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Domestic violence in Texas

Domestic violence continues to plague Texans, both male and female, who fall victim to the abusive behavior of their partners. Studies have shown that domestic violence normally follows a cyclical pattern with recognizable, discrete behavioral patterns. Recognizing the early warning signs that a person is in a potentially abusive relationship is important in order to prevent it from occurring.

Texas law takes a dim view of family violence, providing potential criminal penalties to abusive people. When a victim of domestic violence calls the police, he or she has the option of asking that charges be pressed. Officers can also provide standby services to victims in order for them to gather belongings and children for transportation to a domestic violence shelter. The law provides that abuse victims can seek and obtain restraining orders to prevent the abuser from coming near to them or their children, adding an extra layer of safe distance between them and the abusive partner.

In order to prevent domestic violence, it is important to be aware of the early warning signs. Understanding the cycle of violence that research has demonstrated commonly exists is one way to prevent abuse from occurring. Abusers typically use different methods of control over their victims before finally getting to physical abuse, such as isolating them, controlling finances and verbally abusing them.

People who recognize their partner's behavior as becoming abusive should try to get away as well as try to encourage the abusive person to seek counseling and get help before the pattern escalates. When people need legal help, they should call local law enforcement and request it. Victims of domestic violence may also want to speak with a family law attorney for assistance with obtaining a restraining order, a custody order or a divorce.Source: DomesticViolence.org, "Cycle of violence", 2014.

Source: Texas Constitution and Statutes, "CHAPTER 5. FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION", October 09, 2014

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