P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2006
GRAPEVINE -- Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, marked Domestic Violence Awareness Month by announcing her intent to pre-file legislation that will bring tougher penalties to those convicted of violent domestic crime. November 13 is the first day in which legislators may profile legislation for the upcoming legislative session.
"We hear the word terror a lot these days, but we sometimes forget that many Texans are most afraid when they are in their own home," Senator Nelson, who has been recognized numerous times for her work against family violence, said. "Our goal with this legislation is to give prosecutors another tool to bring the full force of the law against perpetrators of domestic violence."
The Texas Council on Family Violence has released the following figures associated with domestic violence in Texas for 2005:
- 143 women were killed by their intimate partners;
- More than 29,000 children and adults received domestic violence shelter services in the state of Texas;
- More than 52,000 children and adults received nonresidential services.
For first time offenders, most cases of domestic violence that do not involve a weapon are punished as misdemeanor assaults, carrying penalties of up to one year in county jail. Under Senator Nelson's proposal, assaults that involve an attempt at strangulation would be considered an aggravated assault, a felony carrying penalties up to 20 years in prison.
Laura Wolf, Senior Policy Director of the Texas Council on Family Violence said, "The Texas Council on Family Violence recognizes the seriousness of strangulation in the context of family violence and appreciates Senator Nelson's efforts to encourage the criminal justice system to treat this offense as seriously as it deserves."