The Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry joins Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and U.S. Senator John Cornyn at an event to raise awareness about domestic violence.
The Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry joins Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and U.S. Senator John Cornyn at an event to raise awareness about domestic 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.
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.
Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry speaks at a news conference in Austin with the US Marshals who launched a new task force to crack down on domestic violence fugitives.
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.
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 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.
AUG 11 • Tyler AUG 14 • Austin
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
TAASA 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
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
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
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
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.
Meet the 2015 Young Hearts Matter Advocates of the Year, and Finalists from Across Texas
Austin, TX (February 19, 2015) – 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.
Sarah Ambrus, C-Squared, Leander, TX
TCFV is honoring Sarah Ambrus as Advocate of the Year. This award recognizes an adult ally who partners with young people, is a leader for violence prevention in her community and has made prevention programming more accessible as a result of her efforts.
Sarah Ambrus is a special education teacher for Leander ISD and one of the original co-sponsors of C-Squared. C-Squared, or Coalition of Clubs, is a campus organization that started in 2010 where students joined together to encourage a culture of kindness on their campus. Sarah and co-author, Christine Simpson, chronicled the collaborative models, practical tools, and firsthand accounts from students, parents and teachers who worked together to positively influence their campus in their book, “Riding Shotgun: Empowering Students to Lead Change.” From these beginnings, the C-Squared movement has grown and spread to 33 elementary, middle, and high schools across Leander ISD, where most of the schools were designated as No Place for Hate campuses by the Anti-Defamation League in 2014. Much of this growth can be attributed to the support Sarah offers during her free C-Squared sponsor trainings.
Nicole Gray, Focusing Families, Hempstead, TX
TCFV is also honoring Nicole Gray of Focusing Families in Hempstead, Texas as the youth ally who is an activist in her community and a school leader among her peers. She has done outstanding work to spread awareness and prevent dating and sexual violence.
Nicole is currently interning at Focusing Families in Hempstead. There she helps facilitate healthy relationships sessions to her peer groups at Hempstead Middle School. She passionately stands before groups of students and helps lead conversations that will end violence in communities. A survivor herself, Nicole has never let that define her. Instead, she has used her process of healing to find her voice to stop all forms of violence to her generation. Additionally, Nicole has helped Focusing Families start becoming more youth focused, once again giving voice to her generation.
“The hearts of the young people in our lives are precious. Teen dating violence is an urgent and silent problem across Texas,” said TCFV CEO Gloria Terry. “We are getting our sons and daughters involved in raising awareness at an early age in hopes that they will never experience or perpetuate violence. We are thrilled to be working with local programs, school districts and student leaders across Texas who are coming up with many innovative ways to educate their peers in their schools. The Texas Council on Family Violence is also thrilled to honor Nicole Gray and the other honorees who are leading the way in dating violence prevention in their schools and communities.”
This month, students in schools across Texas with the help of domestic violence service providers, school districts and TCFV are getting involved in campaigns in their schools to help identify the signs of an unhealthy relationship and help students know their dating rights. Dating abuse takes place when a person physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally abuses another person in the context of a dating or romantic relationship and when one or both of them is a minor.
Teen Dating Violence looks many ways, but can involve: put-downs, extreme demands on time, intimidation, isolation, constant texting, stalking, and physical injury. Teen Dating Abuse can also involve forced sex, forced pregnancy, threats of violence, suicide, stalking and murder.
Statistics in a statewide survey show that 75% of 16 to 24 year old Texans have either personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has experienced it. According to a recent study, between 42% and 87% of dating violence occurs in a school building or on school grounds, with the highest occurrences in rural areas.
Schools in Texas can help teens lay the foundation for making good dating decisions while they are in school by applying a whole-school approach to end the violence happening on school grounds, making their dating abuse policies clear and implementing them, training faculty and staff to recognize and respond to the signs, educating youth to support behavioral change and by observing Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month every February.
Meet the 2015 Young Hearts Matter Awards Finalists
Xavier Thompson, United Voices 4 Change, Ft. Worth, TX
Xavier Thompson is the President of United Voices 4 Change, a unified body of student leaders from campuses across Ft. Worth ISD. The mission of UV4C is to address common concerns, provide service to their community, and teach positive qualities to help create problem free communities. The UV4C elects its own representatives from each school, including the group’s officers. Each year the UV4C hosts a youth retreat to help train the new teams of students on their mission, and plan events they want to see happen in their school. Xavier plays a key role in planning this retreat and is responsible for submitting the group’s agendas to the Ft.WISD school board and superintendent. Last spring, Xavier was chosen to do a local TEDx talk on INOK, or It’s Not Okay, a campaign started by the UV4C to talk about making respect the social norm in their communities. This is Xavier’s 3rd year in UV4C and he is truly a great young man with a heart to make a difference in the world.
Zara Hassan, Be Project, Dallas, TX
Zara was a part of The Family Place Be Project leadership group in her school, Turner High School, for two years before graduating in 2012. During that time, she served as a leader and role model to her peers by implementing awareness activities on her campus. After graduating, Zara stayed connected to The Family Place Be Project. Last summer she volunteered with Be Project staff and helped present workshops on empathy and bullying to kids at a summer camp. Zara has been an amazing leader at the Be Project.
Jeff Temple, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
Jeff Temple is a professional who has dedicated his career advocating for healthy teen relationships. He wears many hats, one of which is an associate professor for the department of obstetrics and gynecology at UTMB – Galveston. Dr. Temple is also the Director of Behavioral Health and Research where he dedicates much of his research to adolescent behavior, sexual health, and teen dating violence. In 2013, Dr. Temple published a study on the Need for School-Based Teen Dating Violence Prevention programs. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Task Force for DV HB2620, which aims to inform the Texas Legislator about appropriate domestic violence interventions and improvements to responses, and as a Board of Trustees of Galveston ISD.
Amy Miller, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dallas, TX
In addition to being the school counselor at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Amy Miller goes above and beyond to make sure that each student on the upper school campus receives messages about empathy and healthy relationships in an effort to create a kind and bully-free STA through her partnership with the Be Project. This is not an easy task as STA is the largest Catholic Pk-8th grade school in Texas! Be Project is a program that empowers youth to be a part of the solution to end relationship violence and has been implemented at STA for the past three years. Amy has made it her personal responsibility to assist Be Project staff with facilitating the Be Project program on campus and currently oversees the Be More leadership group, a group of student leaders who organize awareness events on campus. Amy has helped Be More students organize and implement a secret school-wide flash dance during Bullying Awareness Month in October and the group continues to plan events for the spring semester! Amy is a true ally who has helped to give space to young people’s voices in her school community.
Round Rock Express vs. Memphis Redbirds
Friday, April 17, 2015
Join TCFV in decompressing from a great first conference day. The Round Rock Express baseball team will host their season opener at the incredible Dell Diamond. TCFV has reserved special tickets just for BIPP Conference participants. There are a limited number of tickets so reserve yours now.