TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The month of October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, on average, 20 people per minute will experience one form of domestic violence by an intimate partner in the United States.
An East Texas Crisis Center official explained the warning signs of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month began in October of 1987 and is observed across the nation to help educate and bring awareness about abuse in relationships.
Ana Barson with the East Texas Crisis Center explained the perception of the abuse.
“I think that the perception is that if it’s not physical abuse, there’s no abuse," Barson said. "We know there are other types of abuse and that abuse always starts with something different, something that we don’t see as abuse that escalates. When we get to the physical abuse, things are just getting out of control.”
Barson said there are many signs to look out for if a loved one is experiencing problems.
“If you’re noticing that the loved one is being isolated; maybe the loved one is not allowed to reach out to family anymore," Barson said. "Maybe there’s a lot of controlling on who that person is talking with, where that person is going. Maybe they’re not allowed to work. Maybe not allowed to make financial decisions at home.”
The crisis center has provided services to 691 adults and 145 children since January.
“Through all the year, we are always providing free services; everything that we provide for our clients is free," Barson said. "We serve five counties, we are in Henderson County, Van Zandt County, Wood County, Rains County, and of course, Smith County. We do have shelter services for emergencies.”
Barson said they due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in calls, visits, and counseling services.
The East Texas Crisis Center is a non-profit agency providing help, hope, and healing to victims of family violence and sexual assault.