Family Violence Survivor Info
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Definition of "Family
"Family Violence" is defined in the Texas Family Code (Section 71.004)
An act by a member of a family or household against another member of
the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm,
bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or that is a threat that
reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily
injury, assault or sexual assault, but does not include defensive
measures to protect oneself.
checkbook, credit cards, ATM cards
Identification--driver's license, Social Security card, passport, green
card, public assistance ID, work permit, etc.
Important papers such as your order of protection; divorce papers;
school records; lease, rental agreement, or house deed; and insurance
papers (If you have an order of protection, keep it with you at all
Birth certificates--yours and your children's
House, car, and work keys.
Jewelry / saleable objects
Identify which door, window, stairwell or elevator offers the quickest
way out of the home, and practice your route. If you are in danger or your
children are in danger:
Plan ahead for a quick escape.
1. Pack extra clothes and leave them with someone you trust.
2. Keep extra items in a safe place: (i.e. car keys, money, important
papers -- birth certificate, social security number, financial papers.
3. Plan where you will go and how you will get there.
requires that the responding officer provide victims with the
TO ADULT VICTIMS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE
It is a crime for any person to cause you any physical injury or
harm EVEN IF THAT PERSON IS A MEMBER OR FORMER MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY
Please tell the investigating peace officer:
IF you, your child, or any other household resident has been
IF you feel you are going to be in danger when the officer leaves or
You have the right to:
ASK the local prosecutor to file a criminal complaint against the
person committing family violence; and
APPLY to a court for an order to protect you (you should consult a
legal aid office, a prosecuting attorney, or a private attorney). If
a family or household member assaults you and is arrested, you may
request that a magistrate's order for emergency protection be
issued. Please inform the investigating officer if you want an order
for emergency protection. You need not be present when the order is
issued. You cannot be charged a fee by a court in connection with
filing, serving, or entering a protective order. For example, the
court can enter an order that:
(1) the abuser not commit further acts of violence;
(2) the abuser not threaten, harass, or contact you at home;
(3) directs the abuser to leave your household; and
(4) establishes temporary custody of the children and directs the
abuser not to interfere with the children or any property.
A VIOLATION OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF COURT-ORDERED PROTECTION (such
as (1) and (2) above) MAY BE A FELONY.
CALL THE FOLLOWING VIOLENCE SHELTERS OR SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS IF YOU
Added by Acts 1985, 69th
Leg., ch. 583, eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg.,
ch. 366, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Subsec. (c) amended by Acts 1995, 74th
Leg., ch. 1024, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts
1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1193, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Subsec. (c) amended
by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 610, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
My Silent Plea
All alone and frightened
on the inside,
I say everything's fine, but have plenty
Battered and bruised, but can't tell a
I want out so bad, but he's got control.
Using threats and manipulation to keep
Brainwashing me to think no one would
Robbed of my pride and feeling only
He says it's my fault, so I shoulder the
I'm so isolated from my family and
If I ask for their help, he'll bring
harm to them.
My heart is breaking, I need help so
Yet I remain silent, lonely and sad.
No one understands the situation anyway,
Fear for my life is why I stay.
You'll never understand 'til you walk in
So please don't condemn and say, "How
I feel disgraced by your knowing looks,
We're women you know, your neighbors, or
I want respect and love, just like you,
I'm tired of all the threats and abuse.
I feel so helpless, with no where to
For protection and safety, I constantly
I want to live a life of my own,
Desperately wanting my plight to be
I hide the bruises behind make-up and
Hoping you'll notice, all the while.
Look past the smile, to my lifeless
Please notice the silence and the reason
Look at the way I limp when I walk,
realize I won't look at you when I talk,
My movements may be awkward and slow,
I say I fell, but it's from last night's
For every injury, I"ll give an excuse,
But please don't turn away and say it's
Notice he won't let me out of his sight,
Giving me no chance to reveal my plight.
Don't confuse his "doting" for love and
Please see it as control, and give me
I'm crying out the only way I now how,
Please reach out to me and help me now.
I long for your trust and the words,
Please reach out to me and show me a
To put an end to the fear and pain,
To get back my pride and self-worth
I'm desperately needing compassion and
I feel there's no one to rely on, only
My frightened cries are longing to be
Please look at the signs, my unspoken
Just open your eyes, all the signs are
And see my silent pleas for someone to
For if you ignore my problem and wait,
"One Day" for me,
may be just "one Day" too late.
