Ending a violent relationship ≠ end of violence

Written by The SAFE Alliance

An Austin man was charged this week with criminal solicitation to commit capital murder. The ex-girlfriend had been in an abusive relationship for several years with the man charged, but had not seen him since 2015.

Based on news reports, the abuser has a history of violence, racism, and hate — all of which intersect as forms of abuse used to dominate and control.

This incident is deeply disturbing and embodies the fear that survivors frequently feel even after they leave an abusive relationship. Cases like these show that leaving a relationship does not necessarily equal safety for a survivor of domestic violence.

Of the 146 Texas women who were killed by a male partner in 2016, 40 percent had either ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence.

In this instance, the Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation that led to an arrest before the survivor’s life was taken. We commend the Sheriff’s Office for this intervention and hope to see increased awareness of these crimes and the ongoing danger that victims so often face.

If you or a survivor you know need to talk, you can contact us via our SAFEline at 512.267.SAFE (7233) or at safeaustin.org/chat.