February 23, 2024
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Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

In 18 years of working for Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock, Steve Garcia says that violence against women has increased, both because the population has increased and that through awareness efforts, domestic violence is reported more often.
However, Garcia, Coordinator of Community Education and Outreach Services, says that, per capita, the incidence of domestic violence has remained about the same.
Referrals of a domestic abuse situation may come through a police department or an emergency room.
“Ultimately, though, there’s going to have to be a phone call. We’re going to have to speak with the woman herself in order to gain information and know that this is what she’s wanting,” Garcia said.
Many times, well-being people want WPS to intervene, but, “Maybe she’s not ready yet,” Garcia said. “This is her choice.”
For women who are considering leaving a violent situation, it’s helpful to have a plan in place.
“The most dangerous time is when a female is leaving a domestic abuse situation,” Garcia said. “This is the time when severe assaults and murders can happen. For her own welfare, it’s good to have a plan in place that’s not haphazard, that very detailed.”
The shelter, located in Lubbock, serves 12 counties including Bailey, Cochran, Crosby, Dickens, Garza, Hockley, King, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Terry and Yoakum.
At maximum capacity, the Lubbock shelter can house around 220 women and children, age 18 and younger.
“We never turn anyone away,” Garcia said. “We have emergency funding so that they can be placed in a hotel temporarily until spot opens up.”
Counselors on staff are trained to deal with domestic violence as well as PTSD, offering trauma-based emotional abuse counseling for both the adults and the children.
“We offer a safe shelter, clothes and healing while she’s processing the pain and the hurt,” Garcia said. “We want the woman to work toward self-sufficiency so that she’s able to live on her own.”
In some cases, women may want to work toward a GED or continue her education, all the way up through grad school level.
“We’ll help her work toward education, employment, capabilities or whatever her needs may be until she has something that she can sustain,” Garcia said.
In addition to help for women and children, Women’s Protective Services has BIP, or Batterers Intervention Program, to educate batterers and prevent further abuse.
“If there’s no intervention, no education on their part, they’re pretty much doomed to repeat the cycle of abuse and create new victims,” Garcia said.
For more information, visit www.wpslubbock.org.

Contact information

If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911. If you are in need of assistance and are in Lubbock or one of the surrounding counties, call their 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-806-747-6491 or 1-800-736-6491.
For those outside of the Lubbock region, please call:
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Remember, all calls to WPS are confidential and anonymous. If you are in an abusive relationship and need to talk to someone or need our assistance, please call our Crisis Hotline.

Fundraising event announced
Women’s Protective Services is excited to announce the 20th annual “Planting the Seeds for Change” event. This year the Hurst benefit drawings will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at in the Banquet Hall at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Tickets to enter the drawing are $100. Winners will be chosen for two John Deere Front Loading Tractors, a Gator, and a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower. Also, the ticket price includes a dinner for two with live music by Spur 327, fantastic Casino Games, and a wonderful Silent Auction. Tickets can be purchased by calling 806-748-529 or at any Hurst Farm Supply. All funds received will be used to support victims of Domestic Abuse in Lubbock and the surrounding 11 counties.



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