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Constable Carlos Lopez and his deputies assist the citizens and courts of Travis County

Carlos B. Lopez, Constable

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Bruce Elfant

Bruce Elfant

Notebook Archives



Constable's Notebook - June 2008

Last summer while conducting research for a column about family violence I was surprised to learn that while Travis County has many governmental and social services agencies providing assistance to victims of family violence, no single source of information existed to help victims understand options that were available to them.

Travis County was one of the first communities in the nation to require an arrest if probable cause exists that domestic violence has occurred, mandate counseling as a condition of personal bond, establish a domestic violence court, and create a family protection team comprised of law enforcement, prosecutors and counselors. But for all we have accomplished to initiate effective domestic violence prevention programs, we have not been as effective in providing information about available services.

My office has created a user friendly, web-based Domestic Violence Resource Center at Constable5.com which includes contact information for all Travis County area governmental and social domestic violence related services. The Domestic Violence Resource Center also features 21 informative videos in English and Spanish that describe how to get confidential help, obtain legal assistance, apply for protective orders, understand counseling and shelter options, and recognize the warning signs of teen dating abuse.

Convincing victims of domestic violence to seek help is often frustrating. Twenty years ago when I first became involved with domestic violence issues, fewer than 10% of victims were willing to pursue charges even after having called 911 for assistance. Some victims believe that the violence will not get worse. Many victims are financially supported by their spouses or partners and must figure out where to go and how to support themselves and their children. The fact is that most occurrences of domestic violence begin with non-physical but controlling behavior, and over time often escalates to physical abuse. In Texas alone, more than 140 victims of domestic violence were killed last year.

It is our hope that the Domestic Violence Resource Center will be used by victims as well as their family and friends to help them understand that abusive behavior is not acceptable. Confidential help is readily available in Travis County and only takes a phone call.



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Watch a video How Travis County Constables help in our communities

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Watch a video Constable 5 Wins Award for Domestic Violence Initiative

Learn more Stop teen dating violence