GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. -- If you think domestic violence is a problem that doesn't affect you, you may be wrong. Statistics show nearly one-third of women in the U.S. will be physically or sexually abused during their lives, but area prosecutors, law enforcement, and crisis centers are trying to change that.
Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown recently put up several billboards around Sherman showing the disturbing statistics: approximately 3,000 women are killed by their husband or partner every year.
One local woman says she almost became one of those statistics.
Tascha Bond is a domestic violence survivor and an advocate trying to help others break out of bad situations.
"It takes a lot of courage and strength to be able to leave that situation, the first or the eighth time," Bond says.
Bond says when she first met her now ex-husband, he was a loving, kind man, but she says all that changed once they were married. He became verbally abusive and controlling, and then one night, he got physical.
"The final straw was an evening that erupted in torture. Basically I was beaten in my own home, and I had to crawl out the window and run for help."
Bond says she knew then it was time to leave. She pressed charges and then filed for divorce. Her ex-husband was convicted of rape and other domestic violence charges in Bryan County and is now spending 52 years in an Oklahoma penitentiary, but Bond says not all women are able to leave.
That is why bond says the billboards recently put up by the grayson County District Attorney's Office are so important.
"The more a man sees that he can get away with it, and the man feels empowered, the worse the abuse gets, so we want to stop the dangerous situations that are really life threatening,” district attorney Joe Brown says.
Brown and Bond both encourage victims to get help when they are ready. They suggest crisis centers, which provide a safe home for women escaping violent situations, and they also provide programs like counseling, support groups, and even life skills training to their clients.
Last year the crisis center helped about 800 people. Misty Thompson, the family violence director, says before the billboards went up, much of the center's business was from referrals. Now, more and more women are seeking help on their own.
"Hopefully, all that will make them feel better about themselves to understand that they don't deserve to be treated like that," Thompson said.