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Domestic Violence Victims Lack Resources In North Texas

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It's often the secret crime.  The quiet family crime.  In South Oak Cliff Saturday, several hundred people marched through the streets against it.  A march against domestic violence.

And there is a lot of frustration here because these advocates for victims say right now every domestic violence shelter in Dallas is full.

There's no room and organizers of the march, which is in its fourth year,  say it's a vicious cycle for victims.

One victim whose identity we're protecting says she's going to have to leave a shelter Monday because she'll have reached the maximum number of days allowed.

"I've tried calling every shelter, every homeless shelter, and they are full to capacity," she says.  "They can only help so many families at a time."

So with no job right now and no real options, she's considering moving back in with her husband.

The Family Place is launching a $12-million campaign to build a new shelter and counseling center.

It can't be built soon enough.

Debra Nixon-Bowles says she's a survivor of domestic violence.  She says she left her abuser eight times before finally leaving him for good.  She now works closely with victims, trying to find them housing when they're in crisis.

"The last two months, the numbers have increased," says Nixon-Bowles.  "I mean every day the shelters are at capacity.  I've talked to other shelters and they're experiencing the same thing. The numbers are increasing because, remember, we're telling the women to leave, but where do they go?"

Nixon-Bowles is the founder and executive director of Women Called Moses, an organization that works on behalf of domestic violence victims.

She says when there's no where to go, many women become homeless, child protective services gets involved and often the victims go back to their abuser.

The message Saturday is the fight against domestic violence needs more resources and more shelters in North Texas.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings issued a statement on the issue Saturday night.  He says, "One measure of progress is if more women are seeking help at our area shelters. However, we know that violence against women remains a very real problem in Dallas and surrounding areas and we continue to need financial support from the community in this effort."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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