Institute Releases New Domestic Violence Data for Dallas Task Force

Word cloud of terms related to domestic violence
Dr. Denise Paquette Boots

Dr. Denise Paquette Boots

The Institute for Urban Policy Research (IUPR) at UT Dallas completed its third annual report on domestic violence in Dallas, documenting 15,566 domestic violence offenses reported to the Dallas Police Department and nearly 8,000 victims turned away from shelters due to a lack of space.

The Annual Summary Report: 2016-2017 for the City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force is the result of hundreds of hours of data collection, management and analysis. The IUPR, a research group in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, designed and administered a survey, and collected data on more than 3,000 variables from agencies including the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, courts and nonprofits that assist victims of family violence.

The project was designed to help the task force track Dallas’ progress in addressing domestic violence, identify public policy issues that impact outcomes and determine areas for improvement.

Dr. Tim Bray

Dr. Tim Bray

“This report is not just about where we’ve been; it’s also about where we’re going,” said Dr. Denise Paquette Boots, IUPR senior research fellow and program head and associate professor of criminology. “The information can help policymakers determine where to direct precious resources and provides transparency regarding the level of services provided to victims as well as how we hold offenders accountable who commit crimes against their intimate partners.”

Boots conducted the research with co-authors Dr. Tim Bray, director of the institute and clinical professor of criminology; and Anthony Galvan, associate director of the IUPR for research operations. The Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, Mary Kay, Verizon Corp. and the Embrey Family Foundation provided funding to support the project.

“I believe that it’s hard to fix something that you don’t measure, and the annual Domestic Violence Task Force report does just that,” Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “The report explains the true scope of the problem, what resources there are and how we get them, and how we are performing in services, policing and prosecution. We now have three years of data, and this will help us determine what areas to focus on as we move to eradicate domestic violence in Dallas.”

Anthony Galvan

Anthony Galvan

The report includes the number of domestic violence-related arrests by the Dallas Police Department, cases filed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, protective court orders accepted, and family and intimate partner homicides from June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2017. 

“This analysis allows advocates for eradicating domestic violence from our community to enact policy and organizational best practices to fill in the gaps in service,” said City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates, chair of the Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force. “The annual summary report is an invaluable tool in our fight against domestic violence.”

Now that the report has been released, researchers are focused on preparing next year’s report.

“We look forward to continuing the strong relationships we have built in Dallas with community partners who are vested in fighting domestic violence,” Boots said.


By the Numbers

Researchers from The Institute for Urban Policy Research added demographic information this year to help police and advocates identify higher risks for victims. The statistics in the Annual Summary Report: 2016-2017 for the City of Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force include:

  • 24 homicides by intimate partners (current or former boyfriend, husband, girlfriend or wife) from 2014 to 2017. Seventeen of the victims were females (nine of them black, five Latina and three white) and seven were males (five of them black and two white).
  • 75 percent of victims were killed at their homes.
  • 65 percent of the victims were killed with a firearm.
  • 15,566 domestic violence-related offenses reported to the Dallas Police Department.
  • 246 victims in emergency shelter each night.
  • 7,950 victims were turned away from shelters because of a lack of space. The number of victims denied shelter decreased from 10,000 the previous year studied because of the addition of new shelter beds.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

Tagged: EPPS research