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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

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.

Watch the Video

Victims’ families call for end to violence

The mother of Cheyenne Green, who was murdered in a parking lot during an east Texas football game, and the parents of Kari Dunn, who was murdered in a Marshall hotel, joined Shannon Trest, Executive Director, Women’s Center of East Texas, Gregg County Judge Bill Stout and Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Longview to discuss the tragic murders of their family members and to discuss ways future domestic violence deaths may be prevented and children will not have to grow up without their moms.

New domestic violence taskforce at HHSC

The Texas Council on Family Violence is honored to chair a new domestic violence task force and work closely with vice-chair, Dr. Jeff Temple of UT Medical Branch at Galveston and the entire task force to collaborate on women’s health care and domestic violence. A meeting of the 25 member task force was held on October 8, 2014 during HealthCares about domestic violence day.

A news conference in Austin with Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) CEO Gloria Terry and Dr. Jeff Temple, an associate professor and director of behavioral health and research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Courtney Santana, a domestic violence survivor.  Terry and Temple are leading of a new Domestic Violence Task Force Texas for the Health and Human Services Commission.

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.

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FIVE OUTSTANDING TEXAS FATHERS & CHAMPIONS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS THIS FATHER’S DAY

Austin, Texas – June 18, 2015– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) honors five Texas champions who make a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence in Texas.

“Father’s Day is a very important day in the lives of children all over the world.  It is a day of celebration meant to recognize the efforts fathers put into raising children, often sacrificing material things for their well-being,” 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. He leaves his mark as a good man on his children.”

This Father’s Day TCFV recognizes Travis County Criminal Court Judge Michael Denton, Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons, El Paso County District Attorney Jaime Esparza, Mary Kay’s Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb and UT Medical Branch at Galveston Dr. Jeff Temple. 

Travis County Criminal Court Judge Michael Denton is a relentless advocate for domestic violence victims in the justice system.  As a prosecutor he saw that domestic violence cases were not being prioritized or handled judiciously, so he ran for office to establish Texas’s first specialized Domestic Violence Court, one of only a handful in the nation.  Today, his court handles civil protective order hearings, criminal misdemeanor cases, and as of five years ago, felony criminal cases, making it the only court of its kind on the country. Judge Denton’s daughter is now 23 year’s old.  Shortly after she was born, he recalled taking a particularly heartbreaking call as a volunteer for a rape crisis hotline.  “I knew right then I wanted to make a difference in my daughter’s life and in the life of other girls and women.”

Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parson’s was elected in 2013.  He has served on TCFV’s Leadership Core of Prosecutors and spoken at the Purple Postcard press conference in support of full funding for domestic violence programs. Jarvis has pursued creative and adaptive programs to reduce domestic violence in Brazos County, like the Cut It Out program that coordinates with beauty salon professionals to talk to victims who might not respond to traditional outreach programs. Jarvis said being a father to his 6-year-old daughter has increased his empathy and understanding, and increased the level of urgency when dealing with cases involving children.

Jaime Esparza is the District Attorney for El Paso, Culberson, and Hudspeth Counties, and serves on TCFV’s Board of Directors.  His 24 Contact Program puts victims of family violence in touch with a victim advocate and an investigator within 24 hours of an offender’s arrest – leading to better support for the victim and more success in prosecution of the offender.  The program is one part of his work to “change the mindset and culture” around domestic violence in the community and courthouses.  As the father of four adult children, Jaime says “My own parents modeled healthy, loving parenting and as a father, I have been fortunate to be able to lean on those very lessons so my children succeed in life.”  

Crayton Webb is Mary Kay’s Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility.  He serves on TCFV’s Board of Directors and the men’s auxiliary for Genesis Shelter in Dallas, and has spoken thoughtfully about the role of men in the movement to end violence against women.  As the father of three sons, he said, “parenthood is constantly humbling but the greatest treasure…If you want kids to be open and share, they can’t feel like you are going to judge them.”

Dr. Jeff Temple is the Director of Behavioral Health and Research in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.  His research in teen dating violence and domestic violence prevention has advanced the work to eliminate violence.  As a father, he has seen firsthand the importance of teaching kids about healthy relationships from a young age.  His mantra as the coach of his children’s little league teams: “respect everyone,” and “be nice!”

Regional Membership Meetings

Regional Membership Meetings are held in each region of Texas and offer members the opportunity for complimentary customized trainings, program sharing and invaluable networking opportunities for family violence program leadership and staff.

Upcoming Trainings

AUG 11 • Tyler AUG 14 • Austin

Register Here

Men At Work Facilitator Training

Presenter Lee Giordano will bring the new curriculum from Men Stopping Violence, Men At Work: Building Safe Communities. This facilitator training provides 17.75 BIPP CEU hours. June 3-5, 2015 Fort Worth, TX 

Texas Prevention Summit 2015

TPS_Logo_FINAL_webTAASA and TCFV present Texas Prevention Summit 2015: Transforming Communities. Each conference workshop is carefully designed to deliver a unique learning experience for prevention workers and program leadership. June 29 – July 1, 2015 Austin, TX Learn More

Join Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo & Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton to Remember Women Who Have Been Murdered by Violent Crime and All Victims of Violent Crime during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Austin, Texas—April 20, 2015—This week Texans are commemorating National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  Statewide organizations that serve victims of crime will be holding a series of events to raise awareness about crime victim issues.  Everyone knows about a defendant’s right to remain silent, but do you know victims of crime have rights too?

