Domestic Violence Definitions
"Family Violence" is defined in the
Texas Family Code (Section 71.004) as:
(1) 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 the
reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury,
assault or sexual assault, but does not included defensive measures to protect
oneself; (2) Abuse by a member of a family or household toward a child of the
family or household; or (3) Dating violence as defined by Section 71.0021.
"Dating Violence" is defined in the
Texas Family Code (Section 71.0021) as:
(a) "Dating violence" means an act by
an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or
has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm,
bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably
places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault
or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself. (b)
For the purposes of this title, "dating relationship" means a
relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship
of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be
determined based on consideration of: 1. the length of the relationship; 2. the
nature of the relationship; and 3. the frequency and type of interaction
between the persons involved in the relationship. (c) A casual acquaintanceship
or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute
a "dating relationship" under Subsection (b).
The Texas Council on Family Violence Define
A pattern of coercive control that one person
exercises over another. Battering is a behavior that physically harm, arouses
fear, prevents a woman from doing what she wishes or forces her to behave in
ways she does not want. Battering includes the use of physical and sexual
violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, and economic deprivation.
National Expert on Family Violence, Barbara Hart,
defines Domestic Violence as:
"Domestic violence involves a continuum of
behaviors ranging from degrading remarks to cruel jokes, economic exploitation,
punches and kicks, false imprisonment, sexual abuse, suffocating actions, maiming
assaults, and homicide. Unchecked, domestic violence usually increases in
frequency and severity. Many victims suffer all forms of abuse. Verbal and
emotional abuse may be subtler than physical harm, but this does not mean that
it is less destructive to victims. Many have said that the emotional scars take
much longer to heal than the broken bones."
Domestic Violence Statistics
- The majority of victims of family violence in Texas 2000 were between the ages of 20 and 24.
- The most common weapon involved in family violence cases in 2000 in Texas was physical force through the use of hands, feet, and fists. That accounted for 77 percent of the incidents.
- Of all the women killed in 1997 in Texas, 35% were murdered by their intimate male partners. This is higher than the national average of 28% reported by the FBI.