Three out of four Texans have either themselves, or know someone who has, been in an abusive relationship. Seventy-three percent of all Texans believe domestic violence is a serious problem in Texas. Forty percent of Hispanic Texas women who reported experiencing at least one form of domestic violence took no action. All of these statistics resulted from a far-reaching and comprehensive prevalence of domestic violence study conducted for the Texas Council on Family Violence in 2002 (Saurage Research, Inc., 2003). Family violence continues to endanger women, children, and families in Texas, and policymakers seek accurate and complete information to use as a basis for creating solutions.

Several agencies such as the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission collect data on incidence, which measures the number of new cases over a specified period of time. These data provide a glimpse into the pervasiveness of domestic violence, but without deeper analysis, policymakers do not have a full picture. Although the 2002 study served as a groundbreaking guide during the past decade, an updated evaluation of domestic violence prevalence is critically important to further victim restoration on efforts to strengthen continuums of care in Texas communities. Updated information will continue to propel Texas’s criminal and civil justice systems, legislative, administrative, and cultural responses to daily violence.

The purpose of this evaluation is to conduct a statewide quantitative survey assessing the prevalence of domestic violence in Texas. The evaluation will utilize survey methodology modeled after the National Violence against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998). Findings will be used to inform, shape, and further strengthen the service delivery system for victims in Texas.