By Wesley Story
Nearly 150 women were killed by domestic violence in 2016, according to the annual report released today by the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV). The group’s “Honoring Texas Victim’s Report,” which compiles incidents of domestic violence throughout the state, reported that in 2016, 146 Texas women were murdered by their husbands, ex-husbands, intimate partners, boyfriends or ex-boyfriends.
“One hundred forty six innocent lives were lost and families were forever changed in senseless, domestic violence murders in Texas,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO. “We are immensely saddened by the tragic loss of life and we remember the families of those who lost loved ones… .”
Terry added that the report doesn’t include the “horrific mass killing in Plano” in September. On Sept. 10, the estranged husband of a 27-year-old woman shot and killed her and seven other people before he was killed by a Plano police officer. “When a tragic loss like this happens, it reminds all of us how dangerous domestic violence can be to a family and a community and how much more work there is to be accomplished to ensure victims find help and safety before it’s too late,” Terry said.
According to TCFV’s report, the number of women killed in domestic violence in 2016 declined from 2015, when the nonprofit organization reported that 158 women were killed, the most since the group began producing the annual report. Every year, however, more than 100 women are killed in domestic violence homicides in Texas, according to TCFV.
TCFV also published the number of related deaths and injuries during the 146 incidents. Twenty-four family members and friends were also killed, including 13 children, and four family members and friends were injured, representing the largest number of related victims since 2011.
Harris County continues to lead the state with the highest number of domestic violence homicides and, according to the report, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Collin Counties follow. Of the women killed in 2016, 33 percent had ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered. The youngest victim was 15 and the oldest was 92.
Women between the ages of 20 to 39 represent over half of the total number of victims. The number of women killed in 2016 is the second highest in recent years, with 158 domestic violence murders in 2015; 132 in 2014; 119 in 2013; 114 in 2012; and 102 in 2011.
In addition to these statistics, TCFV published the names of the victims on their website.