HOUSTON (KIAH) — The Domestic Violence Unit at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office says thousands of calls come in each year from people suffering from abuse at home.

“In just 2022, there were over 15,000 domestic violence calls placed just at Harris County alone,” Deputy Investigator Christopher Wilkerson said. “So far this year, 2023, it’s over 11,900 calls placed for domestic violence. So it’s becoming a problem.”

It’s a problem that can turn deadly.

Wilkerson’s colleague, Melissa Ramirez — a domestic violence unit victim advocate — says 216 victims died from the abuse they suffered in Harris County last year.

“Seven of those, if I’m not mistaken, were males,” she said. “Domestic violence does not discriminate against gender, age, race.”

One of the protections Wilkerson, Ramirez, and victims advocates across the country offer is getting domestic violence victims out of abusive situations and into shelters.

Supplying those shelters is the goal of a donation drive that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is hosting in October.

This Friday, October 27, is the deadline to donate t-shirts, socks, men’s and women’s underwear, and a number of other items.

Deputies are accepting those donations at their substations for Districts 1-4 in Cypresswood, Humble, Wallisville, and on Clay Road in Houston.

 “We try to do everything that we can do to try to get you out of that situation,” Wilkerson said to domestic violence victims.

Need help?

If you or anyone you know needs help in a domestic violence situation, we have resources for shelter and legal as well as counseling and a 24/7 hotline to call.