By Alicia Neaves
PERMIAN BASIN - October kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is set to target those with warrants connected to this crime.
The reality is, in the United States, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by their partner. Unfortunately, with the rise in population in the Basin, comes a rise in domestic violence.
"We will find you." That's the message from the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force to anyone with warrants linked to domestic violence.
"You have to know that they're always looking over their shoulders, thinking are [the U.S. Marshals] coming? Are we going to get them today?" Robert Almonte, United States Marshal of the Western District of Texas, said.
Our local police department, sheriff's office, DPS, U.S. Marshals and domestic violence advocates are joining forces to raise awareness for this deadly crime.
"[The victims] always think they have to go back. They don't want to file charges. They want to drop charges. That's not always the best thing to do," Midland County Sheriff, Gary Painter, said.
"We also need to think of the children. Just because they aren't seeing it face to face, they are hearing it and they are becoming victims as well, even if they are in the other room," Communications Services Director for The Crisis Center of Odessa, Leah Morgan, said.
This comes just after three NFL players made headlines. Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings for child abuse, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens and Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals for domestic violence.
Local law enforcement says domestic disturbance calls are some of the most dangerous to respond to.
If anyone with a warrant makes a run for it, they are slapped with additional charges.
"If they have a warrant, they better turn themselves in. If they don't, we're coming after them and they're not gonna like the way we do it," Painter said.
Many think the abuse will only happen once. Others might think there is no help. Domestic violence advocates say all you have to do is ask and trust that the criminal will be found and will be prosecuted.
"Now you have the Marshals involved, so we can reach out to our counterparts all over the country, all over the world and find these people," Almonte said.
"There's no place they can hide. No place they can hide. We'll find them," Painter said.
Tuesday marked a historic event for the U.S. Marshals as they celebrated their 225th anniversary. They are the nation's oldest federal law enforcement agency.