Police and Ministers Partner to Stop Family Violence

On the occasion of Valentine's Day, Houston Police are joining ministers from hundreds of area Churches in their efforts to stamp out family violence in Houston homes. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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This is part of the Men Against Family Violence campaign, launched last year by Houston Police, the Harris County Sheriff's Department, the District Attorney and the Houston Area Women's Center. At a news conference with representatives of hundreds of churches, Lt. J.R. Levingston, who commands HPD's Family Violence Unit, said it's not enough to help victims of family violence. It's time to go after the abusers.

"A slogan for the Men Against Family Violence campaign is "Abusers are Losers." If you abuse your family, you probably have already lost the respect of your family. The abusers could ultimately lose their family. And if law enforcement becomes involved, you will lose your freedom."

The Reverend Robert Jefferson of Houston Ministers Against Crime urged all ministers to take that message to their churches Sunday.

"We shall go to our pulpits on Sunday and speak against violence. However, we know we speak against violence every Sunday, but we will especially speak against Family Violence this Sunday. There will be a message, and we encourage anyone else that you can talk to, or you know, to call them and tell them this Sunday is the Sunday that we're gonna highlight Family Violence in our church."

The Reverend Jefferson says statistics show that about one out of every six people -- male and female -- will be the victim of domestic violence before they reach the age of 18, and his group is dedicated to changing that. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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