The Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence Act (Senate Bill 112), authored by Senator Van Taylor, has now passed out of both chambers of the Texas Legislature, and heads to the Governor's desk for signature. Representative Senfronia Thompson carried Taylor's bill in the Texas House of Representatives.
“Domestic violence is a chilling and atrocious crime that rips at the fabric of families and our society,” Taylor said in a press release. “Law enforcement must do everything possible to protect victims and encourage those in abusive relationships to come forward. Working with local advocacy leaders in my community, we crafted this legislation to protect victims of domestic violence during the critical and emotional time of an emergency protective order.
“With the weight of everything victims are going through during this time they should, at minimum, be offered complete refuge from all communication with the abuser.”
Senate Bill 112 will allow a judge to issue an emergency protective order banning all forms of communication between the abuser and victim or the victim's family. Currently a judge only has the power to ban stalking, assault, threatening or harassing communication.
“During the time of a domestic violence emergency protective order, the victim’s emotions are extremely heightened and they are very susceptible to communication from the abuser,” said Jim Malatich, CEO of Hope’s Door, in a prepared statement. “Knowing this, Hope’s Door fully supports Senate Bill 112, which would allow the victim time to fully assess their situation without influences from their significant other."
Throughout the interim, Senator Taylor worked closely with local domestic violence shelters to address this issue.
“The Collin County Council on Family Violence (CCCFV) supports this bill to further protect domestic violence victims and their families,” said Allison Perez, Chair of the CCCFV, in a press release. “We appreciate all legislative attention and concern to these very important issues.”