Special to The Dallas Examiner
At a Genesis Women’s Shelter breakfast event last week, Mayor Eric Johnson announced that he planned to send a letter to City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, the chair of the Domestic Violence, directing the group to make a series of recommendations to help reduce family violence aggravated assaults by 25% over three years.
The task force, created in 1987, is made up of dozens of members of Dallas-area agencies focused on combating domestic violence and supporting victims.
In a letter delivered to Gates Tuesday afternoon, Johnson asked for the group to report back to him with data-supported and community-driven recommendations by Oct. 1, the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We cannot accept the status quo, and we must continue to work, to the best of our ability, to stop the scourge of violence in the home and between intimate partners,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “And as with our broader violent crime issues, we must all commit to playing a part in the solution.”
Last year, family violence aggravated assaults increased by more than 2% over 2018. In addition, Dallas police reported 32 homicides in 2019 that were connected to domestic violence.
In the letter, the mayor directed the task force to focus its recommendations on five specific goals:
- Increase shelter space in Dallas to ensure no victim seeking assistance is unable to access accommodations and services.
- Ensure Dallas police officers, both patrol officers and family violence detectives, have adequate training and tools needed to respond appropriately to domestic violence incidents.
- Integrate domestic violence education into Dallas and Richardson ISDs’ curriculum.
- Provide improved on-demand transportation services for victims of domestic violence.
- Identify obstacles or circumstances that increase risk of severe injury or death for victims and create actionable plans to address these obstacles.