Bexar County judge proposes new specialty court amid domestic violence case spike this year

Civil Protective Order Court part of battle against domestic violence

SAN ANTONIO – Citing an 18% spike in domestic violence cases this year, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff wants to include funds for a special Protective Order Court in the county’s budget.

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“We’ve seen a tremendous jump in the protective orders that have been requested,” Wolff said during his daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.

He called the increase in domestic violence cases a “shadow pandemic.”

Though the county budget is tight, Wolff said he has proposed setting aside $948,000 for the new court.

“It provides them with an associate new judge, court manager, program assistance and crime advocates, all the back-up support system they need to have the court work,” Wolff said.

Senior Civil District Court Judge Peter Sakai praised the creation of the Protective Order Court.

“This was the county’s side of putting in its contribution on the prevention and the fight against domestic violence,” Judge Sakai said Wednesday. “We’re really pleased that the county has embraced it.”

He said he shares Wolff’s vision for a court designed to deal exclusively with protective orders.

“Hopefully, this will help stem the tide of domestic violence,” Wolff said.

About the Authors

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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