Houston Police Will Learn How to Recognize Trauma in Sexual Assault Cases

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By Becky FogelOctober 12, 2016 11:30 am

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Thousands of Houston police officers are set to get special training this year on how to respond to sexual assault cases.

Acting police chief Martha Montalvo says that starting this year, all classified police officers will learn about the neurobiology of trauma. 

“The goal is to better equip police officers in recognizing and understanding the impact of trauma on victims,” Montalvo says. 

The department will be working with the Houston Area Women’s Center. Thirty-four women were killed as a result of domestic violence in Harris County in 2015 – that’s up from 23 of those kinds of murders in 2014. Montalvo says that this year alone, Houston officers have already responded to over 20,000 domestic violence reports.

Earlier this week, Ted Cruz reaffirmed his support for Donald Trump, even after criticizing the GOP presidential nominee for comments he made in 2005 about being able to force himself on women because he’s famous.

Cruz’s Senate counterpart has also been critical of Trump – but like Cruz, he’s sticking with him. Houston Public Media’s Eddie Robinson says that like many other top Republicans in the state, Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn are disgusted by Trump’s comments, but are concerned about the makeup of the Supreme Court. Cornyn also says he’s worried about the effects of the presidential candidates on other races.

“I think it’s a problem for both political parties,” Cornyn says. “You have nominees with very high negative ratings and so it’s not exactly inspiring to voters to come vote. So I guess we’ll just have to see – this is a unique circumstance I’ve never seen before.”

If you were watching cable TV news last night, you might have caught a glimpse of an exchange between Chris Hayes talking to U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold about Trump’s comments regarding women:

Hayes: If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that, ‘I really like to rape women,’ you would continue to endorse him?

Farenthold: Again, that would be bad and I would have to consider…I’d consider it.

Farenthold followed up his appearance on the show with a three-part apology on Twitter. It began: “I apologize for my failure to immediately condemn anyone who would say something as outrageous as they like raping women.”

He added that he was thrown off by the hypothetical question. But in the real world, Trump’s comments about groping women aren’t enough to shake Farenthold’s support. The Dallas Morning News noted that two years ago, the Texas congressman’s former spokeswoman sued him for creating a hostile work environment due to gender discrimination and harassment.

Farenthold is up for re-election this November.