One of the legal mechanisms that Texas has in place for protecting individuals who have been the victim of family abuse is the protective order system. One of the legal actions individuals generally can take in the state after having been subjected to domestic violence is to request that a court issue a protective order against the person who committed the domestic abuse against them.
When a court grants such a request made by a domestic violence victim, there are a variety of different things it can decide to put into the protective order to protect the victim. What specific protections a court can put into a protective order are dictated by protective order law in the state. Thus, the specific provisions of the state’s protective order law can be remarkably impactful.
It appears that a change may soon be made to such law here in Texas. The change was proposed in a bill, Senate Bill 112. The change involves what judges are authorized to include in domestic-violence-related emergency protective orders when it comes to restricting an abuser’s communication with the victim and the family of the victim. Under current state law, communication restrictions are among the restrictions a Texas Court can put on an abuser in such orders, but there are some limits on how all-encompassing such restrictions can be. The proposed change would make it so courts could include a ban on all types of communication by the abuser with the victim or the family of the victim in an emergency protective order.
The bill proposing this change has been passed by both of the Texas Legislature’s chambers. It now goes before the governor for signature.
If the governor decides to sign SB 112 into law, do you think the protective order law change it contains will help increase the ability of such orders to protect domestic violence victims?
Source: Plano Star Courier, “Senator Van Taylor’s bill to protect victims of domestic violence heads to Governor’s desk,” Kevin Cummings, May 7, 2015