District Attorney Hopes Class will Help Victims Leave Abusive Relationships
By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

It's a new plan to help stop the cycle of violence.

The Midland District Attorney is putting some domestic abuse victims in class in hopes of putting their families on a path to a better future.

The courthouse is where justice should be served, but it doesn't always happen. Especially in domestic violence cases where it's the victim fighting to let their abuser get off scot-free.

"The District Attorney's Office becomes very frustrated, I'm sure, with the amount of ladies sometimes gentlemen who want to drop charges concerning family violence," Tonya Eckert with Safe Place of the Permian Basin, said. "Or who want to drop protective orders concerning family violence."

Midland D.A. Teresa Clingman has a new plan and Safe Place is helping her office carry it out.

Now, victims who want to drop charges must take a two hour class first.

"If they go to the two hour course that Safe Place has graciously agreed to offer them, one hour of treatment and one hour of counseling, then we will consider dismissing the case," Midland District Attorney Teresa Clingman, said.

It's been in place less than a year and Tonya Eckert says they've already seen some progress.

"There have been a few that say you know maybe I'll handle this differently," Eckert said.

Not a lot, but she says it takes time.

"So many people look at it and say why doesn't she just leave or he doesn't have to put up with that but it's a process," Eckert said. "That might be a normal situation that they've grown up with. So it's an entire mindset that has to be changed."

Clingman says it'll be awhile before they may see big results, but she says this helps everyone not just victims of abuse.

"Will it be the answer to all cases? No," Clingman said. "But anything we can do to educate and maybe deter this in the future is good for the community and safety of adults and children."