Houston Newsmakers: Drastic increase in domestic violence since pandemic began

Incidents up 40% in Harris County

It is a sobering set of statistics -- A 40% increase in domestic violence crime in Harris County since the start of the Pandemic. Domestic violence related homicides for August were up 78% from the same period last year.

Maisha Colter is the Chief Executive Officer of AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence.)

“I have not seen the number and the magnitude of instances of intimate partner violence, especially those that result in fatalities in my career,” she said. “And I’ve been doing it 20 years.”

Colter is a guest this week on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says there are many reasons for the startling increase, including when one spouse decides to leave a dangerous situation. “Domestic violence is about power and control and when an abuser sees that someone is really taking back control and trying to have that autonomy and make their life safer, they feel out of control and they usually assert themselves in the most negative ways.”

See the full interview on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

Unique collaboration to settle Afghan refugees in Houston

Four non-profit organizations have formed a unique partnership to help Afghan refugees resettle in the Houston area.

Martin B. Cominsky is the President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston. His organization is teaming up with the YMCA of Greater Houston, The Alliance, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. They raised three million dollars initially with the goal of eight million to help in resettlement.

“We decided that bringing our resources together, bringing our excellent staff that is well trained in this area, translators, medical folks and everything together, was the best way we could solve the problem.”

See what’s involved in this big resettlement effort and how many Afghans are expected and much more.

Early Childhood Education goes Mobile

More than 90% of Houston area children live in what preschool experts call “childcare deserts”. Melanie J. Johnson, Ed.D., is the President & CEO of Collaborative for Children. She says the lack of early education opportunities led to the development of the Collab-Lab mobile education bus that will travel to the areas that most need it.

“We want to make sure that the brain is getting the stimulation it needs when its developing most rapidly,” she said.

See what it’s all about, the challenges and rewards of early education and ways you can help.

More Information:

Maisha Colter, Chief Executive Officer, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

· Website: https://avda-tx.org/

Martin B. Cominsky, President & CEO, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston

· Website: https://www.imgh.org/

· Website: https://houstonafghanhelp.org/

Melanie J. Johnson, Ed.D., President & CEO, Collaborative for Children

· Website: https://collabforchildren.org/

About the Author:

Journalist, meteorologist, community leader and volunteer.