Dallas Domestic Violence Cases “Can Move Agonizingly Slowly”

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Experts tell the Dallas Morning News that most of the laws needed to address domestic violence are on the books but funding for enforcement, support programs and prevention is still lacking. “We used to use the analogy 'If you hit your neighbor, you go to jail. But if you hit your wife, the cops would not even come,'” said Denise Margo Moy of Texas Advocacy Project, which provides legal services to victims. “That doesn't happen anymore.”

A law prohibits gun possession by anyone who has a protective order against him, or who has been convicted of domestic violence. But no one is responsible for making sure the gun is actually surrendered. Also, domestic violence cases can move agonizingly slowly. Arrest warrants may not be executed for weeks because servers are few; a case can drag out because detectives and prosecutors are overwhelmed. If the offender goes to jail in Dallas, overcrowding means he or she may be released after serving a small fraction of the time.

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