Domestic or Child Abuse in San Antonio
Domestic and child abuse is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. All over the world, millions of people have been victims of abuse. San Antonio in Texas is one of such places that have seen a rise in the number of victims of domestic and child abuse. Most victims of domestic abuse happen to be women, but men have also suffered. Domestic and child abuse takes many forms, such as physical, emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse. There are many reasons that lead the abuser to inflict harm on the victims, and also for victims to remain in the same situation over time. For children, the main reason is that they are helpless over the adults abusing them. For adults, however, there are a variety of reasons that explain the situation. San Antonio has seen a rise in the number of domestic abuse cases over the years, mainly because of lackluster efforts in the justice system in addressing cases of abuse.
There are many causes of domestic abuse. One of them is that people who experienced violence in their lives are more likely to abuse others. For example, if a person was beaten up as a child, they are also likely to beat up their own children or spouses. Witnessing a lot of violence, especially in younger years, leads a person to think that violence is the only way to resolve a conflict. The second factor that contributes to domestic abuse is feelings of jealousy, insecurity, low self-esteem, and inability to control emotions such as anger (Kumar 109). A partner with these characteristics tends to feel the need to dominate their partner, and this often takes the form of domestic violence and abuse. An undiagnosed mental disorder can also make a person turn into a domestic abuser. Excessive use of drugs and alcohol makes a person unaware of their actions, and it could drive them into domestic violence. However, there is no acceptable reason why a person should abuse another; these factors simply explain why some people abuse others.
San Antonio has experienced a rise in the number of domestic abuse cases. For example, in the year 2016, there were 692 reported cases of felony family violence, and this number rose to 939 in 2018. Additionally, the city had 10459 reports for misdemeanor family violence, rising to 11381 in 2018. In 2018, 28 women died from domestic violence in 2018, which is such an unfortunate situation (Casura 12). Bexar County is ranked number one in Texas for cases for family violence rates against women. Some people argue that the increase in numbers is due to increased reporting, but this still shows that there need to be urgent steps to address the issue. The city’s political leadership has been reluctant to solve the problem, with the city’s Chamber of Commerce President Richard Perez shockingly remarking that domestic violence is not a business issue; therefore the local government should not care about it. Such an attitude is what results in more people suffering through abuse because the community is unwilling to implement severe punishment for perpetrators of violence. City Councilman Greg Brockhouse has also faced allegations of domestic abuse in the past, though he has not adequately explained them.
Domestic abuse is often tied to child abuse. When a parent or guardian is the victim of abuse, it is highly likely that the children will also face similar violence (Guedes et al 22). The city of San Antonio has seen a rise in the number of cases in child abuse. San Antonio has seen a significant increase in the number of cases of child neglect and abuse, from 4550 in 2016 to 6175 in 2018. These figures from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services indicate the need for serious and urgent measures to combat the situation. Judge Peter Sakai of the Children’s Court in the county says that the major contributors to abuse include mental illness, drug addiction, and family violence (Ekström & Lindström 261). The Judge says that the best way to deal with child abuse is prevention through addressing the root causes.
One of the solutions that should be used to address domestic abuse is punitive sentences for abusers. The city has a lot of backlogs of cases, and this means that perpetrators have time to continue with their abuse before they are arrested and charged. The District Attorney for Bexar County has said that his office is working around the clock to clear the backlog. There are many organizations in San Antonio that provide services for victims of domestic abuse, and the government should provide additional funding for such organizations to help address the problem (Deans et al 36). At the root of domestic violence is a lack of respect for one’s partner, and people should be urged to respect and uphold the dignity of their partners. Violent people should try to control their emotions by seeking services such as counseling and diagnosis for psychological illnesses. Other measures that could be useful in addressing domestic violence is training police officers on how to handle such cases and increasing the number of felony prosecutions. When abusers know that they face harsh charges for their abuse, this could deter them. Another measure to prevent domestic abuse is requiring offenders to get treatment for their issues such as anger management and low levels of self-control.
In conclusion, the issue of domestic violence is one that many people take lightly, but it is very serious. Bexar County is ranked as the leading county in Texas for cases of domestic violence against women. This shows that the county needs to take serious action to address the problem. Some plausible solutions include training of police officers, mandating that offenders seek treatment services and more felony prosecutions of domestic violence offenses. There are many nongovernmental organizations in San Antonio that offer services to victims of abuse, and this is also of great help. Unfortunately, victims of abuse may take time to seek the help that they need mostly because of psychological reasons. The community must work together to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its members, including those experiencing domestic abuse.
Casura, Lily. “Examining 20 Years of Misdemeanor Family Violence Offenses in Bexar County.” (2019).
http://copp.utsa.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Misdemeanor-Domestic-Violence-White-Paper-Final.pdfDeans, Brenda, et al. “Victims of Domestic Violence: Findings and Suggestions.” International Journal of Health and Economic Development 4.1 (2018): 32-43.
https://search.proquest.com/openview/a32fc09aca89f4454acc2dce1dcea39d/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=2037330Ekström, Veronica, and Peter Lindström. “In the service of justice: will social support to victims of domestic violence increase prosecution?.” International review of victimology 22.3 (2016): 257-267.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0269758016651946Guedes, Alessandra, et al. “Bridging the gaps: a global review of intersections of violence against women and violence against children.” Global health action 9.1 (2016): 31516.
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3402/gha.v9.31516Kumar, Arun. “Causes of Domestic Violence in a Particular Area.” Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities 7.8 (2017): 105-112.