SAN ANTONIO – Five years of research culminated in a report reveal stunning findings about domestic violence in Texas.
The Texas Council on Family Violence interviewed hundreds of survivors, some who have sought services and some who haven't.
Researchers also surveyed 90 family violence program staff leaders and 85 regional domestic violence hotlines and immigrant service providers from all over Texas.
The research for this report is so extensive, it only comes out every five years or so.
The report highlights some serious barriers in Texas when it comes to domestic violence survivors finding services and staying safe after leaving a relationship.
Some of the most significant findings in the plan include:
- 90% of survivors interviewed who had accessed some form of family violence services in Texas were homeless one or more times due to domestic violence.
- More than 40% of Texas survivors have experienced reproductive coercion — nearly three times the national number.
- More than 69% of Texas survivors met criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Since engaging with family violence programs, more than 74% of participants experienced a decrease in violence in their lives because of enhanced safety.
- Less than half of family violence agencies surveyed were part of a coordinated community response team, which more easily enables law enforcement and communities to intervene when violence occurs and support safety for the survivor and their family.
- 70% of family violence agencies provide some form of legal assistance, but only 5% have an attorney on staff to represent clients in civil matters and only 2% have an attorney to represent clients in criminal matters.
- 51% of survivors interviewed indicated their former abusive partner owned or had access to a gun or other weapons.
Primary data for the 2019 State Plan came from interviews, surveys and focus groups with more than 100 domestic violence advocates, 90 family violence program staff leaders, 200 survivors, 85 regional domestic violence hotlines and immigrant service providers from all over Texas.
The plan also presents areas to focus on in the future, such as increasing collaboration between law enforcement and family violence agencies, supporting safe and affordable housing for survivors, destigmatizing reproductive health conversations and enhancing access to legal representation for survivors as they flee violence.
The state will now use the report as a blueprint for legislative and educational changes.
Click here to read the full report on the Texas Council on Family Violence website, which includes heat maps of domestic violence in Texas, as well as survivor and advocate testimonies and the ability to create your own research project on domestic violence in Texas.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is a list of resources at ksat.com/domesticviolence.