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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Honoring Texas Victims: 132 Women Killed in Texas in 2014 El Paso County is One of the Top Five Counties with the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State with 5 Murders

New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month Shows Increase in the Number of Women Killed in Texas and an Increase in El Paso  

El Paso, Texas – October 5, 2015 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that 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.  El Paso County also had an increase in the number of domestic violence homicides in this report with 5 murders.  In 2013, there were 3 domestic violence murders in El Paso.  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.

In El Paso, Christina Bukovcik was murdered in her home by her husband Geomel Shaffa, Maria Duarte was stabbed and killed by her husband in their home, Laura Lara was assaulted by her boyfriend in his home and died at the hospital three days later, Maria Elena Sernas was shot and killed by her ex-husband Jorge Rojero in his home when she went back to retrieve some of her things and Jacqueline Valenzuela was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend Carlos Torres.  Her 8-year-old son was present at the time of the murder.

Stephanie Karr, Executive Director of the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza and City Representative Emma Acosta, District 3 joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in El Paso to unveil the annual report titled:  “Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

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New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month Shows Increase in the Number of Women Killed in Texas – Houston

Honoring Texas Victims: 132 Women Killed in Texas in 2014 – Harris County Has the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State at 23 –

4 Murders in Brazoria County, 2 in Ft. Bend, Galveston and Montgomery and 1 in Wharton County Bringing the Total to 34 Domestic Violence Homicides in the Greater Houston Area

Houston, Texas – October 16, 2015 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that 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.   Harris County had the highest number of deaths in the state 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. In addition, there were 4 murders in Brazoria County, 2 murders each in Ft. Bend, Galveston and Montgomery Counties and one domestic violence homicide in Wharton County in the greater surrounding Houston area.

Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr., Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman, Deborah Mosley, Executive Director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Pasadena and TCFV Board member, Rebecca White, CEO at the Houston Area Women’s Center and Barbie Brasher, Executive Director, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Houston to unveil the annual report titled:  Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

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Texas Council on Family Violence Salutes Travis County District Court Judge Mike Denton for Receiving a National Honor for Protecting Children in Domestic Violence Court

The Foundation for the Improvement of Justice honors Denton with the national Paul H. Chapman Award in Atlanta

 Austin, Texas – September 28, 2015 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today joined the Foundation for Improvement of Justice, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia in saluting Travis County District Court Judge Mike Denton.  He received a top national award for protecting victims of domestic violence Saturday night.  TCFV nominated Judge Denton for this award.

The foundation has selected Denton as the Paul H. Chapman Award Winner for his work advocating and overseeing the first Travis County Domestic Violence Court.  He has been the sole judge to preside over that court since its establishment in 1999.  Initially, the court handled civil protective order hearings and criminal misdemeanor cases, but added felony criminal cases five years ago.  He has been recognized by local, state, and national levels and shares his expertise and knowledge through conferences to judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, state legislators, advocates and survivors.

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New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month Shows Increase in the Number of Women Killed in Texas

Honoring Texas Victims: 132 Women Killed in Texas in 2014 – 25 of the Victims are from North Texas; Tarrant & Dallas Counties have the Second Highest Murder Rate in the State with 10 Domestic Violence Homicides in Each County, One Murder Each in Collin, Johnson & Kaufman Counties; Two Murders in Denton County

Ft. Worth, Texas – October 15, 2015 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that 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.  Tarrant County had a slight decrease in the number of domestic violence homicides in this report with 10 murders.  In 2013, there were 11 domestic violence murders in Tarrant County.  Dallas County had a more significant decrease in murders- down to 10 from 20 murders in the last report.  Harris County had the highest number of deaths in the state 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.

Kathyrn R. Jacob, President & CEO of SafeHaven, Ken Shetter, Executive Director of the Safe City Commission and Ft. Worth Police, joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Ft. Worth to unveil the annual report titled:  Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

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2016 Young Hearts Matter Award Nominations Open

YHM_Logo_630x425TCFV is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Young Hearts Matter awards. The 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.

Man Up For DVAM Video Contest

ManUpStill In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), TCFV is now accepting entries for Man Up for DVAM Video Contest. Man Up for DVAM calls for you to submit a creative video showcasing how men and boys are involved in your community and create your own impactful messages surrounding the term “Man Up.”

