Harris County District Attorney donates nearly $442,000 to partners in fight against domestic violence

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg recognized two major partners in the fight against domestic violence by donating nearly $442,000 at the unveiling of a new family violence services facility.

Ogg presented the monetary awards Friday to the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and Houston Area Women’s Center in the amounts of $261,900 and $180,034, respectively.

“The communities that are harmed by crime … deserve to have that money reinvested,” Ogg told an audience of approximately 60 fellow law enforcement leaders, community advocates and other stakeholders with roles in assisting domestic violence survivors. Of the county’s crime drivers, “domestic violence is one of our toughest to crack,” she added.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence is also known as intimate partner violence, battering, spousal abuse and other terms.

The donations are “reinvestments” of criminal asset-forfeiture funds, and they are for specific programming designed to reduce this type of fatality.

“We know these programs work,” Ogg said.

The award of $261,900 to the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council will fund high-risk mobile advocates. Through its partnership with the DVCC’s Domestic Violence High Risk Teams in Harris County and in Pasadena, the District Attorney’s Office prosecutes abusers with prior offenses to prevent the all-too-common escalation to a fatal incident.

The $180,034 donation to the Houston Area Women’s Center will permit the continued expansion of a call center. Its locally focused hotline and chat line provide an invaluable resource to victims.

Ogg noted that 16,000 of the approximately 100,000 cases the DA’s Office sees annually are felony and misdemeanor domestic violence cases, including stalking, assault and murder, among other charges.

Friday’s gift presentation was part of an open house unveiling the new Family Violence Services location of the Domestic Violence Division of the District Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors and a social worker outlined resources now centrally available at 1200 Congress, including protective orders and safety information, which had been scattered across various locations during the ongoing courthouse renovation and the pandemic.

The event concluded with a tour of the space for community partners.