Definitions of Texas family violence and abuse expanded with new law
Effective September 1, 2015, the law pertaining to the definition of family
violence has been expanded by the Texas Legislature. Now, the code prohibits
family violence, including a person who applied for a protective order.
The prior version of the law prohibited violence against the victim, but
left a loophole for violence against a person who claimed to be a victim
in an application for protective order but who may not, at that point,
have been. Now the law includes both victims and those who apply for protective
orders. The point of adding this language is to prevent retaliatory violence
against a person who may apply for a protective order.
Further, the definition of abuse is expanded to include trafficking of
people for prostitution, taking obscene photos or videos of a child, using
drugs to cause physical, mental, or emotional injury to a child, or causing
a child to use drugs. While most of these changes seem obvious and intuitive,
it is interesting to wonder what actions in using drugs by a person would
cause mental or emotional injury to a child.