Domestic violence on the rise in Bryan-College Station

POSTED: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 4:39pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

BRAZOS VALLEY -- The death of 20-year old Ashley Lenz, who was shot and killed by her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Chance Schneider last weekend is a tragic example of when domestic violence turns fatal.

And in the Brazos Valley counselors are on alert and tell Fox 28's Lauren Holman they're seeing this violence more and more.

The murder-suicide of Ashley Lenz and Chance Schneider is an unfortunate reminder of how serious domestic violence can be and it's one of the most chronically under-reported crimes each year.

"For a variety of reasons domestic violence goes unreported so I think it'd be very difficult for us to be able to grasp all the numbers of everyone actually being involved in domestic violence relationships," said Kendra Watson, the victim's advocate for the College Station Police Department. 

In the Brazos Valley, there are more than 1000 reported cases each year and thousands more likely go unreported.

Michelle Morris, with Twin City Mission, says it's a growing problem.

"We see clients coming in all the time. We kind of go through these cycles of lulls and very busy times and right now we've been picking up and very busy recently," Morris said.

In most cases, the victim waits until the abuser becomes physical to leave but there are other signs to look out for.

Watson says one of the biggest signs can come from your cell phone because often times your abuser will go through your phone and even call or text you repeatedly to find out where you've been.

"Technology can be used for the bad at times and unfortunately we do see a lot of the stalking type behavior that goes on with domestic violence through the use of technology," said Watson.

Both Watson and Morris say if you're in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, it's important to get help and get out.

"Having support or having counselors to talk to or even family or even school counselors to talk to about that is a grounding tool to let them know that this is not ok, that this is not healthy and that your relationships don't have to be this way," said Morris.

To find out more about the warning signs of domestic violence or where to get help, click here.


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