MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The oil industry is huge here for the economy in the Permian Basin. But it, and social media, may be directly related to a surge in domestic abuse in the area.
From 2013 to 2015, there were 18 murders in Midland county. Of those 18, seven were related to a family or household violence. The Midland Police Department crime liaison says she noticed a surge in domestic violence crimes during the oil boom.
"It was during the time the oil boom was going on so it brought in a lot of foreign people from other places," MPD Crime Liaison Ellie Samaniego said. "A lot of the people weren't home town related."
The people they report to at the district attorneys office agree, but thinks that's not the only reason for the rise.
"But what we see though in our community, from my aspect in our office," said First assistant District Attorney of Midland County Laura Nodolf. "We see people arrive because we believe that we have a good community that makes it safe for people to be able to go and report these crimes."
Last years reported domestic violence crimes reaches to 685 new cases and 42 continuing cases. Nodolf does say that another reason for the high amount of cases is social media.
"We have seen people who have hacked other peoples individual accounts and posted horrible, nasty things about an individual as if they were saying it themselves," Nodolf said. "We've had people message other people through social media in manors that could be deemed harassing or rise to the level of stalking."
The MPD says there is nothing too small to report, as that's how most of these situations begin and the best way to make sure it doesn't continue. The MPD says to use services such as the safe place of the Permian Basin.
Safe Place provides personal and legal advocacy... individual counseling and support groups. If you're unwilling to do so, you can call services such as Safe Place of the Permian Basin, a 24-hour emergency shelter to families affected by domestic violence.
Safe Place provides personal and legal advocacy, individual counseling and support groups. You can follow this link to their website.