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Texas Council on Family Violence strives to strengthen national and statewide communications efforts, public education, and awareness of domestic violence issues. We work collaboratively with a variety of media outlets in the development and distribution of important news releases, feature stories, story ideas and opinion/editorial (op/ed) pieces on domestic violence issues which are appropriate to statewide/national audiences.

TCFV Media Contact

Angela Hale
angela@redmediagroup.com
(512) 289-2995

Texas Council on Family Violence Honors Four Outstanding Texas Leaders and Fathers for Father’s Day

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

 

Austin, Texas – June 16, 2016– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) celebrates fathers who devote their lives to building safer communities for their kids and by doing so, impact future generations to come.  These dads lead by example, inspiring us all to envision a Texas free of violence – and strive tirelessly to accomplish this goal.  They are remarkable leaders in their professional lives, and remarkable fathers at home.

“Father’s Day is a very important day in the lives of children here in Texas and across the world.  It is a day of celebration to recognize the dedication and unconditional love fathers give to raise their children and help them become confident adults,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life.  He’s a pillar of strength and support and he leads by example. We thank these wonderful dads and Texas leaders this Father’s Day.”

Thank you to these dads and happy Father’s Day!

This Father’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Representative Abel Herrero, Robstown, TX
  • Coach Josh Ragsdale, South Garland High School, Garland, TX
  • Judge Tano Tijerina, County Judge of Webb County, Laredo, TX
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston, TX

 

Representative Abel Herrero has dedicated his career to serving the Robstown-area for more than 17 years, first as city council member, and then as state representative.  As chair of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Rep. Herrero has been an energetic ally in promoting laws that help domestic violence survivors. Last session, he successfully stewarded a law to allow juries to hear more information about an abuser’s past violence – a transformational improvement for victims seeking justice. “As these survivors take brave steps towards breaking the cycle of violence, I am proud to have played even a small part in providing a hopeful path forward,” said Rep. Herrero.

Representative Herrero is a father to five: Annalisa – 17, Andrea – 12, Abel Jr. -10, Alexia – 8, and Aliana – 6. “Cherish every moment with your children because time will not stand still, but most of all, because they are your greatest blessings.”

 

Coach Josh Ragsdale, South Garland High School, Garland, TX- On Coach Ragsdale’s team, respect for women is the standard. Every student on his football team pledges to help stop domestic violence. It’s part of Coach Ragsdale’s Domestic Violence Awareness Project, an effort he has lead for the last three years. The project has been a major success, spurring universities to create programs to teach about dating and sexual violence and encourage their own teams to “take the pledge.” More recently, Coach Ragsdale has joined TCFV’s Coaches’ Leadership Crew to help expand teen dating violence programs to more sports programs.

Coach Ragsdale is a father of three: Natalie – 12, Valerie – 12 and Ryan – 1. His parenting philosophy? “Don’t be afraid to use the words ‘I love you.’ I regularly tell my wife how much I love her in front of my children and hug and kiss on her. I want them to see me treat her like the queen that she deserves to be treated like. In turn, I want my girls to expect to be treated the same way and be respected for the wonderful ladies that they are. I also want my son to ‘want to be like daddy.’  I want him to grow up with a servant’s heart and a man who fully respects women.”

 

For Judge Tano Tijerina, service to his community is a family value. The Webb County native and former professional baseball player comes from a family of civil servants. Perhaps that history contributed to his desire to go above and beyond the job of judge to become a moral leader in his community. Last year, Judge Tijerina launched the Be A Man and Stand Up Campaign, calling on Texas men to be active participants in the movement to end violence against women in Texas.

Judge Tijerina is a father of four: Bonnie Jean – 19, Cayetano Isaac – 16, Christopher Alfonso – 11, and Keith Alexander – 11. When it comes to parenting, he says: “Allow your kids to be their own persona with guidance and love, and the rest is just details.”

