A Central Texas woman is preparing to share her story in front of Texas lawmakers to help get stronger laws against domestic violence passed during this legislative session.
“I was immensely scared at the time of leaving,” said a woman we’ll call “Rachael.”
Rachael is a domestic violence survivor. For her protection, FOX44 is not revealing her identity. She says she knows all too well what strangulation is.
“Strangulation is the third leading cause of intimate partner death in Texas. It leaves minimal injury, so you can’t just look at someone and see if they have been strangled. So given our law-enforcement, further training on other signs to look for is absolutely important,” Rachael says.
Rachael has been out of an abusive relationship for five years and is now taking her fight to the Capitol in Austin to advocate for bills like SB-971. If passed, it would require more training for officers to help identify domestic violence – specifically strangulation.
“If someone has a prior history of strangulation, it raises their risk for further strangulation and homicide by 750 times,” Rachael says.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, if your partner has strangled you in the past, your risk of being killed by them is ten times higher.
“It’s just an amazing risk that definitely needs to be addressed,” Rachael says.
Waco Polic would not comment on SB-971, as it is still working through the Senate committee. They did say they already have officers trained to look for these signs. But many other jurisdictions in Texas do not – and that is why Rachael says she wants to fight for those who can’t.
“That is my passion. To help others that are experiencing the same thing,” Rachael says.
If the bill passes, it will take effect on September 1.