Dallas Prosecutors to Work Out of Domestic Violence Shelters to Help Abuse Victims Get Protection

The Dallas County district attorney's office is expanding its legal services into domestic violence shelters to help victims get protective orders more easily -- and with less fear. District Attorney Faith Johnson announced the expansion Thursday at the Irving Family Advocacy Center. Prosecutors will also meet with victims at the Genesis Women's Shelter and The Family Place. Johnson said the effort aims to provide a safe place for abuse victims to go to meet with advocates and prosecutors to apply for, and go through screening for, protective orders against their abusers. Someone who violates a protective order can be arrested and may face criminal charges. At least 7,000 domestic violence cases pass through the county's courts each year. Between June 2016 and May, judges issued 544 protective orders for victims of violence. But sometimes the process can be intimidating. Victims are often afraid to go out into the public after fleeing their abusers, and applying for a protective order can take as many as three visits to the county courthouse. By using a satellite office, victims would only have to go once, to appear before a judge. "We want to give them the opportunity to come forward without fear, to give them the protection they so desperately need," Johnson said.   Continue reading...

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