The Texas Council on Family Violence Praises Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Joe Straus and the Texas Legislature for Adding the Most Significant Amount of Money to Protect Domestic Violence Victims in the Last Decade

Austin, Texas – June 22, 2015– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today praises Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the 84th Texas Legislature for their overwhelming support of victims of domestic violence in Texas.  They dramatically increased funding dedicated to domestic violence, the most significant increase in the last decade, to address the fact that Texas leads the nation in the number of people served by programs and those seeking services that are turned away due to lack of resources.

$8 Million Dollar Increase For Domestic Violence Victims

The Texas Budget signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott increases support for domestic violence victims by more than $8 million dollars over the previous legislative session.

$3 Million Dollar Increase In General Revenue

Highlights include a $3 million dollar increase in funding for domestic violence shelter and resource center services, including  $53.9 million for core services.  In addition appropriators dedicated $3 million in Exceptional Item Funding for legal services, economic options for survivors, prevention, domestic violence fatality review and targeted approaches related identified needs within the State Plan.  Legislators realized the significant need for these services: over 84,000 people served in shelters and resource centers last year and a 31% turn away rate due lack of resources spurred this overall commitment by the legislature to providing a total of $59.9 million for family violence center services.

$1 Million Dollar Increase- First Increase in 15 Years for Batter Intervention & Prevention Programs

The budget also includes a $1 million dollar increase in Batter Intervention Prevention Programs funding, the first increase in 15 years and a significant criminal justice reform.  Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs offer group educational sessions to hold men who batter accountable and are designed to challenge their belief structures that support abusive behavior and ultimately create behavior change.

$4 Million Dollar Increase to Create Domestic Violence High Risk Teams Across the State

In addition, the Legislature approved and funded one of Governor Abbott’s legislative priorities: “High Risk Domestic Violence Teams”.   The Governor, working with legislative leaders Senator Joan Huffman and Rep. Carol Alvarado passed HB 3327 that will create these teams across the state, supplying $4 million dollars in funding for the Attorney General’s office to make this a reality.

The Domestic Violence High Risk Teams foster a coordinated community response to the worst and most dangerous kinds of domestic violence cases.  They unite law enforcement, prosecutors, medical professionals, victim advocates and others at the local level to review cases of domestic violence and to identify, monitor, and contain the most dangerous perpetrators before they can inflict deadly harm.

“This budget will further protect victims of domestic violence in the State of Texas,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “Domestic Violence programs need additional money to provide shelter, legal services, counseling and other assistance to protect Texans from offenders who violate the law and represent a serious risk of danger to victims of domestic violence.  We thank Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Joe Straus, Senator Jane Nelson, Rep. John Otto, Senator Joan Huffman, Rep. Carol Alvarado and the many legislators working with the Texas Council on Family Violence for many years to increase the budget and to pass strong laws to protect victims of domestic violence.”

Last year, over 84,000 women, children and men found safe sanctuary from violence at domestic violence shelters.  In 2013, 119 women were killed by their male intimate partner.  More than 61,000 adult victims and their children received services such as legal advocacy, counseling and other support.  Necessary state funding helps support 86 family violence programs in Texas, which include shelters, nonresidential centers and special project sites.  But the unfortunate reality remains that 31% of adult victims (11,485) requesting shelter were turned away due to lack of space.  In fact, according to a one-day census of family violence centers, Texas has the highest number of unmet requests for services compared to any other state in the country.

TCFV Praises El Paso Legislative Leaders for Passing New Significant Legislation and Adding the Most Money in the Last Decade to Protect Domestic Violence Victims

Hear a Survivor’s Story and How New GPS and Protective Order Legislation Will Better Protect Victims

 El Paso, Texas – July 15, 2015– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) today praises El Paso State Senator Jose Rodriguez, Rep. Joe Moody, Rep. Cesar Blanco, Rep. Marisa Marquez, TCFV Board Chair, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza and the 84th Texas Legislature for their overwhelming support of victims of domestic violence in Texas.

“These El Paso leaders championed the cause to better protect communities and families here in El Paso and across Texas.  They passed new laws to hold domestic violence offenders accountable and advocated for increasing funding dedicated for domestic violence and achieved the most significant increase in the last decade,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council of Family Violence.

