The Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence in San Antonio released its third-year report March 30, summarizing the group’s accomplishments and efforts to bolster the community’s domestic violence response system.

City officials said the CCDV was formed in 2019 to collectively start the work to repair, solidify and improve the city’s domestic violence responses. The report can be viewed here.

Judge and CCDV Co-chair Monique Diaz said her panel assembles partners and providers from every aspect of the domestic violence response system to address the upstream causes of violence.

“We are working to improve the system to make it easier to seek help, while ensuring that the community’s response to domestic violence is proactive, compassionate and effective,” Diaz said in a statement.

In its third year, the CCDV refocused its objectives following the COVID-19 pandemic on four key areas: increasing community education and awareness, training the workforce, connecting people to services and support, and changing processes, city officials said.

“Together, we are making changes to the way our community serves victims and survivors of domestic violence. In our third year, the CCDV worked to transform the community’s programs and service to a victim-centered approach, implemented training resources for medical students and school districts and collaborated with Bexar County to launch a comprehensive assessment of the local justice system’s response to domestic violence,” CCDV co-chair and Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez said in a statement.

Recapping a period from October 2021 through December 2022, the CCDV’s highlights include:

  • Transforming city of San Antonio programs and services from a system-focused approach to a victim-centered approach;
  • Connecting more than 1,600 domestic violence victims to crisis support services through a new partnership serving county residents;
  • Training more than 300 medical students on the dynamics of family violence as well as the resources available to health care providers and community members;
  • Engaging independent school districts to introduce evidence-based curricula on teen dating violence and healthy relationships;
  • Collaborating with Bexar County to launch a three-year, comprehensive assessment of the local justice system’s response to domestic violence; and
  • Hosting two annual educational symposia for professionals, advocates, and people with lived experience related to domestic violence.

Marta Pelaez, CEO of San Antonio Family Violence Prevention Services, said it is possible to make lasting positive change to services available to victims and survivors through the CCDV’s approach.

“But these types of changes take time. When we make resources and training available to children, parents, the workforce and the community, we are equipping people with generational tools and information to prevent violence and help those who are experiencing violence,” Pelaez said in a statement.

According to the city, the CCDV’s fourth-year priorities along with planned strategies and interventions include:

  • Providing training and technical assistance and building capacity for people who work to support those impacted by domestic violence;
  • Applying the lived experiences of domestic violence survivors, witnesses and perpetrators to build alliances and inform strategies;
  • Expanding the capacity for community-based organizations and legal advocates to provide comprehensive legal services to victims of domestic violence;
  • Providing a person-centered approach to domestic violence treatment, support and services;
  • Developing a coordinated communication strategy to raise community awareness about the dangers of domestic violence and available resources; and
  • Identifying and evaluating interventions by improving data collection, reporting and use.