Domestic Violence Awareness
“If domestic violence was an issue women could solve on their own, it would be solved by now.”
When I attended my first Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC) partner meeting, one of the other attendees – a long-time victim advocate and expert in the field – shared this thought, and it has stuck with me ever since.
It is a poignant reminder of the responsibility that men have in addressing intimate partner violence that happens within our communities. In 2022, domestic violence was the primary motive behind homicides in unincorporated Harris County, accounting for 30% of homicides. In 2021, 204 Texans were killed by an intimate partner; 169 of them were women. During the homicides, perpetrators injured an additional 21 victims including four law enforcement officers, six children, and 11 family members and friends. These numbers illustrate the dire and pervasive nature of domestic violence – it not only affects the household but ripples out into neighborhoods and communities.
While we recognize that anyone can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence, this blog post focuses on the essential role that men play in combating this pervasive problem. Men, as partners, fathers, friends, and community members, have a unique opportunity to contribute to the fight against domestic violence – it is not only crucial but necessary.
One of the primary ways men can contribute to combating domestic violence is by raising awareness. Men often have influential voices in their communities and social circles, especially when speaking to other men. By openly discussing domestic violence and its devastating effects, we can help destigmatize the issue, encouraging more victims to come forward and seek help. Additionally, educating ourselves and others about the signs and consequences of domestic violence can empower men to recognize and address it when they encounter it.
The Power and Control Wheel created by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota breaks down the different behaviors and tactics used by violent partners on their victims. Whether it be physical violence, emotional abuse, psychological manipulation, or financial exploitation, abuse takes many forms, and we need to be able to spot them all.
When men witness or suspect domestic violence, we have a responsibility to intervene safely. This could involve calling the police, offering support to the victim, or confronting the perpetrator (if it’s safe to do so). While intervening can be intimidating, men’s actions can make a significant difference in ensuring the safety of the victim and holding abusers accountable for their actions.
We do not need to wait until the situation becomes violent to intervene. Men can disrupt abusive norms and behaviors early before they ever lead to violence. Things like sexist attitudes, victim blaming, “locker room talk”, and nonconsensual image sharing all contribute to a culture that normalizes abuse against women. Challenging these things when we see them and making it known that they are unacceptable can help prevent intimate partner violence in the future.
Men can provide crucial support to victims of domestic violence. This support may include offering a safe place to stay, assisting with legal matters, or connecting the victim with resources such as shelters and counseling services. By extending a helping hand, men can show survivors that they are not alone and that there is a network of people ready to assist them.
The fight against domestic violence is a collective effort that requires the active involvement of everyone in society, including men. If men are to live up to our role as protectors and providers, we can no longer be passive observers; we must become active advocates for change. By raising awareness, being role models, intervening safely, supporting victims, advocating for policy changes, and supporting domestic violence organizations, men can play a pivotal role in breaking the cycle of domestic violence and creating a safer, more compassionate society for all. It’s time for men to stand up, speak out, and be allies in the fight against domestic violence.
National Night Out – October 3, 2023
National Night Out is October 3rd this year. This initiative is an annual event that brings neighbors, law enforcement, and community organizations together to foster stronger, safer communities. National Night Out encourages neighbors to get to know one another, build trust, and work collaboratively to create safer neighborhoods. Crime Stoppers of Houston is proud to partner with the Houston Police Department this year to provide safety information at 35+ different National Night Out events across Houston with the mission of building trust and unity within communities.
One of the primary goals of National Night Out is to build trust between community members and law enforcement agencies. By opening up lines of communication and creating positive interactions, both parties gain a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and challenges. This trust forms the foundation for effective crime prevention and community safety initiatives. Crime Stoppers has been working to aid in trust building between the community and law enforcement for 43 years and therefore we love to be engaged in National Night Out each year.
National Night Out encourages communities to take an active role in their own safety. Through organized events such as block parties, cookouts, and neighborhood walks, residents become proactive participants in crime prevention efforts. This empowerment not only deters criminal activity but also fosters a sense of ownership over the safety and well-being of their neighborhoods. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not uncommon for neighbors to barely know each other. National Night Out provides a unique opportunity for residents to come together, meet their neighbors, and establish connections that go beyond casual greetings. These newfound bonds can lead to stronger support systems, increased civic engagement, and a greater sense of belonging which all, in turn, aid in reducing victimization.
