POLICE Department

Family Violence Unit - Links and Suggested Readings

Family Violence-A Community Issue   

Promoting healthy, respectful, and nonviolent relationships and communities may help reduce the occurrence of domestic violence.  As a community we need to ensure that survivors are empowered with support to report abuse and most importantly to have information regarding available resources and housing so they are not reliant on the abuser.  This is a very serious issue that affects to quality of life for many citizens in our community.  Drawing attention to this problem and informing survivors of available services and options are ways everyone can assist in combating this crime.

Texas Department of Public Safety 2020 Crime in Texas – Family Violence Pages 91-95

Definition The Texas Family Code, Chapter 71.004, defines Family Violence as "an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself." The law includes abuse; defined as physical injury that results in substantial harm or genuine threat; sexual contact, intercourse, or conduct; or compelling or encouraging the child to engage in sexual conduct. The law excludes the reasonable discipline of a child. For Family Violence Reporting, the law defines "family" to include individuals related by consanguinity (blood) or affinity, marriage or former marriage, biological parents of the same child, foster children, foster parents, and members or former members of the same household (including roommates regardless of gender).  Texas Family Code Chapter 71 includes "Dating Violence" in the family violence reporting. The law defines "Dating Relationship" as a relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

Analysis Volume: The total number of Texas family violence incidents in 2020 was 213,875. This represented an 8.6% increase when compared to 2019. These incidents involved 231,029 victims (increased 9.2% from 2019) and 224,792 offenders (increased 9.0% from 2019).

Offenses:  Family violence offense information fall into five general categories; assault, homicide, kidnapping/abductions, robberies, and sex offenses.  Of the five categories, assaults accounted for 94.8% of all offenses. Assaults 94.8% (Aggravated Assaults 13.9%; Simple Assaults 71.8% and Intimidation 9.2%)

Family Violence Homicides 0.2% Murder & Non negligent Manslaughter 403 0.2%; Negligent Manslaughter 34 0.0% and Justifiable Homicide 1 0.0%.  

Victim / Offender Relationships: The largest percentage of family violence reports was between other family members. The second most commonly reported relationship among offenders and victims was Husband/Wife relationship, and the third most common relationship was Parent/Child.

Victims Incidents of family violence in 2020 involved 231,029 victims. Of the victims whose sex was known, 29.2% were male, and 70.8% were female. The age group with the highest number of victims was the 25-to-29-year-old bracket.

Offenders: In 2020, 224,792 offenders were involved in incidents of family violence. Of the offenders whose sex was known, 72.8% were male, and 27.2% were female. The age group showing the highest number of offenders was the 25-to-29-year-old bracket.

Percentage of Family Violence by Major Injury:  Of the apparent major injuries, 12.3% were from unconsciousness, 19% were from severe lacerations, 31.1% from other major injuries, 1.7 were from loss of teeth, 28.2% were due to possible internal injuries, and 6.8% from broken bones.     

Percentage of Family Violence by Weapon Used:  Blunt objects accounted for 1.8% of the incidents, firearms 3.3%, knives or cutting instruments 3.7%, other weapons 6.1% (motor vehicles, poison, explosives, fire, drugs, and misc. weapon) the most common was strong-arm 74.3%, followed by unknow weapons 0.9%.    

Texas Council on Family Violence - HONORING TEXAS VICTIMS -Family Violence Intimate Partner Fatalities in 2020

The Texas Council on Family Violence-Honoring Texas Victims- is the only comprehensive analysis of intimate partner homicides in Texas.  Two Hundred and Twenty Eight Texans were intimate partner Homicides.  In 2020, TCFV recorded the deaths of 183 women killed by their male partner, 40 men killed by their female partner, and one women and four men killed by same-sex partners across 68 Texas counties.  The highest number of fatalities are reported in the  counties with the largest populations in the state.  Thirty-seven fatalities occurred in Harris County, which represents a six percent increase from 35 homicides in 2019.           

Texas Council on Family Violence – Texas Statewide Program Directory 2019

The 2019 Serving Texas Families Family Violence Service Programs Statewide Directory lists the family violence service providers alphabetically by city.  Also, TCFV provides a list of accredited Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPPs) by County.  Although many different types of professionals can help offenders change their abusive behavior, courts that refer offenders must send them to an accredited BIPP.  The program or professional must comply with Texas Department of Criminal Justice Community Justice Assistance Division guideline.         

National Domestic Violence Hotline Report- 2021 A Year of Impact

The National Domestic Violence Hotline in the year 2021 received 620,193 answering 408,370.  Types of abuse Emotional; & Verbal Abuse 96%; Physical Abuse 61%; Economic & Financial Abuse 26%.  In 2021, advocates provided 208,765 referrals to shelter and domestic violence service providers and 192,898 to additional resources across the nation. 

National Network to End Domestic Violence NNEDV 15th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report

The National Network to End Domestic Violence Counts Report-In just one day, 76,525 adults and children received essential domestic violence services.  Emergency shelters and housing programs provided refuge for 38,586 adult and child victims, and an additional 37,939 adults and children received support and advocacy through non-residential services, such as counseling, child care, courtroom advocacy, and other services.  Local, state, territorial, and national domestic violence advocates received 21,231 hotline contacts and provided 775 trainings on domestic violence prevention, early intervention, and related topics to 10,091 people.  Unfortunately, 11,047  requests for services went unmet on the survey day due to lack of resources.           

National Teen Dating Violence-love is respect.org-Texas State Report

In 2019, loveisrespect documented 2,243 contact from Texas. Loveissrespect provides crisis intervention, safety planning, referrals and DV and healthy relationship education.  The state of Texas ranks 2nd in terms of contact volume.  Houston was 22% of the contact volume.       

The Harris County Health and Relationship Study Brief Report March, 2021

The 2021 Harris County Health and Relationship study conducted by the University of Texas Medical Branch and Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council found that of their survey participants impacted by domestic violence and who reached out for help, the majority sought help from a friend or family member. 

Harris County Domestic Violence Partners are Working Together