 

Mayor Sylvester Turner has consistently and enthusiastically raised the profile of domestic violence services in Houston during his tenure as Mayor. He has also been an active leader in promoting Texas values of respect for diversity and tolerance. Prior to his work as mayor, he spent 27 years representing Houstonians in the Texas House, where he served on the budget committee and helped secure full funding for family violence programs.

Mayor Turner is a proud father to daughter Ashley. Ashley is continuing the family tradition of public service in the healthcare field. Some of the best advice he has received? “When times were rough, [my mother] told us that tomorrow would be better than today. Today, it is evident that what my mom said is very true.”

 

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Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/

Texas Council on Family Violence Celebrates and Honors Five Fabulous  Women Leaders from Across Texas This Mother’s Day

Austin, TX (May 9, 2017)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is celebrating all the wonderful Texas moms who are making a difference in the lives of Texans.

TCFV praises the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women created remarkable services and policies, and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.

“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas. The mother’s we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder.  We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Annette Burrhus-Clay, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault – Austin, TX

Annette Burrhus-Clay has given selflessly of her time, talents and treasures to ameliorate violence against women. Her commitment is evidenced by her remarkable 21-year tenure at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. Annette is a fierce activist to the core, and her work influences state and national practice and policy. While her heart belongs to her four adult children, the center of her universe are her six grandchildren: Brayden, Anaya, Beau, Camille, Ami and two-week-old Norah.

“Kids taught me that I’m more capable than I thought and had a greater capacity for love than I imagined. Grandkids have taught me to let go of the unimportant things that keep us distracted or angry.”

Connie Gray, Focusing Families – Hempstead, TX

Connie Gray wears many hats at Focusing Families – children’s counselor, prevention director, and even mom! Connie’s adult daughter, Nicole, works alongside her at the agency, inspired by her mom’s passion. Together, they work in schools to change the culture and equip young people with the tools they need to empower themselves and build connections within their communities.

Connie is a steadfast advocate for young people. As a mom of three, her kids inspire her as much as she’s inspired them. “They taught me to believe the impossible and dream big.”

Rosa Hopkins, Women’s Center of East Texas – Longview, TX

Rosa Hopkins is the BIPP Coordinator at the Women’s Center of East Texas, where she works to hold batterers accountable and teach them the fundamentals of leading healthy, nonviolent relationships. She started working with offenders as an independent BIPP counselor because she saw the need in her community.

Rosa is well-respected in the community as a gifted and committed facilitator. Working with offenders isn’t always easy, but Rosa is driven by her compassion. Her own background – she is a survivor of domestic violence now happily married and the mother of two sons – fuels her empathy and ability to build connections in her work. “They’re human beings – I’m here to be an example of what kindness looks like, what human compassionate looks like.”

Toni Johnson-Simpson, Denton County Friends of the Family – Denton, TX

Toni Johnson-Simpson’s journey towards executive leader of the Denton County Friends of the Family started as an altruistic 21-year-old college student. Her passion has never flagged since. Toni expects more from her community in regard to victim compassion, batterer accountability and access to services because she knows that all children deserve it. And while her professional accomplishments are impressive, her personal ones monumental. Toni is a mom to three: daughter Ebonie and twins Justin and Jaydah. Toni credits her children for teaching her to love and to take time to enjoy life. When things get difficult she embraces wise words from Jaydah: “I’m going to celebrate how much I DID get done because I am still fabulous.” Yes, Toni – you are.

Rosie Martinez- Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office

Rosie Martinez has dedicated her career of over 16 years to victim services and currently serves as the Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office. Victims’ services has been more than a career for Rosie; she calls it her “passion and lifetime mission,” and it shows in her leadership throughout the community. Rosie volunteers on the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, Rio Grande Valley Human Trafficking Coalition, Child Fatality Review Team, Citizen’s Review Team of DFPS, and the Hidalgo County Truancy Policy Committee.   A mom to five and grandmother of three, Rosie says her kids drive her work. “The sense of accomplishment that comes from hearing your children tell you that you are their inspiration, their role model, that they are proud of you and that they want to be like you is the best feeling in life.”

