Family & Dating Violence

 Family violence is any act committed between family or household members (including children) that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of immediate physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault.  Dating violence is defined the same way as family violence, except that it’s committed against the victim that the actor has had a dating relationship with, or because of the victim’s marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage.

A dating relationship is defined as a relationship between people who have or had a continuing romantic or intimate relationship. To determine if a dating relationship exists, the judge will consider the length and nature of the relationship and the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

If you are the victim of family or dating violence in Texas, the law allows protections for you.  A protective order can order the abuser to do or refrain from many things, including but not limited to the following:

• Stop committing acts of family or dating violence or any acts that are reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass you or a family/ household member;

• Stop all communication with you or a family member or stop communication made in a threatening or harassing manner;

• Stay away from a school or day care center that a child protected under the order attends;

• Leave your home or other specified property (if certain conditions are met) and allow you to remain there;

• Turn over any firearms in his or her possession to law enforcement and the court must suspend the abuser’s license to carry a concealed handgun if he or she has been found to have committed family violence.

For more information on crime victim services and protective orders (including a “protective order kit”), click on the following link

Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ or follow her on twitter @ for her sometimes random thoughts and whatnots.

Disclaimer: This information should not be considered as legal advice. Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney. This blog is for informative purposes only.

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