Casa de Misericordia Board Member Retreat

January 13, 2015

On January 13, 2015 the Casa de Misericordia Board gathered for their annual retreat at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Education Center. After tending to shelter board business, board members learned more about the common causes, triggers, and effects of domestic violence. While many board members, were well acquainted with the common signs of domestic violence and the possible remedies for victims and their families, the discussion about causes, risk factors, triggers, and effects further enriched board member’s understanding of a victim’s struggle. Our Board Members always strive to better understand the challenges and obstacles victims experience so they can enact shelter policies that truly empower and support families. Casa de Misericordia is blessed to have incredible board members. Each board member has made such a tremendous commitment to stand with victims on their path to safety.


Board members learned about the various theories around the causes of domestic violence. Domestic Violence experts have offered the following possible causes for violence in homes:
  • Biological: Some individuals experience trauma-induced changes in their brain development causing an onset of either learned or reactive aggressive behaviors.
  • Individual Psycho-Pathology: Some individuals respond with aggressive or controlling behaviors as a result of childhood exposure to violence.
  • Relationship Interaction: Some violent behavior is caused by an inherent imbalance of power and control within intimate and/or familial relationships.
  • Societal Structure: Some violent behavior stems from a larger cultural phenomenon of gender inequality and patriarchal attitudes.

Fifty Obstacles to Leaving, a.k.a., Why Abuse Victims Stay

by Sarah M. Buel

It is when my head makes contact with the wall that I freeze, though his fist is coming toward me again. I have not yet taken behavior psychology and do not know that some animals flee when attacked.It would take me yet another year of planning, forgiving, calling, reaching for help, before I could leave. The Legal Aid Office told me there was a three-year wait, even for a divorce when you were getting hit. All the private attorneys wanted at least $10,000 for a retainer since he threatened to contest custody.The judge told me I needed to keep the family together. The priest told me to diversify the menu and stop cooking so much Italian food. Only the older, male marriage counselor told me that it was dangerous for me to stay. So, now I’m a single Mom, without child support and trying to go to night school and keep my job. But with minimum wage, I can’t seem to pay both day care and the rent, so sometimes I think about going back, just to make sure my son has enough to eat. It hurts more to watch him eat macaroni with ketchup for the third night, than it ever did to get beaten. 

Domestic Violence Relief and Assistance


The Laredo Police Department and Casa Misericordia have partnered up to extend an additional tool for our community’s education for Domestic Violence relief and assistance. For the past 5 years; Both organizations have been functioning shoulder to shoulder to reduce family altercations and bring the topic of domestic assaults and violent episodes to the forefront including stricter prosecutions with the support of the District Attorney’s Office. The project of the City Bus Mobile Billboard was a coordinated effort involving the Hachar Media company, Casa Misericordia and its Education Committee.



4712 MAHER
Laredo, Texas 78041

Contact: Investigator Joe E. Baeza
Cellular: (956) 285-0579
Fax: (956) 795-3120
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.