Local judge working to improve domestic violence epidemic

Year of the Woman: Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez

SAN ANTONIO – Making the community a safe place is what drives Bexar County Court 13 Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez.

Her background in social work, and later as an attorney led her to run for judge.

Last November, Gonzalez was the first openly gay judge to be elected in Bexar County, and she runs one of two domestic violence courts.

"It's one of the biggest problems in our community," Gonzalez said. "Bexar County unfortunately hails as the record-holder for the most number of domestic violence cases, child abuse cases and drug cases in the state."

Her way of tackling this problem is to address the behavior of the perpetrator and recently a bill she pushed for was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

HB 3529 will allow Gonzalez to establish a drug court within her court to provide court-supervised drug treatment.

"We're going to try all those different things to turn this ship around that we know as a domestic violence epidemic in San Antonio and Bexar County," Gonzalez said.

Since the first day on the bench in January until now, she has heard over 5,000 cases.

"I see myself staying here as long as I can to make sure that that's taken care of and that everything that I have a hand is to make this community safe again," Gonzalez said.

As for her message to inspire other women who want to get into public office, she said, "Just do it."

“When you put your mind to it and you’ve got desire and you’ve got faith then anything is possible,” Gonzalez said.

About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.