Rep. Henry Cuellar called for more funding for domestic violence and child abuse hotlines in FY23 appropriations bill

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Rep. Henry Cuellar and other city and county leaders addressed the issues of domestic violence and child abuse in the community, saying more funding is needed to address the problem.

On Tuesday, Cuellar went to Laredo Police Department headquarters to announce his support for national domestic violence and child abuse hotlines and calling for increased funding for them in the bill. appropriations for year 23.

During the event, various local law enforcement, city and county officials spoke about the need for more funding, as domestic violence and child abuse are serious issues seen in the community.


In the bill, the congressman is asking for $28 million for the Domestic Violence Hotline and $6 million for the Maternal Mental Health Hotline and the Child Abuse Hotline.

“In the credits, I added money for direct lines,” Cuellar said. “I know that when someone has a case of child abuse or domestic violence, they have to call local law enforcement, they have to call the police, the sheriff’s office, or even our (Courts of Judges of peace) or constables if there is an issue we need to look into I am putting more money into it so we can connect more with local law enforcement.

The congressman also said he would also like to see a pilot program installed so that better practices can be learned between agencies as well as improved communication so that issues of domestic violence and child abuse are not just stopped as much as possible, but also avoided.

“What we’re doing here is not just adding money to resources, but we’re also looking at asking for an additional $10 million so we can set up a pilot program with best practices such as intervention and preventative methods,” Cuellar said. “We can use it because maybe the sheriff is doing something…or the police are doing something here or the district attorney is running best practices, so we have to make sure we can teach people. other states or learn from other states.”

Laredo City District V Councilmember Ruben Gutierrez Jr., a former law enforcement officer, took some time during the event to discuss the extent of the city’s needs and bringing these funds to the region.

“It’s great that the congressman is bringing these funds to the city of Laredo because it’s something we need here,” Gutierrez said. “As you all know, the town of Laredo is not very well serviced, so these sums really help us. Sometimes we don’t have enough staff, enough staff at this facility to talk to people, and they need it because they are victims. As you may all know over the past two years of fighting COVID, the numbers (of domestic violence) have been rising all the time. So we see these women there- low.

Gutierrez pointed out that men are also victims of abuse. He said statistics from 2018 showed that 47% of victims of domestic violence were indeed men.

“People tend to forget that men are also abused at home and children are abused,” Gutierrez said. “A lot of times you hear about these endless fights in their home, but they don’t know why and don’t know what resources they can get to get help or be heard. These are issues we cannot forget.

The council member added that the funds and impact of increased help for these hotlines cannot be underestimated, as it will help these children, women and men find a way to express the type of abuse they feel while allowing someone to find them. appropriate help for their respective problems.

Laredo City Police Chief Claudio Trevino also spoke about the benefits that hotlines and additional funds bring to the community while stressing that more is needed to find best practices to help victims, such as counseling, working with non-profit organizations to provide assistance to victims and to intercept any potential abuse before it happens.

Trevino says education is also another vital tool against the problem of domestic violence, as children should be taught from an early age that violence of any kind is not right. They must also be taught not to commit these acts as they age.

“We believe that any victim at any time in their life can be ready, find power and most importantly leave any domestic violence situation that is causing problems in their life, and the domestic hotline is what it is for. destiny,” Webb County Amaury Obregon, a domestic violence investigator with the sheriff’s department, said.

The congressman said the additional funds are intended to improve coordination and communication between different agencies in an effort to provide needed relief against these issues in the community.

Cuellar said the hotline’s database is operational 24 hours a day, every week, is confidential and provides quick help to those in need.

Cuellar thanked all law enforcement at the event and everyone on the ground for their continued work against domestic violence and child abuse. He also said future funds will flow to the city for various projects, including a west side health clinic, the revitalization of the downtown Plaza Theater and $2 million for the streets of Rio Bravo.

Some of the other dignitaries present at the event were Laredo City District II Council Member Vidal Rodriguez, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, Webb County Commissioner Pct. 4 Cindy Liendo, a representative from the State of Texas Representative Tracy King (D-80), a representative from the Webb County District Attorney’s Office and other community members.

The Child Abuse Hotline can be contacted by calling 1-800-422-4543 or texting this number for more information. For incidents of domestic violence, call or text the national hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Services through these hotlines are also provided in Spanish and other languages.

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