Texas Domestic Abuse Laws and How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse is a term related to the domestic circumstances wherein the domestic abuser causes harm to his/her family member/s related either by marriage, living together or blood. This includes spouses, children, parents, foster parents and foster children and those that lived together in the past or residing together at present.
In Texas, the law enforcement agencies have been very stern with violators of domestic laws and doing great to protect the victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Domestic Abuse Laws in Texas involves:
- Recklessly or intentionally causing physical injury
- Intentionally threatening a household member
- Purposely touching the victim, knowing that the victim would be provocative
In Texas, verbal threats are also considered as violent; threatening or abusive words could land the domestic abuser in jail.
Arrests in domestic abuse cases will not need warrants. To make it clear, if the police have sufficient evidence to believe that abuse or violence has taken place, the concerned officer can go ahead and arrest the abuser.
Once the changes are made, the victim will not have the authority to drop the same. The state will proceed with the prosecution.
Penalty for Domestic Abuse in Texas
- Class A misdemeanor will carry a one-year jail term and/or a fine of $4000.
- A Class C misdemeanor carries a one- month jail term along with a fine.
- A first- degree felony will carry a prison term that ranges between 5-99 years along with a fine less than or equal to $10,000.
- A second-degree felony will carry 2-20 years of prison term and a fine of $10,000.
- A third-degree felony will carry 2-10 years prison term and a fine of $10,000.
It is to be noted here that a criminal conviction, even though it is a misdemeanor will become part of the abuser’s criminal record. This can have a severe impact on his/her job prospects, education and rights as a citizen of the United States.
The Factors that Influence the Kind of Penalty are as Follows:
- Victim’s relationship with the abuser
- The abuser’s convictions in the past for domestic abuse
- Whether strangulation/suffocation was involved
Help for Domestic Abuse in Texas
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline operates 24/7 and provides immediate support and lifesaving tools to ensure that the victims of domestic abuse find safety. It is free and confidential. Ph: 1-800-799-7233.
- The Texas Advocacy Project offers legal services free of cost to domestic abuse victims.
- VOICE (Advocates for Victims of Crime) is a center for legal services in Texas that provides free legal representation to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
- The Texas Council on Family Violence encourages healthy and safe relationships by offering support to the service providers and creates opportunities for the victims to free themselves from domestic abuse and violence.
Texas Domestic Abuse Statistics
- 1 out of every 3 residents in Texas experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
- 114 women in Texas were killed in 2012 by their partners.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety has in 2011 reported that there were over 190,000 domestic violence cases.
- 26.8% of males and 37.7% of females in Texas have experienced domestic abuse from their intimate partners.