DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INFORMATION
Why Do Women Stay?
Definition of Family Violence
What Is Domestic Violence?
Abuse in Texas
What is an Order of Protection?
|Why Do Women Stay?
All too often the question "Why do women stay in violent relationships?" is answered with a victim blaming attitude. Women victims of abuse often hear that they must like or need such treatment, or they would leave. Others may be told that they are one of the many "women who love too much" or who have "low self-esteem." The truth is that no one enjoys being beaten, no matter what their emotional state or self image.
A woman's reasons for staying are more complex than a statement about her strength of character. In many cases it is dangerous for a woman to leave her abuser. If the abuser has all of the economic and social status, leaving can cause additional problems for the woman. Leaving could mean living in fear and losing child custody, losing financial support, and experiencing harassment at work.
Although there is no profile of the women who will be battered, there is a well documented syndrome of what happens once the battering starts. Battered women experience shame, embarrassment and isolation. A woman may not leave battering immediately because
She realistically fears that the batterer will become more violent and maybe even fatal if she attempts to leave;
Her friends and family may not support her leaving;
She knows the difficulties of single parenting in reduced financial circumstances;
There is a mix of good times, love and hope along with the manipulation, intimidation and fear;
She may not know about or have access to safety and support.
"Family Violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code (Section 71.004) as:
Used by permission of Texas Council on Family Violence.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is behavior - emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse - that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other. It takes many different forms and includes behavior such as threats, name-calling, isolation, withholding of money, actual or threatened physical harm and sexual assault. Most domestic violence is committed against women by their male partners. It also occurs in lesbian and gay relationships and is common in teenage dating relationships. In a small number of cases, men are abused by female partners, but because 91 to 95 percent of all adult domestic violence assaults are perpetrated by men against their female partners, this booklet will refer to victims as female and abusers as male. In any case, every victim of domestic violence, whether female or male, gay or heterosexual, has the right to legal relief. The following checklist may help you decide if you or someone you know is being abused. Does your partner:
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be a victim of domestic violence. You are not to blame and you are not alone - millions of women are abused by their partners every year. Not all acts of domestic violence are violations of the law. In any case, you need not face domestic violence alone. You deserve help, and help is available. Please call us at 817-284-8464.
Abuse In Texas
187,811 Family Violence Incidents
143* women killed by their intimate partner
11,996 Adults received shelter from their abusive relationships
17,105 children received shelter
In 2002, The Texas Council on Family Violence conducted a statewide polling on prevalence and attitudes on domestic violence. Below are some of the findings:
74% of all Texans have either themselves, a family member and/or a friend have experienced some form of domestic violence.
47% of all Texans report having personally experienced at least one form of domestic violence, either severe, verbal and/or forced isolation from friends and family at some point in their lifetime.
31% of all Texans report that they have been severely abused at some point in their lifetime. Women report severe abuse at a higher rate than men.
75% of all Texans report that they would be likely to call the police if they were to experience some form of domestic violence. Yet only 20% indicated that they actually did call the police when they or a family member experienced domestic violence.
73% of all Texans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem in Texas.
84% percent of all Texans report that they believe they can personally do something about domestic violence.
78% of all Texans said they would be more likely to vote for a political candidate who helped victims of domestic violence.
74% of all Texans recall recent communications concerning domestic violence.
The TCFV survey over-sampled the Texas Hispanic population to account for any insight specific to the Hispanic community on domestic violence. Below are some highlights of the findings:
77% of all Hispanic Texans indicate that either themselves, a family member and/or a friend have experienced some form of domestic violence. Indicating that approximately
5.2 million Hispanic Texans are personally affected by the epidemic of domestic violence. If the current prevalence rates remain the same, by the year 2030, more than 12.2 million Hispanic Texans could be personally affected by domestic violence.
64% of all Hispanic Texans indicate that they or a member of their family have experienced at least one form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
2 out of every 5 Hispanic Texas females (39%) reported experience severe abuse.
1 out of every 5 Hispanic Texas females (18%) reported being forced to have sex against their will.
40% of Hispanic Texans who reported experiencing at least one form of domestic violence took no action.
63% of all Hispanic Texans recall recent communications concerning domestic violence.
86% of all Hispanic Texans report that they would vote for a candidate who helps domestic violence victims. They are the ethnic group most likely to indicate such.Hispanic Texans, like the general population, have both a limited definition of domestic violence and have a willingness to blame victims for the abuse they suffer.
Unfortunately, Texans demonstrate a willingness to blame domestic violence on circumstances beyond an abuser’s control, rather than acknowledge the abuser’s culpability. Also, a majority of Texans demonstrate a willingness to blame victims for being abused which limits the options available to those in abusive relationships. These barriers must be addressed in order for more victims of domestic violence to get the help they need, when they need it.
A vast majority (84 percent) of Texans believe that they can make a difference in efforts to end domestic violence. Already, many Texans are taking action to make that difference. More than half of all Texans report having donated time, money or goods to a local domestic violence program. Additionally, More than three-quarters of all Texans showed a willingness to vote for a candidate who has expressed an interest in helping victims of domestic violence.
The public must become acutely aware of the tragic consequences domestic violence has on our families, friends, workplaces and communities. They must rid themselves of many of the senseless misperceptions that exacerbate the barriers that block domestic violence survivors’ pathways to safety. Far too many Texans know someone who is a victim of domestic violence. We all must help these survivors find safety, receive justice and create opportunities for them to live the violence-free lives they deserve.
Safety Alert: Computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, call your local hotline, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Orders of Protection
Orders of Protection or more commonly know as Protective Orders are a legal document signed by a judge that orders someone to not commit family violence against another person. The order might also specify how close an abuser can come to the victim’s residence or place of employment. Some facts you might need to know about Orders of Protection include: