2015 Task Force to Collect Family Violence and Sexual Assault Data

Texas created a task force to “promote uniformity in collection and reporting of information” related to the history of family violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. The 85th Legislature determined that family violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking are common occurrences in Texas. Legislators are concerned that Texas does not have reliable data related to the actual frequency of these crimes. They identified the reason Texas does not have reliable data regarding family violence and sexual assault is that Texas state and local agencies do not have uniform procedures for collecting and reporting the data. The problem also relates to a system that splinters the responsibility and accountability for collecting and maintaining this data. Hopefully, the collection of data (completed by September 2016) will help Texas address these violence crimes and provide better protection for victims.

The family violence and sexual assault task force is made up of 15 appointees:

  • one from the Bureau of Identification and records of the Department of Public Safety;
  • one from the Statewide Family Violence Advocacy organization;
  • one from the Statewide Sexual Assault Advocacy organization;
  • a family or sexual violence prosecutor;
  • a magistrate familiar with issuing criminal emergency protective orders;
  • a judge familiar with issuing protective orders for sexual and family violence;
  • a representative from The University of Texas School of Law Domestic Violence Clinic;
  • someone from a federally funded legal assistance organization directed at providing services for victims;
  • two members from law enforcement agencies;
  • someone from the Texas Center for the Judiciary;
  • someone from the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center;
  • someone from the Texas Justice Court Training Center;
  • someone from the County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas;
  • someone from the Attorney General’s Office (child support division);
  • and other appointees designated by the task force chair

The sexual and family violence task force is supposed to gather reports and testimony from different agencies and organizations about “survivors” of family and sexual violence. The information gathered will include law enforcement agencies that are supposed to submit information to the Texas Crime Information Center. The task force is also supposed to create recommendations for policies and “best practices” for collecting this sexual and family violence information. Once the task force has gathered the information then the information and recommendations should be provided to the legislature and executive branch officers.

Our state regularly increases punishment and decreases protections for those innocently accused. If you or a loved one is facing any abuse charge, then you need to meet with a Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. A good lawyer is practically your only defense against false allegations.