Crisis Center Reaching Out to Group They Fear Will Remain Silent

Crisis Center Reaching Out to Group They Fear Will Remain Silent

By Alicia Neaves

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The Crisis Center in Odessa is dealing with more abuse cases, all because of the boom. But they're reaching out to a certain group who might not know they're here to help.

Many men and women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse are simply too scared to reach out for help. Many of them are undocumented immigrants. The Crisis Center wants to engrave in everyone's minds, it doesn't matter where you're from, their services are at everyone's fingertips.

Just three questions are asked by The Crisis Center when asking for their help.

"We ask, obviously, what the situation was, what the suspect's name is and what they look like. That's all. We're there to help them. We don't need to know anything else," Maribel Yanez, Child Advocate at The Crisis Center, said. Unfortunately, they fear one group will remain silent: undocumented immigrants. Not just because they fear retaliation but also deportation.

"They've been told that by the abuser, 'If you call the cops, they're gonna send you back to Mexico,' and they believe it because they don't know how it works," Yanez said.

Those who do call police to report sexual abuse or domestic violence are not asked by police about their citizenship. They are only referred to places that can help.

The local non-profit provides victims of abuse a safe place for them and their children to stay to help them get back on their feet. They say, many times, the abused will call police but will have no place to go other than the home where the abuser can find them again. Other victims believe living a life of domestic violence is normal.

"They only give them a certain amount of money to spend, 'You can only buy bread and milk.' Whether its you can only go out to the store. You can't have friends. You can't have a cell phone. That's abuse as well," Yanez said.

If you wish to reach out to The Crisis Center, you can call 432-333-2527.