With the latest cases of domestic violence taking precedence on national and international television, newspapers and the social media, The Eagle Pass News Gram reached out to Carolina Gonzalez, Victim Advocate
and Community Educator for the Wintergarden Women's Shelter who said that she handled 264 cases of domestic violence, spousal abuse and abuse to children in 2013-2014.
"The problem is, Mr. Ibarra, that only 60 % of our cases have gotten to the intervention level, that means that the other 40% may be afraid to say anything," said Gonzalez who says the shelter
is in dire need of a building to serve as a shelter in case of emergency and a more centralized office because many times these women do not have a place to stay.
"We are located at 253 Ruela in Pueblo Nuevo which is also the Nick Carr Center in Precinct 2 which we appreciate Commissioner Casares for allowing us to be housed here, but we
would like to be more centrally located for the benefit of more citizens who may not be able to come all the way out here."
She of course is referring to the unceremonious ousting she and her agency experienced when the Maverick County Hospital District decided to end their agreement with Maverick
County some months back where she says they had a higher degree of traffic and were able to help more women.
"These women have endured physical, emotional and verbal abuse and a statistic that is not available is for the children of these families who by simply being there are undergoing
mental abuse when they see one parent beating another."
Gonzalez added that if anyone be it a woman or a man is undergoing any type of domestic violence they should call the police, make a police report and file charges.
"You need to do this the first time, because the first time you forgive, this is where the pattern of abuse begins and will likely continue, remember, Mr. Ibarra, we had two murders last year.
How far does this abuse have to go before women stop the suffering? Until their husband kills them?"
They remind women that local resources which are available are their agency, the police department, our sheriff's department, "They help us a lot and respond quickly. We really appreciate them,
" commented Mrs. Gonzalez, "We also have Rio Grande Legal Aid available to us and Roberto Garza an attorney from Austin handles a lot of our cases among other local attorneys who assist us
in divorces and custody cases.
Another aspect of the program are presentations at secondary schools as she says that there is also a lot of teenage dating violence in our community which should concern every parent.
They will also begin making presentations at both junior highs and our elementary schools to discuss the phenomenon of bullying and to reach out to children who may be experiencing sexual abuse.
The Wintergarden Women's Shelter serves Dimmit, LaSalle, Maverick and Zavala Counties and can be contacted at 757-5188. If any generous and benevolent member of our community
has a building that can serve as a shelter or a centralized office that can function as a support center, please please contact Mrs. Gonzalez.
When asked what she thought of the recent NFL players Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson and their off the field issues, she felt that these players should be dealt with accordingly.
"I find they're doing a great job, they are going to have serious penalties for any player that commits these crimes."
-Plaza San Juan
Nice cultural and folkloric event was held on Monday in the Plaza San Juan where the Mariachi Lightning enlivened the event as well as Maria Elena Daniel with traditional Mexican songs.
The cry tradiocional was the culmination of an event well attended by entire families who took advantage of the typical Mexican food and really friendly.
A festive event attended by hundreds was held at la Guadalupana Adult Day Care on Tuesday as our Mexican Consulate Ismael Naveja Macias graced the event with his presence adding an official touch of authenticity to the celebration honoring the independence of our neighboring country.