Marina Herrera, whose aunt was beaten and stabbed to death by her husband of 17 years in her home, had to find out to find about victims’ rights the hard way when she lost her aunt and best friend in a domestic violence murder on December 14, of 2013.  47-year-old Elizabeth Garcia Tamez was murdered by her husband in her Austin home.  She left behind a son who is now 11 years old and is being raised by family members.  Jesus Juan Tamez is serving 20 years in prison for her murder.

Marina’s family had to make a lot of tough decisions along the way during the prosecution because the husband had a history of mental illness and many crime victims advocates helped guide the family through the process.

“If I can help one person from meeting the same fate that my aunt met, than speaking out is worth it.  This has been a journey of struggle, sacrifice, time and the advocates have been so wonderful.  I am blessed to have met them and to have not gone through this alone,” said Marina Herrera, whose aunt was murdered.

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, Dr. Jennie Barr, Committee Chair of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry joined Marina Herrera, a crime victim whose aunt was murdered in a domestic violence homicide, during a news conference about the rights of victims of violent crime during National Crime Victims Rights Week.

Crime Victims’ Rights Ceremony 

There will also be a ceremony with dozens of victims of crime attending to raise awareness about crime-victim issues, by identifying and reaching out to victims who need our help, and by thinking anew about how to help individuals and communities harmed by crime.

The 2015 theme—Engaging Communities-Empowering Victims 

Many victims of crime will gather at the ceremony to remember their loved ones and bring awareness to the victims of child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, drunken driving and a host of other crimes perpetrated on victims.

The ceremony will be held Tuesday, April 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Central Christian Church at 1110 Guadalupe St. in Austin.

The Texas observance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week is being organized by Austin area victim service agencies that serve Texans across the state.

              CRIME VICTIMS RIGHTS WEEK PLANNING COMMITTEE: 

Austin Police Department
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas
Crime Victims’ Institute, Sam Houston State University
CrimeStoppers
Christi Center
Jennifer’s Hope
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
People Against Violent Crime
Texas Advocacy Project
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
Texas Council on Family Violence
Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates
Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Juvenile Justice Department
Texas Legal Services Center
Texas Office of the Attorney General
Texas Office of the Governor
Texas Victim Services Association
Travis County District Attorney’s Office
Travis County Sheriff’s Office

THOUSANDS OF PURPLE POSTCARDS FROM TEXANS ARE DELIVERED TO LEGISLATORS AT THE CAPITOL TODAY TO SUPPORT FULL FUNDING FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence Survivor Speaks Out About How Her Daughter was Murdered by her Boyfriend and How Domestic Violence Services Could Have Saved Her Life 

Austin, Texas – March 19, 2015– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is teaming up with legislators and thousands of Texans to support full funding for family violence services.

 

Today, thousands of postcards are being delivered to legislators to show how important full funding is for family violence programs.  Advocates, allies and survivors of family violence use the color purple to symbolize their work to end violence within families.

 

Rep. Sylvester Turner, Vice Chairman of House Appropriations, Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons and Catherine Shellman whose daughter Tiffanie was murdered in a domestic violence homicide joined Gloria Terry CEO of TCFV at a news conference at the Capitol.

 

“Raising awareness about domestic violence and making sure funding is a priority– is important to me and the Texas Legislature,” said Rep. Sylvester Turner, Vice Chairman of House Appropriations.

 

“Full funding is especially critical to ensure victims of domestic violence have a safety net,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of TCFV.  “We are blessed that we have such strong support from legislators advocating for victims of domestic violence and we especially want to thank Senator Jane Nelson and Rep. Sylvester Turner for their outstanding leadership on this life and death issue.”

 

“I’m proud to participate in the Purple Postcard Project for the fifth session in a row.  Our state’s commitment to victims of family violence continues this session, and I stand with each of Texas’ 5 million lifetime victims of family violence, the over 84,000 people served in family violence centers last year alone, and the ones who love and support them.  We will prioritize funding for family violence services, said Senator Jane Nelson, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “

 

Full funding is important to try and prevent domestic violence murders like 23-year-old Tiffanie Perry who was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend, Kenny Trevino, in September 2010. She was attending Texas State University in San Marcos and getting ready to leave her boyfriend for good when he killed her and then killed himself.

 

Her mom, Catherine Shellman says,  “I did not know about the domestic violence until it was too late when I found and read Tiffanies’ journal and I don’t want that to happen to another mom or dad, so I speak out to urge people to talk about domestic violence and realize that anyone can be a victim and we must do all we can to recognize the signs and get help before it is too late.”

 

“ It is imperative that we fully fund family violence services to help prevent and eliminate this serious crime, said Jarvis Parsons, District Attorney for Brazos County in Bryan-College Station.”

 

The purple postcards come from people across Texas as a strong statement to legislators to fully fund family violence.  Members of TCFV will deliver thousands of postcards to legislators throughout the State Capitol.

 

For more information about the purple postcard campaign you can log onto www.tcfv.org