One in four women have experienced domestic violence during their lifetime, and on average more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
These are startling statistics, that one local man knows about all to well. Chris Ormston's sister was murdered by her boyfriend, and now Chris is making sure his sister's memory lives on.
"One day she didn't come home," Ormston said. "My sister had gone missing."
In the summer of 1992, tragedy struck a small town near Cleveland, Ohio.
Angel Ormston, 17, went missing and for three months her family was left with nothing but unanswered questions.
"Days went by, weeks went by, and we still hadn't heard anything," Ormston said.
Ormston was a sophomore at Texas A&M University when his sister disappeared.
"One night she just didn't come home, we thought it was strange," Ormston said. "So the next day I went to where she worked just to see if her co-workers knew anything that happened and I saw her car there and her purse was on the front seat of her car."
Chris knew it was strange, but police had no leads, until December 15, 1992. Hunters discovered Angel's body in the woods, and her boyfriend Mark Sotka was soon charged with the crime.
Angel was pregnant and that news put Sotka over the edge.
"When she told her boyfriend this, he apparently freaked out," Ormston said. "He said he went crazy, according to the police reports, and he ended up stabbing her several times to death."
Sotka was sentenced to life in prison, but will be up for parole in the next four years.
Angel's family will be there. They'll defend her memory, just like her father did the day Sotka was put behind bars.
"He said you have it easy you and your family, you have it easy. Your family can go visit you in prison, myself and my family we have to visit a grave," Ormston said.
It's taken nearly two decades for Chris Ormston to talk openly about his sister's death, but he now says he's not stopping anytime soon.
"I feel that I owe it to her my sister," Ormston said. "I feel I owe it to her memory I feel she deserves it. I feel that her story needs to be heard."
Chris, a local radio personality on KORA who goes by Chris Austin, will share Angel's story Tuesday night at the 14th annual Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil. The vigil will take place at 7p.m. at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station.
Bryan Police Chief Ty Morrow will also speak about the dangers of domestic violence at the vigil.
"The theme of our vigil this year is Love is Not Abuse: Healthy and Unhealthy Dating Relationships," said Ashley McCollum, the Coalition's public outreach committee chairperson. "We have so many teens and college students in our community who need to know what makes up healthy relationships and learn the warning signs of potentially abusive dating partners. Public awareness about the issue of dating abuse is at the forefront of the Coalition's mission and goals this year. We want to make sure our youth and young adults are dating safely and know where to turn if they or someone they know is victimized by a dating partner."
Lily Reyna, fundraising committee chairperson of the Coalition and coordinator of the Vigil, added, "We are very fortunate to have KORA radio personality Chris Austin giving our keynote address this year."
Dating Abuse Statistics
· In 2007, the age group with the highest number of domestic and dating violence victims in Texas was 20 - 24 years old. (Texas Dept. of Public Safety - Crime in Texas 2007)
· 1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by a dating partner. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, Feb. 2005.)
· 1 in 4 teens in a relationship report enduring repeated verbal abuse. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, Feb. 2005.)
· 1 in 4 teen girls who have been in relationships reveal that they have been pressured to engage in sexual activities. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, Feb. 2005.)
· 62 percent of tweens (age 11-14) who have been in a relationship say they know friends who have been verbally abused (called stupid, worthless, ugly, etc) by a boyfriend/girlfriend. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, Feb. 2005.)
· Only half of all tweens (age 11-14) claim to know the warning signs of a bad/hurtful relationship. (Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, Feb. 2005.)