FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/13/2015
Representative Mary E. González Works Toward Ending Domestic Abuse
AUSTIN – Representative Mary E. González has introduced House Bill 77 to study possible ways to reduce domestic violence in Texas. This bill, which will be the first to be heard in a House Committee this session, will study opportunities for expanding the Dallas Men Against Abuse program throughout the state. That initiative is credited with raising awareness with a resulting decrease in aggravated assault cases and increases in both the number of calls to shelter hotlines and in abusers being taken to court by their victims.
House Bill 77 will direct the Health and Human Services Commission to evaluate the potential for replicating the Dallas Men Against Abuse program through local communities and school districts in order to reduce incidents of domestic violence. Recommendations to the legislature will be achieved through a thorough evaluation of program components, strategies for replication, and potential funding sources.
“Cultural change is key. This program has proven to be very promising and is tackling the problem from its roots with evident results.” said Representative Mary E. González. “It is increasing the visibility of the conversation around domestic violence in traditionally masculine spaces and encouraging young men to get involved in working to prevent abuse in the first place.”
According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 38% of Texas women have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Seventy-percent of the children of abused women are also physically abused, and 20% are sexually abused. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, 114 women were killed in Texas alone as direct result of intimate partner violence in 2012. In the same year, there were 188,992 incidents of family violence in the state.
For more information on the bill, please contact Genevieve Cato, Legislative Director, at (512) 463-0613.