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Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/

Texas Council on Family Violence Names Members to the Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE NAMES MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Austin, Texas – February 28, 2017– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) names board members: Sherri Kendall, CEO of AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) in Houston; Jim Malatich, CEO of a recent merger of two domestic violence programs Hope’s Door in Collin County and New Beginning in Garland; Jeff Allar, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources for the VGL Group; Laura L. Squiers, Deputy Executive Director is the Deputy Executive Director of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation.   Several Board Members were also reappointed to serve a second three-year term beginning January 2017:  Jamie Esparza, District Attorney, El Paso; Dr. Janet Denise Lawson of Austin, former medical consultant for the Texas Department of State Health Services and Crayton Webb, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, Texas.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence takes great care and diligence in identifying key leaders in Texas to strengthen our collective responsive and prevention of domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “It is imperative to have experienced, critical thinkers who understand the needs of survivors and the systems that support them, while simultaneously elevating TCFV’s acumen and credibility.” Read more

Statement on Recent ICE Activities Regarding Family Victims in El Paso

The Texas Council on Family Violence, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence and the below-listed El Paso area elected officials stand together in recognizing that:

  • Texas family violence centers served over 72,000 victims last year alone.
  • 158 women were killed by their male intimate partner in 2015. 
  • 39% of all who sought services were turned away due to lack of space and resources. 

Realizing these needs and the DEADLY reality of family violence, we join together to call on all policy makers in El Paso and Texas overall to hold tight to three fundamental core values for family violence victims:

  • Victims of family violence have the right to protection using the civil and criminal justice system.
  • ALL family violence victims and the communities in which they live deserve safety from harm.  This makes our communities safer.
  • Vital to this safety, family violence victims must have unfettered access to law enforcement and the courthouse.

Gloria Terry, TCFV
Stephanie Karr, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence
Jo Anne Bernal, El Paso County Attorney
Jaime Esparza, 34th Judicial District Attorney, TCFV Board Member
Congressman Beto O’Rourke
Senator Jose Rodriguez
County Judge Veronica Escobar
Representative Joe Pickett
Representative Joe Moody
Representative Mary Gonzalez
Representative Cesar Blanco
Representative Evelina Ortega

Young Hearts Matter Day of Action!

YHM_Logo_630x425

Young Hearts Matter Day of Action!

February 1, 2017

Texas Capitol – South Steps
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
2:00 PM

Young activists from across the state are invited to join the Texas Advocacy Project and TCFV’s Young Hearts Matter Leadership Board on the south steps of the Capitol for a press conference kicking off National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month followed by an invitation to visit their legislators.

Questions? Contact Jessica Moreno for more information. 

Hosted by:  

TAP-Logo TCFV_Logo

Spotlight on a Young Leader

“I wasn’t a typical high school,” says Jimmy James, a quiet young man whose life changed by joining Houston Police Department’s Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).

“When I met Jimmy, he couldn’t open his mouth. Now he won’t shut it!” jokes his mentor Rhonda Collins Byrd.

Recognizing that teens are overlooked, the chief of police convened YPAC where participants conduct service projects, facilitate Teen Court, and train peers and adults on dating violence and suicide prevention. The program has increased understanding and dialogue between HPD and area youth. Read more

TCFV Honors Five Outstanding Texas Leaders and Fathers for Father’s Day

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FIVE OUTSTANDING TEXAS LEADERS AND FATHERS FOR FATHER’S DAY

Austin, Texas – June 16, 2016– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) celebrates fathers who devote their lives to building safer communities for their kids and by doing so, impact future generations to come.  These dads lead by example, inspiring us all to envision a Texas free of violence – and strive tirelessly to accomplish this goal.  They are remarkable leaders in their professional lives, and remarkable fathers at home.