--Written by Penelope House
client, a "Survivor because someone cared."
Art. 56.02. Crime victims' rights
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure
(a) A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim
is entitled to the following rights within the criminal justice system:
(1) the right to receive from law enforcement agencies adequate protection
from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution
(2) the right to have the magistrate take the safety of the victim or his
family into consideration as an element in fixing the amount of bail for the
(3) the right, if requested, to be informed of relevant court proceedings
and to be informed if those court proceedings have been canceled or
rescheduled prior to the event;
(4) the right to be informed, when requested, by a peace officer concerning
the defendant's right to bail and the procedures in criminal investigations
and by the district attorney's office concerning the general procedures in
the criminal justice system, including general procedures in guilty plea
negotiations and arrangements, restitution, and the appeals and parole
(5) the right to provide pertinent information to a probation department
conducting a presentencing investigation concerning the impact of the
offense on the victim and his family by testimony, written statement, or any
other manner prior to any sentencing of the offender;
(6) the right to receive information regarding compensation to victims of
crime as provided by Subchapter B, Chapter 56, including information related
to the costs that may be compensated under that Act and the amount of
compensation, eligibility for compensation, and procedures for application
for compensation under that Act, the payment for a medical examination under
Article 56.06 of this code for a victim of a sexual assault, and when
requested, to referral to available social service agencies that may offer
(7) the right to be informed, upon request, of parole procedures, to
participate in the parole process, to be notified, if requested, of parole
proceedings concerning a defendant in the victim's case, to provide to the
Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant's file
information to be considered by the board prior to the parole of any
defendant convicted of any crime subject to this Act, and to be notified, if
requested, of the defendant's release;
(8) the right to be provided with a waiting area, separate or secure from
other witnesses, including the offender and relatives of the offender,
before testifying in any proceeding concerning the offender; if a separate
waiting area is not available, other safeguards should be taken to minimize
the victim's contact with the offender and the offender's relatives and
witnesses, before and during court proceedings;
(9) the right to prompt return of any property of the victim that is held by
a law enforcement agency or the attorney for the state as evidence when the
property is no longer required for that purpose;
(10) the right to have the attorney for the state notify the employer of the
victim, if requested, of the necessity of the victim's cooperation and
testimony in a proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim
from work for good cause; and
(11) the right to counseling, on request, regarding acquired immune
deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
and testing for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, antibodies to HIV, or infection with
any other probable causative agent of AIDS, if the offense is an offense
under Section 21.11(a)(1), 22.011, or 22.021, Penal Code.
(b) A victim is entitled to the right to be present at all public court
proceedings related to the offense, subject to the approval of the judge in
(c) The office of the attorney representing the state, and the sheriff,
police, and other law enforcement agencies shall ensure to the extent
practicable that a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a
deceased victim is afforded the rights granted by Subsection (a) of this
article and, on request, an explanation of those rights.
(d) A judge, attorney for the state, peace officer, or law enforcement
agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a right
enumerated in this article. The failure or inability of any person to
provide a right or service enumerated in this article may not be used by a
defendant in a criminal case as a ground for appeal, a ground to set aside
the conviction or sentence, or a ground in a habeas corpus petition. A
victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim does
not have standing to participate as a party in a criminal proceeding or to
contest the disposition of any charge.
Added by Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 588, § 1,
eff. Sept. 1, 1985. Subsec. (a) amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 433, §
1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987; Subsecs. (a), (c) amended by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch.
929, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Subsec. (c) amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg.,
ch. 996, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Subsecs. (a), (d) amended by Acts 1991,
72nd Leg., ch. 202, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Subsec. (a) amended by Acts
1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 811, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Subsec. (a)(6) amended by
Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 76, § 5.95(108), eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
partner shove, hit, shake or slap you?
*Does your partner make light of the abuse, insist that it didn't happen, or
shift the responsibility for his abusive behavior, blaming you for it?
*Does your partner continually put you down, call you
names, or humiliate you?
*Does your partner intimidate you through looks or actions, destroy your
property, or display weapons?
*Does your partner control what you do, who you see and talk to, and where
you go, limiting your involvement outside the relationship?
*Are you made to feel guilty about the children, or has your partner
threatened to take the children away?
Emergency Shelter for Victims
of family violence:
ICD FAMILY SHELTER