SB 737- Increases Safety by Speeding Up Protective Orders

Senator Rodriguez and Rep. Moody sponsored SB 737, signed into law by the Governor, which requires protective orders be placed into the system within three days of being issued so that there are no longer month or longer delays in getting them into the system.  This is important because without having the orders in the database, law enforcement may determine not to arrest the violator of a protective order and lives are at stake in these cases every day the protective order is not in the system.

“Delays in notification make enforcement more difficult and can have deadly consequences, especially when an officer arrives at the scene of a family violence investigation without knowing this crucial information,” Sen. Rodríguez said. “This is one of several bills I passed to address this and other gaps in how we protect victims of crime.”

 HB 2645-Increases Safety by Making Tampering with GPS a Criminal Offense

Rep. Cesar Blanco sponsored a bill that makes destroying or tampering with the normal use of a global positioning monitor (GPS) in a family violence case a violation of protective order and a criminal offense. This will protect victims of domestic violence so the offender can be arrested immediately if he tries to remove the device and go after the victim.

$8 Million Dollar Total Increase For Domestic Violence Victims

The Texas Budget signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott increases support for domestic violence victims by more than $8 million dollars over the previous legislative session.

$3 Million Dollar Increase In General Revenue

Highlights include a $3 million dollar increase in funding for domestic violence shelter and resource center services, including  $53.9 million for core services.  In addition appropriators dedicated $3 million in Exceptional Item Funding for legal services, economic options for survivors, prevention, domestic violence fatality review and targeted approaches related identified needs within the State Plan.  Legislators realized the significant need for these services: over 84,000 people served in shelters and resource centers last year and a 31% turn away rate due lack of resources spurred this overall commitment by the legislature to providing a total of $59.9 million for family violence center services.

$1 Million Dollar Increase- First Increase in 15 Years for Batter Intervention & Prevention Programs

The budget also includes a $1 million dollar increase in Batter Intervention Prevention Programs funding, the first increase in 15 years and a significant criminal justice reform.  Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs offer group educational sessions to hold men who batter accountable and are designed to challenge their belief structures that support abusive behavior and ultimately create behavior change.

$4 Million Dollars to Create Domestic Violence High Risk Teams Across the State

In addition, the Legislature approved and funded one of Governor Abbott’s legislative priorities: “High Risk Domestic Violence Teams”.   The Governor, working with legislative leaders Senator Joan Huffman and Rep. Carol Alvarado passed HB 3327 that will create these teams across the state, supplying $4 million dollars in funding for the Attorney General’s office to make this a reality.

The Domestic Violence High Risk Teams foster a coordinated community response to the worst and most dangerous kinds of domestic violence cases.  They unite law enforcement, prosecutors, medical professionals, victim advocates and others at the local level to review cases of domestic violence and to identify, monitor, and contain the most dangerous perpetrators before they can inflict deadly harm.

“This budget will further protect victims of domestic violence in the State of Texas,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “Domestic Violence programs need additional money to provide shelter, legal services, counseling and other assistance to protect Texans from offenders who violate the law and represent a serious risk of danger to victims of domestic violence.  We want to thank Rep. Marquez who sits on the Appropriations Committee for advocating for victims of domestic violence and thank TCFV Board Chair, El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza for spending countless hours testifying on behalf of our legislative agenda and advocating powerfully for victims of domestic violence.”

Texas leads the nation in the number of people seeking services that are turned away due to lack of resources and there is still more work and more resources that will need to be accomplished next legislative session.  Last year, over 84,000 women, children and men found safe sanctuary from violence at domestic violence shelters.  In 2013, 119 women were killed by their male intimate partner.  More than 61,000 adult victims and their children received services such as legal advocacy, counseling and other support.  Necessary state funding helps support 86 family violence programs in Texas, which include shelters, nonresidential centers and special project sites.  But the unfortunate reality remains that 31% of adult victims (11,485) requesting shelter were turned away due to lack of space.  In fact, according to a one-day census of family violence centers, Texas has the highest number of unmet requests for services compared to any other state in the country.

Rally at the Capitol supports full funding for family violence programs

Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence speaks during a rally at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and hundreds of victims’ rights advocates from across the state of Texas rallied at the Texas Capitol to strongly support full funding for family violence programs and rape crisis centers across Texas.

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