Domestic violence victim fights for change

Quadriplegic woman, SVU sergeant talk about SAPD's fight against domestic...


SAN ANTONIO – Putting an end to domestic violence is a daunting task, but one survivor is taking it on.

Kisha Ward said she is thrilled to participate in KSAT's One Voice 1,000 Stories series by speaking about what changes need to be made to systems in our community.

Ward and a San Antonio police Special Victims Unit detective are both talking about the San Antonio Police Department's fight against domestic violence.

"He called my name and I turned around and I heard the shot and I saw the flash and I just started falling to the ground," Ward said, remembering seeing her then-boyfriend run away as her body went numb. "I was shot in the neck right here and it came out the right side of my spine, which is a C4. That's a quadriplegic."

She hasn't lost faith.

"I still have my life, and I still have my voice," she said.

Ward speaks to many groups about domestic violence, including police and cadet teams.

"So much has changed over the past several years," Ward said.

She said it's changed for the better, but she says police still have work to do.

That's something SAPD Special Victims Unit Sgt. Michael Davis agrees with.

"There's always work to be done," Davis said.

Both he and Ward said communication is key. For Davis, it's within the Police Department, between officers at the scene and detectives building cases.

"The systems and databases, we could be better about how those systems talk with each other," Davis said.

Many different officers and investigators can work on one case, and that's where gaps can arise, he said. With a constant heavy caseload, it's not easy.

For Ward, the issue is communication between police and victims of abuse.

"Try not to get upset with a victim who is being abused because they're trapped and they're in a very vulnerable position," Ward said.

Davis said that's why SAPD has set up community response teams, or CRTs.

"The community is learning to go back out to CRT or CRT will reach out to people that have had these family violence events and see if they got what they needed to try to fill in those gaps," Davis said.

Davis said that officers are trying to get as much information as possible, so that abusers can be prosecuted.

"If we cannot, of course, get participation, how would you ever send something forward to the district attorney?" Davis said.

"I could have pressed charges and make them stick, whether I went back to him or not. I feel like that could have helped in the end," Ward said.

Ward said she wants other survivors to know that reporting domestic violence may seem difficult, but it could save their lives.

Davis also said that SAPD officers do more training than most other officers in the country, going to yearly training sessions on domestic violence cases and legislative changes.

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