The statistics are heartbreaking. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 74 percent of all Texans have either experienced family violence personally or have a family member or friend who has. More than 100 Texas women die in domestic violence incidents each year. And each year in Texas, more than 23,000 adults and children seek shelter from the violence in their own homes.

In the Southeast Texas region comprised of Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, Tyler, Newton and Jasper counties, five women were murdered as a result of domestic violence in 2014 compared to three the previous year. But that’s not all. Each year, domestic violence sends some 800 women and children to seek safety at one of the two shelters operated in Beaumont and Jasper, respectively, by Family Services of Southeast Texas.

In honor of this month’s designation as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Family Services is sponsoring a special day of recognition. On Oct. 13, area residents are asked to “go purple” and wear the color in support of healthy relationships and as a stand against domestic violence.

“Family violence is knowable, predictable and preventable,” said Janet Walker, executive director of Family Services of Southeast Texas. “We operate shelters, yes, but we also offer other programs, including a batterer’s intervention and prevention program and counseling on issues affecting families and individuals. We know that everyone can afford to pay for help so counseling fees are based on ability to pay while shelter services are free.”

Family Services is also active in the Jefferson County Domestic Violence Task Force.

Walker added that everyone can get take safely take a stand for victims. “You can get involved,” Walker said. “Ask why someone abuses, not why someone stays in an abusive relationship. Understand and model a healthy relationship for your family and friends.”

Those needing more information or seeking help may contact Family Services at 409-833-2668.

Family services has been in operation since 1931.