By Sonya Campbell
Killeen Daily Herald
When a victim of domestic abuse wants help, she or he can turn to several service agencies and organizations in Bell County.
Therein lies part of the problem.
While there are multiple places that offer various services, there is no central group or organization that offers abuse survivors a complete picture of the services that are available to them.
To help remedy that problem, a loosely based group of professionals has formed the Central Texas Family Violence Task Force, which meets monthly to discuss the problem.
Participants include representatives from law enforcement, the courts, probation, heath care and social services, churches, nonprofits and others offering services related to family violence.
Typically, the meetings draw 30 to 40 people, according to Bell County prosecutor Anne Jackson, who serves as chairman of the task force.
The group plans to conduct its first conference Oct. 22 at the Central Texas Council of Governments building in Belton.
Primarily the event is meant for professionals in the field, Jackson said.
Participants will hear about case studies in morning and afternoon sessions, and will be able to ask a panel of experts about all aspects of family violence.
Jackson said she would like that panel to include an abuse survivor.
A leading reason behind the task force's creation and the conference is because family violence is on the rise.
"Overall, the numbers are up," Jackson said.
The sagging economy is partially to blame.
Being in a military community during wartime is another, she said.
In general, family abuse reports also rise during the summertime and holidays, when soaring temperatures, and alcohol and drugs often come into play.
From January through August of this year, nearly 800 assault with family violence cases were filed in Bell County.
Contact Sonya Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7557.