Domestic Violence Under Texas Law
Domestic violence also referred to as family violence, is defined by Texas statute as any act by one member of a family or household against another that results in harm to the victim. This can include physical or bodily harm, sexual assault, or any threat that places a victim in fear of imminent harm.
Domestic violence can also include dating incidents defined as any act by an individual that is intended to harm someone with whom the individual is in a dating relationship. The legal definition also includes child abuse and sexual abuse towards a child.
A victim of domestic or family violence can ask a court to issue a protective order that prevents continued abuse. To be eligible for such an order victim must be a family member, or be living with the abuser either currently or in the past, or must have a child with the abuser.
If a healthcare provider or other medical professional treats a person for injuries that he or she believes were caused by domestic violence they must take certain actions including giving the victim information regarding the nearest family violence shelter, record in the victim's medical records the reasons he or she believes the victim's injuries were caused by domestic violence, present the victim written notice in both English and Spanish explaining that domestic violence is a crime and that they have a right to file a criminal complaint and seek a protective order against the abuser. This notice must also include telephone numbers for local law enforcement.
Domestic violence can include weapons of any kind used to inflict harm on the victim including hands, feet, as well as knives, firearms and blunt instruments. In some cases domestic violence can also include forms of verbal and emotional abuse.
John Q. Lawyer
Attorney at Law
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