Maria Escamilla, whose ex-boyfriend raped her and took a knife to her face, breasts, and vagina, did not immediately get the justice she wanted. She had to wait for two years before she was able to face the man who violated her and left her for dead in a Dallas County court.
A new procedure in hearing domestic violence cases could change how long defendants and victims wait for courts to resolve a particular case. According to Dallas County Criminal Court Judge Shequitta Kelly, long waits for domestic violence cases are injustices in and of themselves. She noted that “even as a prosecutor one of the first things I would say to a victim is ‘this is going to be a long road.’ And that’s pretty sad.”
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Brandi Mitchell said when the trial for a domestic violence case gets postponed, it gets harder to resolve the case. Sometimes, victims move and change their phone numbers. Other times, the victims and their violators reconcile, with both parties no longer interested in reopening the case, or the victim moves on and chooses to leave the case in the past.