HometownBell County


The other pandemic: Domestic violence grips Central Texas

Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 16:22:40-04
Domestic violence crisis in Central Texas

Seven dead within a one-week stretch would be disturbing anywhere.

It isn’t happening anywhere, though, it’s happening here in Central Texas.

Each one of the recent deaths from Killeen to Waco is tied to domestic violence.

There’s a lot happening in the world right now: Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s Spring Break for a lot of local families.

But guess who won’t have a Spring Break this year? Little 11-year-old Makayla Martin and six-year-old Alyssa Whitfield.

The cousins were murdered last week in Killeen by Makayla’s stepfather, according to authorities. His name isn’t worth mentioning.

Neighbors say they never knew anything was wrong.

This week in Waco, police say a man shot and killed his wife and mother.

His name isn’t worth mentioning either, but the victims are Kimberly Gorski and Teresa Vise.

Neighbors and friends say they never knew anything was wrong.

Ask any victim's advocate, and they'll explain how domestic violence cases are pretty much up across the board.

The pandemic did already fragile households no favors.

It's a crisis for local law enforcement, but don't make the mistake of thinking it isn't everyone’s problem.

More than ever, Central Texans need to watch out for one another. That goes for in the neighborhood, the classroom, the ball field, the workplace, and even Sunday service.

It doesn't take much to simply ask, listen or look for signs of abuse. If something doesn't seem quite right, there's a chance it isn't.

Please don't ignore that.

There are seven dead because there's a pandemic of abuse raging through Central Texas.

If you don't think it can happen to you, or your family, just ask the families of the seven dead.

Let's put a stop to it together.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233. It’s staffed 24/7.

To help the devastated families of the Makayla and Alyssa, click here.