County Stands Up Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence

The courts, neighborhood leaders, law enforcement, and community organizations have all come together to form the Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence, to come up with solution to the county's seemingly insurmountable domestic violence problem, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"We refuse to accept the fact that Bexar County last year had the highest number of domestic violence deaths in the entire state of Texas," said State District Judge Monique Diaz, who is one of the organizers of the Commission.

Family Court Judge Peter Sakai talked about what the mission of the Commission will do.

"Lets take stock of what the issues are, lets figure out can we do a better process to deal with domestic violence."

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus says this issue keeps being a major problem for his officers.

"I think to say the very least, it is frustrating, with the effort we have put in, that we haven't seen results," he said.

Much of the talk is about education, because domestic violence is clearly a generational problem. Participants say young boys who see men in their familybattering women need to be told that the behavior is not acceptable, and girls who see women in their family victimized need to learn that they don't have to grow up to be a victim.

County Judge Nelson Wolff says more attention has to be paid to the problems of drug abuse and mental health. He says 85% of the cases of child abuse, which is domestic violence, involves perpetrators who hae a drug addiction or a mental health problem.

And he said the Commission may decide that simply throwing these criminals into a jail cell is not the best way to approach the problem.

"To throw them in a cell will make them a worse person than they were when they got there," he said. "That leads to move violence and more domestic violence, and makes him a worse person than he was before."

The issue of domestic violence became front and center in the community after a candidate for Mayor in last spring's elections dealt with allegations of violence against two women.