, Sheriff’s Investigator Esmeralda Gonzalez and those directly involved in the daily operations of the advocacy center.
“Domestic violence prevention programs and other professionals and advocates of non-violence have joined together to support each other in our work,” the county judge said, “and to provide the county of La Salle and the state of Texas and our citizens with a central source of information.”
Judge Rodriguez added that the Woman’s Club of Cotulla has been intensifying its efforts during October to promote public understanding of domestic violence and increasing sensitivity to victims of family violence, “emphasizing the need for citizen involvement in efforts to reduce family violence through public education and changing public attitudes.”
The judge spoke with advocates and club members after the ceremony, saying that he understands many victims of domestic violence are unaware of the services that may be available to them, both through law enforcement and counseling, referrals and other resources.
“We also have to address a past history of violence,” the judge said. “It’s not enough just to react and deal with the incident of the moment. We have to understand more of the picture that each case presents. A past history of violence in the home needs to be documented and understood, so that we can address the immediate and long-term needs of those who suffer.
“Sometimes, the trauma of domestic violence is lived over and over again,” Rodriguez said, “for the rest of their lives.”