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Collaborative commission tackles domestic violence epidemic

Bexar County has the highest amount of domestic violence related deaths in Texas. The first-of-its-kind commission aims to change that.

In a sea of purple, a beacon shines bright. The light comes from an announcement made Friday in front of the Bexar County Courthouse.

"The system has failed the victims of domestic violence, victims in our community," said 150th District Court Judge Monique Diaz. "We are standing here in unison because we refuse to accept that."

Law enforcement, prosecution and judiciary leaders, nonprofits, and healthcare agencies stood alongside one another as representatives of the Commission on Collaborative Strategies to Prevent, Combat, and Respond to Domestic Violence.

Bexar County has the highest amount of domestic violence-related deaths in Texas. A special order signed by Judge Peter Sakai launched the first-of-its-kind commission last month.

"What makes this different, is instead of each level of government trying an idea, we're going to work together," said State Representative Diego Bernal. "We're going to wait, work together, and come up with our best effort to tackle this collectively and then move forward as a group."

Five committees will spend three years targeting specific problems, like communication between and within court systems.

"One example is the issue of individuals who are in possession of dangerous weapons who have already been court-ordered to not possess them, and how we can safely and properly remove those weapons," said Judge Diaz.

As leaders navigate the issues, they're hoping the solutions they find will help victims in the dark.

RELATED: San Antonio could add $1 million in domestic violence prevention funding

RELATED: New move to help end domestic violence crisis in Bexar County

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