Promoting Safety Education
National Night Out is an ideal platform for disseminating crucial information about safety and crime prevention. For this reason, we hope you will join us at one of the following locations on October 3rd where Crime Stoppers will provide public safety education information:
|Audobon Place Assoc.||3405 Audobon||7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Avondale Civic Club||307 Fairview||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Camden Greenway||3800 Audley||6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.|
|Camden Midtown||2303 Louisiana||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Cherryhurst Civic Club||1700 Cherryhurst||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|College Court||4118 Purdue||7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|East Montrose Civic Club||2008 Grant||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Ferndale Kerr’s||2800 Kipling||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|First Montrose Commons Civic Club||Sul Ross @ Bute||7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Hyde Park United Association||1400 Hyde Park||7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Country Club Place Civic Club||5511 Jefferson St.||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Mayor’s Assisstance Office||6000 Chimney Rock||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Bray’s Oaks Mgmt District||11240 Fondren||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|South Woodland Hills||2030 Shadow Rock Dr.||6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.|
|Waters Edge on Lake Houston||13555 Lake Superior Ln.||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Royal Brook Community||5831 Grayson Oaks Ln.||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Near NW Management District||6640 Antoine Dr.||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Antoine Forest Estates||6102 Oak Pass Dr.||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Shepherd Park Terrece||1043 West Donovan||5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Kashmere Gardens||3701 Cavalcade||5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Pleasantville S/N||1422 Ledwicke||6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.|
|Settegast Heights Village||7373 N Wayside||5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Houston Gardens||10622 Hirsh||5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Jr. Achievers/Mayor of Sunnyside||4410 Reed Rd.||5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|OST/South Union/Southern Village||5202 Griggs Rd.||6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.|
|Bayou Terrace/Cloverland/Circle||3801 Hickok Lane||6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.|
|Neva Jerusalem Church||12230 Hodges Dr.||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|North Houston District||500 Greens Rd.||6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.|
|Big Brother/Big Sister||1003 Washington Ave.||12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.|
|Rice Military||4913 Rose St.||5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.|
National Night Out is more than just a one-night event; it’s a catalyst for lasting change in our communities. By bringing neighbors, law enforcement, and community organizations together, we create a powerful force for positive transformation. As we continue to prioritize unity, trust, and safety, National Night Out remains a cornerstone of building stronger, more resilient neighborhoods. Let us embrace this annual tradition and work together to make our communities safer and more vibrant places to call home.
National Day of Remembrance – September 24, 2023
National Day of Remembrance
The National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims, observed annually on September 25th, is a solemn occasion dedicated to honoring and remembering those who have lost their lives to acts of violence. This day serves as a platform for communities, families, and individuals to come together in solidarity, offering support to survivors and acknowledging the profound impact of homicide on individuals, families, and society as a whole.
Origins of the Day
The National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims traces its roots back to Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC), an organization founded in 1978 by Charlotte and Bob Hullinger after their daughter, Lisa, was tragically murdered. POMC was established to provide support and resources for families who have lost a loved one to homicide. Over the years, POMC worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by survivors of homicide victims.
In 2007, Congress officially designated September 25th as the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims through a unanimous resolution. This recognition marked a significant milestone in acknowledging the pain and grief experienced by survivors and provided a national platform for collective remembrance and support.
National Day of Remembrance at Crime Stoppers of Houston
Observance of the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims varies across communities and organizations. Events may include candlelight vigils, memorial services, workshops, art exhibits, and awareness campaigns. Crime Stoppers of Houston partners with the Houston chapter of Parents of Murdered Children each year to put on a National Day of Remembrance event to honor the victims of murder in Harris County for the previous year (September 2022-August 2023). While the primary focus is the victims lost for that year, all surviving family members of homicide are invited to attend the event held at the Crime Stoppers of Houston headquarters.
This Year’s Event:
At this year’s event we will have a new interactive exhibit for family members to write their loved one’s name on a paper butterfly and place it on an elegant hedge alongside fellow victims. The community will be able to pay tribute to the victims placed on the hedge throughout the month of October. Additionally, each victim’s family present at the event will have the opportunity to tell attendees about their loved one ahead of placing their butterfly onto the hedge wall. We will also hear from a victim’s mother who has worked hard this year to advocate for the rights of victims in Harris County and across the State of Texas. We invite all victims, advocates, and the community at large to attend our event. These activities provide opportunities for survivors to share their stories, remember their loved ones, and connect with others who have experienced similar loss.
When: September 24th at 6pm CST
Where: 3001 Main St, Houston, TX 77002
Further Details: Please feel free to bring a picture of your loved one to be displayed at Crime Stoppers during the event.
Overall, the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring impact of homicide on individuals, families, and communities. It fosters a sense of unity, compassion, and advocacy, ultimately contributing to a more supportive and empathetic society for survivors of homicide victims.
The Dangers of Celebratory Gunfire
As we gear up to celebrate Independence Day on July 4th, it’s important to remember that safety should always be a top priority. This festive holiday brings us together to commemorate the birth of our nation, but it’s crucial to take precautions and be mindful of potential dangers.
The Dangers of Celebratory Gunfire
A primary safety concern that arises during July 4th celebrations is the dangerous act of celebratory gunfire. Firing guns into the air to celebrate can have severe consequences, and it’s crucial to raise awareness about the dangers associated with this practice. For this reason, Crime Stoppers of Houston has partnered with Clear Channel Outdoor, the Harris County District Attorney’s office, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Martha Castex-Tatum’s office to provide a county-wide billboard campaign about the dangers of celebratory gunfire this holiday season. You can now see 41 billboards strategically placed across our county that provide awareness about this potentially fatal crime, and encourage community members to anonymously report information that could lead to the arrest of an individual who chooses to engage in celebratory gunfire.
