Domestic violence intervention, prevention remains a top priority for San Antonio city officials

Officials say combating domestic violence is an all-hands effort

SAN ANTONIO – Additional funding for domestic violence intervention and prevention programs may result in more reported cases in San Antonio. However, city officials say combating domestic violence is an all-hands effort.

“We’re creating a violence prevention district within Metro Health and resources to address domestic violence incidents and provided additional funds to support our communities, mental health services. All those will continue to move forward,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

San Antonio Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez said domestic violence has been city hall’s top priority over the past four years. She said from 2020 to present, the city has increased its funding by 50%.

“We have, we spend on an annual basis about $31 million in domestic violence, and this includes the efforts of our police department, Metro Health, and Human Services,” Villagomez said.

Villagomez said when it comes to domestic violence prevention, the Department of Human Services has invested about $20 million annually in getting assistance from nonprofit organizations.

“They help us provide those services to the community with the goal of preventing domestic violence,” Villagomez said.

She said city officials are always looking for ways to prevent abuse and to intervene. They’ve increased the number of crisis response teams and case management teams at Metro Fealth and SAPD.

“We have dedicated units to the Special Victims Advocacy Unit and Family Violence to be able to investigate those cases of domestic violence when it comes to intervention,” Villagomez said.

Combating domestic violence is an issue the city can’t tackle alone. Despite additional funding and an increase in resources, Villagomez said domestic violence is still very much underreported.

“Those abusive relationships are not okay. They’re not normal. And there’s a lot of organizations, including the city of San Antonio, the county, and nonprofit organizations that were here to help,” she said.

If you need help, call the Family Violence Prevention hotline at 210-733-8810.

Find resources for victims of domestic violence here.

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About the Authors:

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

Luis Cienfuegos is a photographer at KSAT 12.