“Father’s Day is a very important day in the lives of children here in Texas and across the world.  It is a day of celebration to recognize the dedication and unconditional love fathers give to raise their children and help them become confident adults,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life.  He’s a pillar of strength and support and he leads by example. We thank these wonderful dads and Texas leaders this Father’s Day.”

This Father’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen
  • Judge Roberto Cañas, Dallas County Criminal Court #10
  • J. Staley Heatly, District Attorney of the 46th Judicial District Wilbarger, Hardeman and Foard counties
  • David Scott, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Public Administration, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Coach Joe Frank MartinezHead Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator at Travis High School

Read more

TCFV Honors Four Mothers who Empower Women

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FOUR MOTHERS WHO EMPOWER WOMEN

Austin, Texas – May 7, 2016–On Mother’s Day, TCFV acknowledges the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women create remarkable services and policies and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.

This Mother’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Jennifer King, Region 3 Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Maricarmen Garza, Victim Rights Group Coordinator & Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
  • State Senator Jane Nelson
  • Marta Pelaez, CEO, Family Violence Prevention Services

Read more

A Grayson County Mother Who Lost Her Daughter and Unborn Granddaughter to Domestic Violence Speaks Out this Mother’s Day

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Risdon, 214-226-6741, susan@redmediagroup.com

A Grayson County Mother Who Lost Her Daughter and Unborn Granddaughter to Domestic Violence Speaks Out this Mother’s Day

Texas Council on Family Violence, Grayson Crisis Center, Grayson County District Attorney, Denison Police Chief & a Mother of a Domestic Violence Victim Team Up to Raise Awareness in the Wake of Recent Domestic Violence Murders- Including a Multiple Domestic Violence Homicide Where the Husband Killed his Wife and the Entire Family

Sherman, TX (May 3, 2016)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is partnering with the Grayson Crisis Center, law enforcement, the Grayson County District Attorney and city leaders to raise awareness about domestic violence and remember all of the mothers out there who were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends and who are not with us to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas.  The mothers we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder.  We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Tara Woodlee lost her daughter Ashleigh Lindsey of Denison and her unborn grandchild to domestic violence.  They were murdered by her ex-boyfriend despite the fact that she moved multiple times and was attempting to come to the Grayson Crisis Center for help days before she was killed.

“I will never forget my daughter’s beautiful face, it was forever ruined.  Her face was distorted from the massive swelling, her eyes black and blue.  Speckles of blood spot like blisters all over her face.  Ashleigh’s right hand was so burnt from trying to block the last shot that it was burned clear down to her elbow.  The nurses had to brown bag that hand for evidence.  At one point she went Code Blue, and I had to make the painful decision to have her revived.  Her dad was with me in the room as they brought Ashleigh back.  I made that choice hoping our little Patience could survive.  We waited, and then the doctors came in and said, Ashleigh would never recover and there was nothing they could do to save her.  We also waited for an OB/GYN Specialist hoping our precious Ashleigh could be kept on machines long enough to give our unborn granddaughter, Patience Lynn a chance at life.  The sonogram revealed her tiny baby heart was failing.  Once I knew Patience was truly gone, I was left alone with my daughter,” said Tara Woodlee. http://www.ashleighspatienceproject.com/index.html

Read more

Texas Council on Family Violence Kicks Off Campaign Called “Young Hearts Matter” to Raise Awareness During National Teen Dating Abuse Awareness Month in February

TCFV Honors the 2016 Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year Manor Girls Athletic Coordinator Coach Jennifer Pillich 

Austin, TX (February 16, 2016) – Today, Young Hearts Matter, a campaign to bring awareness to teen dating abuse, recognized key leaders across Texas during February, Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month.  Teen dating abuse happens in every school across Texas and the United States.

