DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - 1985, 1986, 1997, 2008
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports adequately funded state and local programs that work to eliminate the incidence of domestic violence and to alleviate its effects.
The League also supports appropriate penalties for offenders, easy access to protective orders, improved enforcement and administrative procedures for criminal justice professionals who deal with domestic violence, financial compensation to victims, and improved accessibility to services dealing with domestic violence.
The League supports state funding for seed money, capital funds, and operating costs for the following:
- local and regional residential centers for victims
- nonresidential support services
- counseling programs for all affected members of the family or household
- mandatory treatment and counseling programs for offenders to correct abusive behavior
- mandatory specialized training for peace officers, prosecutors, judges and court personnel, and parole and probation officers
- expanded training in police academies to deal with domestic violence
- public information about domestic violence.
In order to provide appropriate penalties for domestic violence offenders, the League supports:
- enhanced enforcement of present assault statutes and imposition of penalties intended by the law
- penalties for injury to any victim of domestic violence equivalent to the penalties for injury to a child or an elderly person
- adoption by prosecutors of a "no drop" policy so that a victim's request for dismissal will be denied if charges have already been filed
- criminal prosecution of those who violate temporary restraining orders in domestic violence cases.
The League supports efforts to make it easy for domestic violence victims to obtain protective orders by
- requiring that prosecuting attorneys file all applications for protective orders upon receipt
- providing applications and easy-to-follow instructions for filing protective orders without representation by an attorney.
To enable criminal justice professionals to deal effectively with domestic violence cases, the League supports:
- requiring specialized training for police officers, prosecutors, judges and court personnel, and parole and probation officers
- establishing crisis or domestic violence teams
- mandating arrest without a warrant when there is probable cause
- establishing and providing adequate funding for a central Protective Orders Registry.
The League supports mandatory specialized treatment and counseling of abusers to correct their behavior. To work to eliminate the incidence of domestic violence and to make services more accessible to victims, the League supports the use of financial compensation, including payment by abusers for medical and legal expenses, counseling, and living expenses incurred by victims as a result of abuse.
SPOUSAL SEXUAL ASSAULT+ 1982, 1997, 2010
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports Texas laws which provide that sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse with one's spouse without the consent of that spouse is a criminal offense punishable on the same basis as rape or sexual abuse of any other person.
Explanation: Domestic Violence
Domestic violence was chosen by 1983 state Convention delegates for statewide study, and members adopted the first LWV-TX position regarding domestic violence in 1985. The first WUTL domestic violence position called for adequate state and local funding for programs to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and alleviate its effects. Because the League's position was limited to support of adequate funding, LWV-TX advocates were unable to act on domestic violence bills that went beyond funding during the 1985 session. To remedy that situation, a second domestic violence study focusing on the legal system was selected by delegates at Convention `85. The current, expanded domestic violence position statement was adopted in June 1986.
As a result of legislation enacted in 1995, the 1994-97 Periodic Program Review committee eliminated several provisions dealing with protective orders and added one concerning creation of, and funding for, a central Protective Orders Registry.
Convention 2006 recommended that the position should not read "reduce" domestic violence, but to "eliminate" it. Revised wording was put forward as an item of concurrence in Program Planning, fall 2007, agreed to unanimously, and adopted by the board in January, 2008