1350 Family Violence Allegations

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1350 Family Violence Allegations

APS IH / May 2007

Family Violence means:

  •   An act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to:

  •   result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, sexual assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself; or

  •   inflict emotional harm or pain, including acts of emotional abuse;

  •   An act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, sexual assault, or a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.

See also:

Texas Family Code §71.004

Texas Family Code §71.0021

Texas Human Resource Code §51.002

Dating relationship: A relationship between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on consideration of:

  •   the length of the relationship;

  •   the nature of the relationship; and 

  •   the frequency and type of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

A casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization in a business or social context does not constitute a dating relationship.

See Texas Family Code §71.0021.

Generally, the terms domestic violence and family violence are used interchangeably. Alleged victims of family violence and dating violence must meet the eligibility criteria to receive protective services.

APS does investigate and provide protective services to persons who are person age 65 or older or adults with a disability who are alleged victims of family violence or dating violence.

APS does not investigate allegations of family violence and dating violence involving persons who are not age 65 or older or adults with a disability. APS refers such allegations to local providers of services for domestic violence victims, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), or local law enforcement, as appropriate.

1351 Procedure for Assessing Family Violence Allegations

APS IH / May 2011

The APS specialist determines if the alleged victim of family violence or dating violence meets the eligibility criteria to receive protective services.

If the alleged victim is a person age 65 or older or an adult with disabilities, the APS specialist:

  •   investigates and provides protective services; and

  •   makes appropriate notification to law enforcement according to policy.

If the alleged victim is not a person age 65 or older or an adult with a disability the APS specialist:

  •   provides referrals to local providers of services for domestic violence victims, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH), or local law enforcement, as appropriate; and

  •   closes the case as Does not Meet Definition for APS.

1352 The Texas Address Confidentiality Program (ACP)

APS IH / February 2013

The Texas Address Confidentiality Program assists victims of family violence, sexual assault, and stalking with keeping their physical addresses confidential. The program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG); it provides participants with a substitute post office box address (the OAG’s post office box) and a free mail forwarding service. ACP is neither a witness protection program nor a guarantee of safety, but is one step in an overall safety plan.

State agencies must comply with the program and its rules, as authorized under Sub-chapter C, Chapter 56 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. When taking a report on a person enrolled in the ACP, SWI staff use the OAG’s post office box as the alleged victim’s address, unless the caller voluntarily reveals the true address.

It may appear that SWI has misrouted the intake, as the intake will list Travis County as the county of residence for the alleged victim. SWI staff obtain as much information as possible to help the APS specialist locate the alleged victim.

Even though the OAG has the true residential address information for the alleged victim, OAG staff are not allowed to release this information to APS staff. It may not be possible to complete an investigation if the locating information for the alleged victim is incomplete.

If an APS specialist believes that an alleged victim who is in danger of family violence, sexual assault, or stalking would benefit from the ACP, the APS specialist may refer the alleged victim to the local family violence shelter for help enrolling in the program. Family violence shelters are the point of entry for the ACP.

1353 Procedure When an Alleged Victim’s Address Is Made Confidential Through the ACP

APS IH / February 2013

If an alleged victim is a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), the APS specialist does as follows in IMPACT:

  •   Marks the case as Sensitive;

  •   Documents the alleged victim’s confidential address, if known; and

  •   Documents the Travis County post office box issued by the ACP (that is, the non-confidential substitute address), as outlined in policy.

APS does not release the confidential physical address of any ACP participant. If the APS specialist needs to contact a service provider for the alleged victim, the APS specialist must have the alleged victim’s permission before releasing the confidential address to a service provider.

1354 Documenting a Confidential Address in IMPACT and Marking the Case as Sensitive

APS IH / February 2013

The APS specialist documents in IMPACT the confidential address of an alleged victim who is a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) and marks the case as Sensitive, by:

  •   opening the Case Summary page;

  •   selecting OAG-ACP in the Special Handling field;

  •   selecting the Sensitive Case check box; and

  •   entering the following in the Comments field under the Sensitive Case check box:

  •   The confidential address

  •   The confidential phone numbers, if any

  •   Any other information needed to locate the alleged victim.

1354.1 Documenting a Nonconfidential Substitute Address

APS IH / February 2013

The APS specialist documents a nonconfidential substitute address on the Address Detail page in IMPACT by:

  •   selecting Residential Mail as the address type;

  •   entering the alleged victim’s ACP participant number in the Comments field; and

  •   entering the following OAG-issued address:

PO Box 12108 MC068

Austin, Texas 78711-2108

Travis County

The post office box address will not validate properly in IMPACT. When the APS specialist clicks on Validate, he or she will receive an Address Validation error message. The APS specialist selects Close on the message.

When the Address Detail page opens again, the MC068 portion of the post office box address will have moved to the front of the post office box information.

A substitute address is issued to participants in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), offered by the Office of the Attorney General.

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