Notice to Adult Victims of Family Violence
It is a crime for any person to intentionally cause you any harm, even if that person is a member of your household. It is important that you tell the officer if you or any other household resident have been injured, or if you feel you are going to be in danger after the officer leaves.
What Should You Do Next?
- Request an Emergency Protective Order (EPO): This order can be requested through the District Attorney’s Family Criminal Law Division at 713-274-0212. If an arrest is not made, call the investigator assigned to the case. This order is valid for up to 90 days.
- Register through VINE by calling 1-877-894-8463 or www.vinelink.com. Registration is free, anonymous, and is a computer-based telephone program that provides victims of crime information about offender custody status and related court events. (See VINE section of brochure for more details).
- Apply for a Protective Order if necessary. A Protective Order must be issued directly to the offender. It orders him/her to stop committing violence against you, to stay away from you and your family, to stop any communication, direct or through others, that is threatening or harassing. This order can be valid for up to 2 years. Refer to Legal Resources section *
- Call the Houston Police Department Family Violence Unit at 713-308-1100 for Investigative Services.
- Call the Houston Police Department Victim Services Unit at 713-308-0080 for legal referrals, crisis counseling, U Visa information and questions regarding Crime Victim’s Compensation.
- Make a Safety Plan.
Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE)
Call VINE 24 hours a day for information on county jail status and court events. Make Texas VINE part of your safety plan. The suspect/offender will not know you have registered with Texas VINE. However, do not depend on Texas VINE, or any single program, for your protection. Please Call Toll Free 1-877-894-8463.
For more information visit www.vinelink.com
What is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order is a legal remedy for the use and protection of victims of family violence, sexual assault and stalking. Family Violence means the intentional use or threat of physical force by a member of the family or household. Family includes individuals related by blood or marriage, i.e. spouses ex-spouses, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, parents, children, etc. Household means a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, whether or not they are related to each other.
A protective order can deter violence and provide the police and courts additional authority to intervene in family violence, sexual assault and stalking cases, and to punish those who commit family violence, but it is not a shield that truly stops the next violent act from occurring.
Prepare for future incidents
- Plan an escape route out of your home & teach it to your children
- Have a code word for children & family/friends to call police
- Tell children not to get in the middle of violence
- Talk with professionals about technology safety
(computers, cell phones, etc.)
- Keep phone with you at all times and know your location
- Find a safe place to stay (family/friend’s house)
If You Are Sexually Assaulted
- ASAP - Go to a hospital and have a Sexual Assault Kit Examination Performed.
- Seeking medical attention will help determine if you have any injuries, help collect evidence, test for STI’s and pregnancy.
- As time passes, evidence can be destroyed. Try not to change clothing, shower or bathe.
- Counseling can help you process feelings about assault and determine your options.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS
This Process can take from six months to a year or more. You may call the law enforcement agency’s telephone number for the status of the case and information about victim’s rights.