Texas U.S. Attorneys unite against domestic violence
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – All four U.S. Attorneys from Texas converged in the Southern District for a historic event to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), honor Texas victims and survivors as well as salute the dedication of advocates, service providers, justice professionals, first responders and law enforcement.
U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani was joined by fellow U.S. Attorneys Damien Diggs, Leigha Simonton and Jaime Esparza of the Eastern, Northern and Western Districts, respectively, along with Gloria Aguilera Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), for this historic event. This is the first press conference to include all four Texas U.S. Attorneys.
The audience heard how domestic violence takes a toll on families and affects communities, both socially and economically. The consequences of domestic violence, dating violence and intimate partner violence have a long-lasting impact. One of four women and one of 10 men will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime.
According to the TCFV Honoring Texas Victims 2022 analysis report, intimate partners killed 216 Texans in 64 Texas counties. This includes 179 women, 37 men and six LGBTQ+ victims. Of those, 96% of family members, friends and bystanders were killed with a firearm; 100% of those injured were shot; and 18 perpetrators had identified firearm prohibitions. The number of women a male partner killed has also nearly doubled in the last decade.
A crucial part of combatting domestic violence and reducing violent crimes includes enforcing federal firearm prohibitions.
The Texas U.S. Attorneys are committed to leveraging every federal resource available to go after abusers. They are collaborating with state and local partners by providing resources and initiative awareness.
“Through our novel and long-running Domestic Violence Initiative, out violent crime prosecutors and our partner agents at Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives focus on investigating and prosecuting criminals who illegally possess guns and have a history of domestic abuse,” said Simonton. “This included those with previous assault conviction against an intimate partner.”
“We are going to the shelters and letting our folks at the shelters and all the local stakeholders know we have this initiative, particularly in the Northern and Eastern Districts,” said Diggs. “We are here to help and we want to help.”
"As U.S. Attorney for each of the four districts in Texas, it is our responsibility to deploy every available resource and forge strategic partnerships with local law enforcement and fellow prosecutors," said Esparza. "Our shared goal is to ensure victims have a clear path to safety and justice."
“At the end of the day the goal is to bring people out of the shadows, those who are being abused, to come seek help,” said Hamdani. “We want the public to know the chief federal law enforcement officers of this state stand united and firmly with domestic violence victims and survivors.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or need resources, please visit the resources page for the Office of Violence Against Women.
There is immediate help for domestic violence victims - Call Legal Aid for Survivors of Sexual Assault at 1-844-303-7233, Stop Abuse for Everyone at 1-512-267-7233 (or text 1-737-888-7233) or Texas Advocacy Project on their Hope Line at 1-800-374-4673 or their Pro Bono Attorney line at 1-800-374-4674.
Updated October 13, 2023