HOUSTON (KIAH) — Houston has had a spike in crime over the last 10 years and domestic violence, resulting in deaths on the rise. A solution with valuable resources is now available for victims trying to leave a domestic violence situation.

The Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC) is launching a Safety Planning campaign – “Safety Planning Saves Lives” and it is now available in English and Spanish The potentially life-saving  planning tools are readily available to anyone who feels they are in danger. The campaign and tools are now featured front and center on the HAWC website.

Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC) visited CW39 to tell us more about the campaign and provided tip on how a victim can identify signs of abuse in a potentially dangerous relationship.

“Tragically, over the last three years, the Houston area has seen the homicide rate from domestic violence double,” Whitehurst said.  “If there is a gun in the home, the possibility of that abusive dynamic could escalate in a lethal situation for the victim by five times. If someone is thinking of exiting a relationship that has felt unsafe or threatened, the HAWC hotline and website chat is the first step a victim considers using right away,” Whitehurst added.

Over the last 10 years, violent crime remained high in Houston. CrimeGrade.org even gave Houston a “D” for cities among most dangerous to live, according to their crime maps and statistics.

The “Safety Planning Saves Lives” campaign and its tools can be accessed anytime and may mean the difference between life and death in an abusive dynamic. Share this story if you think someone you know if in an a potentially violent relationship.