Know the facts about celebratory gunfire:
- Gravity’s threat: What goes up must come down. Bullets fired into the air can reach considerable heights before gravity pulls them back down. Falling bullets can cause serious injuries or fatalities when they strike innocent people. In fact, in 2022 the Harris County Sheriff’s Office received 678 celebratory gunfire calls which is a 14% increase from 2021 and a 47% increase since 2019.
- Legal consequences: Celebratory gunfire is illegal in Harris County due to the inherent risks it poses. Engaging in this activity can lead to legal charges, including reckless endangerment or unlawful discharge of a firearm.
- Safe alternatives: Instead of resorting to celebratory gunfire, consider alternative ways to celebrate, such as attending community fireworks displays, organizing family-friendly events, or participating in parades and other festivities.
Here are 2 ways to report reckless celebratory gunfire:
- If you hear celebratory gunfire in your neighborhood but do not know the person doing it, call your local police department.
- If you hear celebratory gunfire in your neighborhood and know the person(s) doing it, you may report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 713-222-TIPS(8477).
Speaking of fireworks, fireworks are a traditional element of July 4th celebrations, captivating us with their dazzling colors and brilliant displays. However, it’s essential to handle fireworks responsibly to prevent accidents and injuries. Follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Observe local laws and regulations: Familiarize yourself with your local laws regarding fireworks usage. Some areas prohibit fireworks entirely, while others have specific rules and designated areas for their use. In the city of Houston, all firework usage is illegal. In unincorporated Harris County, you can legally use fireworks as long as you stay away from churches, hospitals, asylums, licensed childcare centers, and schools.
- Purchase from licensed vendors: Only buy fireworks from reputable sellers who follow safety standards. Look for proper labels indicating that the fireworks have been tested and approved.
- Adult supervision: Fireworks should only be handled by responsible adults who are knowledgeable about their usage. Keep children at a safe distance and never allow them to ignite or play with fireworks. Remember that alcohol and fireworks can be a dangerous combination.
- Create a safe launch zone: Find a flat, open area away from buildings, trees, and other flammable materials to launch your fireworks. Clear the surrounding area to minimize the risk of fires.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby: Have a bucket of water, a garden hose, or a fire extinguisher readily available in case of emergencies. This can help control small fires or extinguish fireworks that don’t ignite properly.
- Proper disposal: After your fireworks have completely burned, soak them in water before disposing of them in a closed metal container. This prevents accidental fires and keeps them out of reach of curious children.
July 4th is a time for celebration, unity, and remembrance. By prioritizing safety and being mindful of potential risks, we can ensure a joyous and accident-free Independence Day. When it comes to fireworks, always follow proper handling and usage guidelines, and be aware of local laws. Above all, let us refrain from engaging in celebratory gunfire, as it poses significant dangers to ourselves and others.
How hot is too hot for dogs?
Did you know?
- Dogs can develop heat stroke in as little as 30 minutes and can die within an hour of experiencing heat stroke.
- Both temperature and humidity can play a large part in the risk of head stroke in dogs. It is very risky to exercise your dog at temperatures above 77 degrees when high rates of humidity are present.
- The inside of your car can reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes on an 85-degree day.
As a state with hot summers and high temperatures, it is particularly important to protect animals in Texas from heatstroke, a dangerous condition that can occur when dogs are exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.
Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature rises above its normal range. This condition can be fatal if not treated promptly. Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include:
- excessive panting
- difficulty breathing
To prevent heatstroke in dogs, it is important to take precautions during hot weather. One of the most important steps is to never leave a dog in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked. The temperature inside a car can rise rapidly, and a dog can quickly become overheated.
It is also important to ensure that dogs have access to shade and water during hot weather. Dogs should have a cool and shady area to rest and access to fresh water at all times. Additionally, it is recommended to walk dogs early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature is cooler.
In Texas, there are also specific laws in place to prevent animal cruelty and neglect. The state’s animal cruelty law makes it a felony to engage in animal cruelty, which includes leaving animals in hot cars or other situations that could cause them harm. The law also requires animal shelters and rescue organizations to report suspected cases of animal cruelty to law enforcement.
In addition to the animal cruelty law, Texas also has laws that protect animals from neglect. The state has specific requirements for animal care, including adequate food, water, and shelter. Texas also requires that animals have access to veterinary care when necessary.
Animal Safety Education
Crime Stoppers of Houston has partnered with Houston PetSet to promote animal safety through education. Together, we provide materials to schools, animal shelters, and other organizations to promote responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. The materials cover topics such as proper care for your pet, how to engage with stray animals, and how to report suspected animal cruelty. Our hope is that with better education, comes better care for the animals of Texas!
Reporting Animal Cruelty
In an Emergency: If you see a crime in process and it involves an animal, dial 911.
Across the State of Texas: Texas has a statewide animal cruelty hotline that individuals can call to report suspected cases of animal cruelty. The hotline is available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 1-800-252-5400.
Houston’s Animal Cruelty Taskforce If you see a neglected or abused animal or a dumping ground of animals, call the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task force at 1-832-927-PAWS.
Animal safety and cruelty prevention are important issues that all Texans should take seriously!