Public opinion has exploded after the brutal video of NFL Super Star, Ray Rice, punching his fiancé went viral this week. Which is why we set out to find just how bad domestic violence is in Wichita Falls.
I spoke with both victims and counselors of domestic violence who told me that it doesn't matter if you're a chef at a local restaurant or an award winning professional football player, domestic violence can happen to anyone.
Ray Rice punching his fiancé in an elevator at a casino has brought to light the pervasive problem of domestic violence in our own city. Professionals I spoke with offering a safe haven from domestic violence say their beds were at maximum capacity this past summer.
"You can be married for three or four years and all of the sudden you just get hit," said Donna Landis, Executive Director of First Step Incorporated.
She believes domestic violence in Wichita Falls is at an all time high.
"People are just madder than they used to be," said Landis. "It can happen to anybody. It doesn't make any difference who you are, what kind of job you have or what family you have."
"It can be over the simplest thing like a door being locked by mistake and you get hit," said Landis. "That's when the cycle begins."
"There are success stories," said Landis. "It's not very likely though. It generally happens again."
There are many places in Wichita Falls where one can run to for shelter. Here is a brief list with phone numbers that you can call if you are living the nightmare of domestic violence.
Patsy's House - (940) 322-8890
Helen Farabee Regional MHMR Centers – (940) 720-3500
Faith Mission – (940) 723-5663