Choosing to file a police report


Choosing to File a Police Report

 

There are times when an outside third party may report witnessing family violence, but in most cases, it will be the survivor’s decision.  As with any decision, there are advantages and disadvantages to reporting.

Advantages:

  • Reporting the violence provides official documentation of the abuse. This might be important in the future if the abuse escalates or you are seeking legal protections.
  • While not necessary to obtain a protective order, it can help with the process.
  • If the abuser is arrested and incarcerated it may provide protection for you, your children, and others in the community.
  • It may help you qualify for financial assistance through the state.

Disadvantages:

  • It may be difficult for you to repeat your story numerous times to law enforcement and the court.
  • Even if you choose to report the crime and choose to press charges, the police may or may not transfer the case to the District Attorney’s office and the DA may or may not pursue the case.
  • It might anger the offender and increase the potential danger (but we can help you safety plan and seek protective options).

It is important to note that some counties, such as Denton County, have a policy within the District Attorney's office to not drop family violence cases, even if the victim requests to drop charges.

  • Denton County has a “no-drop” policy – this means that the victim does not have the right to drop the charges.  The charges are pressed by the County and the victim is considered a witness.
  • The victim’s refusal to cooperate with the prosecution does not impact the DA’s choice to continue with the case.