AUSTIN (KXAN) — Domestic violence abusers killed 146 Texas women in 2016. The Texas Council on Family Violence wants to lower that number.
The council launched a series of public service announcements with the theme: “When Words Fail, Music Speaks.”
One of the founding members of all-female band “The Mrs,” who performed in the music video, said the idea is to empower women and let them know they are not alone as they seek help for abuse.
“[We hope that women] will feel the strength of the music, will feel that they’re supported,” she said.
Alyssa Lourdiz was 14 years old when an older male in her life abused her. Loved ones helped her escape a dangerous situation. She now uses her voice to inspire others.
“You’re all very important no matter what you’ve been through,” Lourdiz, now 16, tearfully said in a press conference. “You are powerful and you have a voice.”
Austin music artist Saul Paul also contributed to the project. He said he believed that domestic violence is “totally preventable, that it can definitely be minimized, and if we dream big, it can be eliminated.”
TCFV said the oldest victim in 2016 was 92 years old, while the youngest was just 15. The council provided additional statistics about the women murdered by male intimate partners, including a county-by-county map of the deaths.
“There were 8 women that were 19 or younger, so when we talk about being able to inform young people about healthy relationships, if we’re waiting until high school, it’s too late,” TCFV CEO Gloria Terry said.
“These numbers represent women who were daughters, sisters and mothers,” she explained. “While these numbers sound very sterile, it’s important to remember that they represent, again, key members of our community in Texas.”
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said he learned about a study that revealed approximately 75 percent of domestic violence abuse goes unreported, meaning that in order to get an accurate representation of how serious the problem is, we need to multiply the current cases by four.
“We have to take a stand and put a stop to the violence that is taking place within our country,” Manley said.
Lourdiz said she recently signed a music deal, and her career is taking off.
“My dreams are coming true, and I’m here, and I’m just happy to be here,” she said with a smile, encouraging domestic violence victims not to be silent.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with a domestic violence situation, click here.