SAN ANTONIO — Amid the filing of more than 600 cases of family violence through two months in 2019, the county district attorney is dedicating more prosecutors to their Family Violence Unit to help bring victims justice.
Two months after taking office, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales is keeping his focus on addressing top priority issues, including family violence.
"Steadily, we're seeing increases and it may continue to grow," Gonzales said.
"That's why we need to make sure we're prepared, to make sure that we can handle that large load of cases that are being filed."
The Family Violence Unit is now a standalone entity that has inherited a backlog of cases from the previous administration as well as taking on hundreds of new cases, including the Baby King Jay Davila case.
"We are about protecting the community, we are about ensuring the safety of those victims and we'll do everything within our power to bring them to justice," Gonzales said.
The number of lawyers assigned specifically to the Family Violence Unit increased from 22 to 35. Gonzales said it's part of a staff realignment, a strategy that he says isn't costing taxpayers a dime.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bikers Against Child Abuse San Antonio Chapter were hosted an event to help children who are victims of abuse go through the process before their case goes to court.
"It helps them not be so afraid when they do have to come back for court," President Tiger said. "It's a lot of times nerve wrecking for them and they feel lost and to be able to be there to be a support system for them is very vital."
He said the increase in staff dedicated to the Family Violence Unit is going to help cases advance through the system faster, potentially decreasing the wait time for victims.
"It's just going to help our children get to a point where they can end a chapter in their life and begin a new one," Tiger said.
B.A.C.A. San Antonio Chapter is just one of the many organizations that help advocate for victims in our area.