Events and programs to raise awareness allow students to come forward and get advice and help before a situation escalates to violent behavior.  In today’s environment, technology like social media and texting, can make it easy for teens and young adults to communicate, but it can also make it easy for a dating partner to use technology to harass, control and abuse their boyfriend or girlfriend.  The Texas Council on Family Violence is working to make sure students are engaged, educated and empowered to know their rights and know when they are involved in healthy and unhealthy dating relationships.

“Our work forces us to witness the outcomes of unhealthy, unsafe relationships.  Texas lost 132 women to domestic violence last year, 5 were 19 or younger,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “We raise awareness during the month of February, not just for the 5 young women who were murdered, but but for the countless other young hearts who are entering, enjoying, and exploring romantic relationships.  We recognize key influencers that profoundly shape, guide and empower young Texans.  Coach Jennifer Pillich embodies the powerful connection to youth that builds confidence and support.”

TCFV honored Coach Jennifer Pillich, Girls Athletic Coordinator, Manor ISD, Manor, Texas as Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year at the kick-off event for SafePlace in Austin.   This award recognizes an adult ally who partners with young people, is a leader for violence prevention in their community and has made prevention programming more accessible as a result of her efforts.

Read more

2016 YHM Award Nominees

YHM_Logo_630x425The YHM Activist of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and Texas Partner for Change awards recognize individuals who inspire and lead their communities to promote healthy relationships for young hearts in Texas.

Learn More

 

Texas Leaders Celebrate 25 Years of Directing the Work of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Movements

Austin, TX – Each year, the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) convene leaders from the domestic and sexual violence movements in Texas at the Annual Executive Directors’ Conference: Directing the Work.  This year marks the Silver Anniversary of this important gathering and, while not all of the attendees are the same, the legacy and impact of the work over the last quarter of a century will very much be present.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence and our member organizations have gathered together for 25 years at an annual conference and diligently work to share strategies to reduce domestic violence in Texas.   While, we have made progress, domestic violence is still a deadly problem.   In 2014, over 84,000 Texas women and children sought shelter, counseling or housing services because their home was unsafe and filled with fear.  39% of requests for services went unmet because of lack of resources to meet their needs.  And most profoundly, 132 Texas women, ranging in age from 16 to 90, were killed by a male intimate partner.  We look forward bringing together domestic violence and sexual assault leaders to search for solutions to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence in Texas, “said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Read more

Honoring Texas Victims Report

The full Honoring Texas Victims Report for 2014 is now available.

We pay tribute to the Texas women who lost their lives by memorializing their story with an account of their death. The full report offers analysis of data drawn from these stories. Our goal is to help communities identify and analyze distinguishing characteristics of these cases and creates a safer Texas for all women.

Read Report

 

The San Antonio Battered Women and Children’s Shelter Kicks Off a Holiday Giving Campaign

The San Antonio Battered Women and Children’s Shelter Kicks Off a Holiday Giving Campaign– the Same Way Black Friday and Cyber Monday Kicked-Off the Holiday Shopping SeasonBut Contributing to this Cause Can Help Save a Life and Help Victims of Domestic Violence in San Antonio

 A New Study Shows Bexar County has one of the Highest Numbers of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State of Texas  

 San Antonio, Texas – December 2, 2015 – The holidays are often thought of as the best time of the year.  It is a time for loved ones, celebration, and joy.  The holiday season can also be a time of excess.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Shop till you drop and a spending frenzy.  The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today joined the San Antonio Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, the San Antonio Police Chief and other local leaders to urge San Antonians to donate a small portion of their holiday spending dollars to help women and children who are not safe in their own homes this holiday season.

A new report released by the Texas Council on Family Violence shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  132 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2014.  119 women were killed in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  Bexar County had 5 domestic violence homicides in this report with 5 murders.  In 2013, there were 7 domestic violence murders in San Antonio.  Harris County had the highest number of deaths with 23 domestic violence murders, followed by Tarrant and Dallas with 10 domestic violence homicides in each city, followed by El Paso and San Antonio with 5 murders in each city.

Read more