Speeding Up the Protective Order Process

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office partners in a new program to speed up the protective order process. Victims will soon be able to apply for services on-site protecting their safety. Pat Hernandez has the story.

The Domestic Violence Enforcement Program is made possible with a three year, 850-thousand dollar grant from the United States Justice Department to the HPD’s Family Violence Unit and the Houston Area Women’s Center. Those agencies will collaborate with the Harris County District Attorney’s Family Criminal Law Division.

“Victims of domestic violence are in danger and we have resources out there that are available and, the more we work together, the better we can utilize our resources.”

Jane Waters heads the Division. She says the program will provide Houston Police officers with specialized training in domestic violence laws and procedures, and will help the department set up Protective Order Clinics.

“We’ll assist the Houston Police Department and some of the public service officers to screen victims who come in and apply for two year protective orders, and we’ll work together so that maybe it’s one less thing they have to do. They can apply for a protective order at the Police Department as opposed to coming down here to apply for a protective order.”

She says they see on average about eight thousand victims of domestic violence each year.

Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.