Study hits too close to home says aunt of murder victim

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An alarming new study ranks Texas sixth in the nation in the number of women killed by men. More than 200 females were victims of murder in Texas in 2008. Researchers based their findings on state and national statistics and found that 92% of the women knew the person that killed them.

East Texan, Marcia Garcia, can't forget the horror of her niece's death. She says it was her niece's husband who was responsible.

"Her husband killed her," said Garcia. "Dead. Mutilated. He had just chopped her up."

More than 10 years after her niece was murdered, Garcia says the recent study by the Violence Policy Center hits too close to home, as Texas ranks sixth in the nation when it comes to the rate of women killed by men.

"She was going to get a divorce, and her husband told her, 'If I can't have you, nobody else can either,'" said Garcia.

It is a tragic story that is familiar to many families nation-wide. The Violence Policy Center analyzed FBI data and ranked Nevada first in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men. Texas came in sixth with a rate of 1.72 women killed for every 100,000 women.

"That really doesn't surprise me," said Martha Carney, with the East Texas Crisis Center. "We have a lot of domestic violence here."

Carney says they saw an 11% increase in clients from 2008 to 2009.

"We saw approximately 1,600 clients in our five county area," said Carney.

"If we keep looking over it, the numbers will continue to climb," said Michelle Johnson.

Johnson was a victim of domestic abuse and had a miscarriage due to the violence.

"I feared for my life because he always threatened my life," said Johnson. "He threatened to burn the house down and find me and kill me."

As a former victim of domestic violence, Johnson uses her experience to help others. She founded a domestic abuse shelter called Sisters in Christ.

"Get out, tell someone [and] don't try to do it on your own," said Johnson.

Helping women before they become a statistic.

If you want to look at the violence policy findings, click here.

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