Houston NewsMakers for Oct. 2: New Astrodome plan; domestic violence awareness month

HOUSTON – The Harris County Commissioners Court voted on a plan to save the Astrodome that does not require a vote.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said it came down to doing business as usual.

“We maintain buildings that belong to the county all the time, the administration building we’re refurbishing, the 1910 courthouse, the other courthouses, the annexes,” he said. “This is just another building that belongs to the county that’s paid for. The only reason you go for a bond vote is if the amount you’re seeking would require a tax increase and we don’t need that.”

Emmett told Khambrel Marshall that getting the Dome back into some kind of use will be a very good move.

“I like to refer to it as Discovery Green on steroids. You’re going to have this open space of seven and a half acres and surrounded by all kinds of possibility," Emmett said.

AND, October is domestic violence awareness month!

Why domestic violence kills & ways to stop it!

An average of 20 people every minute are physically abused in the United States, the equivalent of 10 million victims annually.

The Houston Area Women’s Center exists to make sure those dealing with abuse have some place to turn in those darkest of times.

“We want abuse victims to know they are not alone and that it is not their fault,” said Rebecca White, the President and CEO of the HAWC.

She said that many times, the biggest misconception is that the abused person should have and could have just left.

“Why doesn’t she just leave?” said White. “If that were me, I wouldn’t put up with that. I’m a strong woman and I would leave.”

The perceptions are way off base, she said.

“Trust me, we see strong women every day, and there are a lot of very valid reasons why they don’t leave,” White said.

Sonia Corrales is the Chief Program Officer of the HAWC and said, “The most dangerous time for someone being abused is when they decide to leave.”

She said the HAWC works to help clients who come to them develop a plan of protection and some level of financial support so they have the freedom to get on with their lives.

Domestic abuse is suffered by men and women. One in three women and one in four men are victims, with domestic violence hotlines in America receiving almost 21,000 calls per day.

There are two key numbers locally you should keep handy:

  • For Domestic Abuse Help (713) 528-2121
  • For Sexual Assault Help: (713) 528-RAPE (7273)

Contact information for this week’s guests:

  • Judge Ed Emmett, (R) Harris County  Chair Houston Firefighters’ Relief & Retirement Fund, 713-755-7000, www.Judgeemmett.org
  • Rebecca White, President & CEO, Houston Area Women’s Center, 713-528-6798, www.hawc.org
  • Sonia Corrales, Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women’s Center, 713-528-6798, www.hawc.org

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