Texas Council on Family Violence Praises Senator Jane Nelson for her Leadership

Austin, Texas – May 8, 2013– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today praises the Texas Legislature for their overwhelming support passing legislation to protect victims of domestic violence.

The Texas House and the Texas Senate passed SB 743 by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound. The bill will better protect victims of domestic violence from individuals who continually violate protective orders. Rep. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, sponsored the bill in the House. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.

SB 743 creates a 3rd degree felony for offenders who violate a protective order two or more times within a 12-month period while the first violation is still pending in court.

“This legislation will further protect victims of domestic violence,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “People who repeatedly violate protective orders represent a serious risk of danger to victims of domestic violence. We are always working to review our current laws and pass new laws like SB 743 to better protect Texans. We thank Senator Nelson and Representative Lucio for their leadership and working with the Texas Council on Family Violence for many years to pass strong laws to protect victims of domestic violence,” said Terry.

102 women died in domestic violence deaths in 2011 in Texas. Last year nearly 80,000 women, children and men found safe sanctuary from violence at domestic violence shelters. State funding helps support sixty-nine 24-hour shelters, 10 non-residential centers and 16 special project sites.

By giving our prosecutors another tool to deter individuals who commit these crimes, we can better protect victims of abuse,” said Senator Nelson. “This legislation will save lives, and I am proud to see it on its way to the Governor’s desk.”

Protective orders are the state’s message through the court system to a batterer that continued violence is not acceptable. Unfortunately, batterers ignore court mandated protective orders, often doing so more than once, doing so close in time and even while another violation of protective order criminal case is pending.

As a case makes its way through the court system, it may take 12 months or more to dispose of one violation of protective order case, during which time the offender can continue to violate the offense and the offense remains the same level offense (a class A misdemeanor). This measure will make two or more violations within a single year chargeable as a third degree felony.

###

The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence. HYPERLINK “http://www.tcfv.org”www.tcfv.org

MEDIA CONTACT:
Angela Hale, 512.289.2995
angela@redmediagroup.com