Honoring the 2020 Victims of IPV

Written by Piper Stege Nelson

Each year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Texas Council on Family Violence releases a report about the people who lost their lives at the hands of intimate partners. You can find the full report HERE.

The 2020 report notes that there were 228 Texans by intimate partner violence in 2020, which is a 23% increase over the number of people killed by IPV in Texas in 2019.

A summary of the report can be found here.

The Numbers

Of the 228 people killed:

  • 183 were women killed by men
  • 40 were men killed by women
  • 5 were killed by same sex partners
  • 67% were killed at home
  • At least 55% were BIPOC

Of the 183 women killed by men:

  • 45% had made attempts to seek help or end the relationship
  • 43% were killed by an intimate partnered within a year of a non-fatal strangulation

Impact of the Pandemic

The report notes that, “Vulnerability to domestic violence surged during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Some of the factors that caused that surge include:

  • increased isolation
  • abusers exploiting vulnerable circumstances to demonstrate control
  • economic instability, including job loss or unemployment
  • lack of reliable childcare
  • increased dependence on abusive partner
  • inability to connect with support systems or outside help

In particular, TCFV notes that the decrease in resources for survivors, including fewer shelter beds and closed courts unable to provide protective orders, had an impact on how and when survivors could find support.

Domestic violence awareness

The TCFV report focuses on women, however, domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, education, religion, class, disability status, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. It can happen among couples who are married, living together, or dating.

Abuse can take many forms and often begins with the abuser exerting control over certain parts of their partner’s life. The abuse then progresses in frequency and intensity.

It comes in many forms, including:

  • Physical: Any forceful or violent behavior
  • Emotional: Any abuse that attacks someone’s self-esteem and definitions of who they are
  • Economic: The use of finances to control or limit a partner
  • Psychological: Any abuse with the threat of violence, including fear, pain, and degradation

Learn more here.

If you need support

Our confidential, 24-hour SAFEline is available to anyone seeking help with domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, human trafficking, or parenting support.

You can call us at 512.267.7233, text us at 737.888.7233, or chat online at safeaustin.org/chat.

Our advocates are fluent in Spanish and English and can use interpretation software for other languages.

About TCFV

The Texas Council on Family Violence promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.

Since 1978, the Texas Council on Family Violence has been a nationally recognized leader in the efforts to end family violence through partnerships, advocacy, and direct services for women, children, and men. TCFV is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation, with a membership comprised of family violence service providers, supportive organizations, survivors of domestic violence, businesses, communities of faith, and other concerned citizens. As a membership-focused organization, TCFV is firmly committed to serving its members, communities in Texas and thousands of victims of domestic violence and their families.

Learn more about TCFV here.