Advocacy and legislation can bring justice.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence permeates every level of society, including our judicial system. While domestic violence perpetrators are often prosecuted within our judicial system, victims also appear in court and are prosecuted for unrelated charges. Victims of domestic violence can be forced– because of their unfortunate circumstances– to violate laws unrelated to domestic violence.

For example, a mother who is a victim of economic abuse may shoplift baby formula, knowing that asking for extra money from her partner would result in a bloodied lip and a black eye. This mother is caught, prosecuted, and summoned before a judge, where she is sentenced. Through the mother’s trial, there are clear signs of domestic violence. Although the court is not prosecuting a domestic violence charge, recognizing the signs of domestic violence can help victims find resources and avoid dangerous situations.

While domestic violence is often a personal and delicate issue, advocacy and legislation can help lessen the stigma for survivors and help bring about justice. The example stated above can be avoided by mandating domestic violence training for all judges in the state of Texas. Currently, Texas law allows judges who do not preside over domestic violence cases to be exempt from domestic violence training. Still, as we know, domestic violence presents itself uniquely for individual survivors. 

What Is Domestic Violence?

What do you picture when someone mentions domestic violence? Chances are you imagine a woman who has experienced physical abuse at the hands of her partner.  While physical abuse is an unfortunate part of domestic violence for many people, not all domestic violence is physical. The United States Department of Justice explains that “domestic violence is a pattern or abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner” and can be exhibited by physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological and technological abuse (source). Most importantly, domestic violence does not specifically affect women; anyone can be a victim. In Texas, domestic violence is referred to as family violence. 

Domestic violence– or family violence– impacts the emotional, mental, and physical health of every household member, especially children. According to the Federal Office on Women’s Health,  “over 15 million children in the United States live in homes where domestic violence has happened at least once”. Children living in a home where domestic violence is present are at risk of developing: sleep disorders, anxiety, guilt, low self-esteem, academic struggles, isolation, chronic head and stomach aches, aggression, and depression. Over time, children may develop diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Recovery from witnessing domestic violence is a life-long journey (source). The impact domestic violence can have on children is significant, which is why we have chosen to work on domestic violence as it relates to child welfare. 

Our Solution
During the 88th Texas Legislative Session Minaret Foundation has partnered with An-Nisa Hope Center to support judicial training legislation introduced by Representative Ana-Maria Ramos. This bill will help ensure that our judicial system properly understands the impact domestic violence can have on survivors. Through these trainings, we believe that the judicial system can become increasingly helpful in addressing domestic violence and offering survivors support. This bill will not burden the state with any additional costs. 

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Thank you for stopping by!

Phone: (281) 401-9229
Email: policy@minaretfoundation.com