Domestic Violence Bill Highlighted in Texas Session

The 2017 legislative session begins Tuesday, and on the table will be two new bills that take aim at domestic violence in Texas.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one and three women and one in four men in the United States experience domestic violence.

State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) hopes his two bills will help combat domestic violence in Texas, and protect residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

"This isn't a political issue," said Rep. Villalba. "This isn't a republican issue, or a democrat issue. This is a family issue."

His first bill, House Bill 524, would increase punishment and make a third domestic violence conviction a second degree felony.

His second, House Bill 525, would require offenders (on their third conviction) to register in a domestic violence database for anyone to pull up online.

There are some concerns regarding the registry and how it may affect domestic violence survivors.

"If an individual goes on the registry, and that individual is married to someone in the community, the other person who is a victim has now been outed," said Villalba. "The question is, do we really want to out victims? That's a concern. In this situation we will prioritize life over that concern," he said.

The Texas Legislature goes into session Jan. 10, and will last 140 days.

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