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By Danielle Ohlemacher

Go Purple – Action Week

How can you make a difference for domestic violence survivors in your community? It’s easier than you might think! For the third week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re asking you to stand with survivors and take action!

There is power in numbers – when you stand up for survivors, you make a difference! Tell us what you’re doing for Action Week on Facebook and Twitter.

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016

For Immediate Release

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016 –– Collin, Dallas and Tarrant County have the Highest Number of Homicides in the State of Texas

Plano, Texas – October 13, 2017 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows 146 women were killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  Fatalities occurred in 55 Texas counties.  24 family members and friends were also killed (this includes 13 children); 4 family members and friends were injured during the incidents.

This represents the largest number of related victims since 2011.

Every year more than 100 women are killed in domestic violence homicides in Texas.   This year’s numbers are a reduction from the deaths in 2015 when the Texas Council reported the highest number of deaths in Texas since the Council began releasing its’ report.

But, this year’s report shows Collin County doubled the number of homicides from last year from 3 to 6 and Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties in North Texas are three of the top five counties with the highest number of homicides in the state.  Bexar County in San Antonio is also in the top five.  Harris County in Houston continues to have the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the state of Texas.

Intimate partner homicides end the lives of women who have roles as loving mothers, caring family members, and engaged community members. The women whose deaths are detailed here represent lives that left indelible marks on those around them. Many of them are remembered for the strong bonds they formed in their families and with their friends and for offering those around them kindness, compassion, encouragement

and smiles that brightened rooms. Family members often described these women as the glue that held people together’ and ‘willing to do anything for anyone’. They took pride in their roles as mothers and in the work that they did as students and in their careers. TCFV joins their families, friends and communities in mourning their loss.

146 women were killed in Texas in 2016.

158 women were killed in Texas in 2015, the deadliest year for women in Texas.   

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.  

Other Key Stats from the report:

  • Counties with the most fatalities are: Harris (28), Dallas (13), Tarrant (13), Bexar (11), Collin (6)
  • Tarrant, Bexar, Collin each experienced increases from 2015; Harris is down from 34, and Dallas remains the same as last year.
  • 33% of women killed in 2016 had ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm to murder their female partner.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Women between the ages of 20-39 represent over half of the total number of victims
  • Youngest Victim: 15
  • Oldest Victim: 92

In 2016, Hope’s Door helped victims of domestic violence and their children by:

Last year we answered 5011 calls to our hotline, provided up to 90 days of emergency shelter for 758 individuals, placed 26 families in community supported housing, and continued outreach services, including counseling, parenting skills, and financial education for 1,807 adults and children.

Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center in Plano and TCFV Board member joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry to unveil the annual report titled: Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

“146 innocent lives were lost and families were forever changed in senseless domestic violence murders in Texas.  6 lives were lost in Collin County. While, the recent horrific mass killing in Plano is not reflected in this report.  The homicides will be in next year’s report, we are immensely saddened by the tragic loss of life and we remember the families of those who lost loved ones and we especially want to remember the 146 families who lost a loved one this year.   When a tragic loss like this happens, it reminds all of us, how dangerous domestic violence can be to a family and a community and how much more work there is to be accomplished to ensure victims find help and safety before it’s too late,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities recognizes all Texas family violence victims lost in this tragic crime. “

The release of the 2016 Honoring Victims Report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is in October.  Domestic violence all too often ends with tragic results.  

“During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we focus on three important elements of ending violence – supporting survivors, holding abusers accountable and perhaps, most important, preventing the violence before it begins by challenging the underlying attitudes and beliefs that feed violent behavior.  We are proud to partner with other agencies and organizations locally and across the state that share our commitment to ending violence on all three fronts. Together we strive to make violence a part of our past and we redouble our efforts given the recent mass murder to learn lessons, educate the public and try to prevent domestic violence fatalities in the future,” said Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center in Plano and TCFV Board member.

The report released by the Texas Council on Family Violence and compiled from data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas law enforcement agencies and media reports list names of the victims and gives brief accounts of their deaths.

List of Women Killed in Collin County:

Karen Bigham, 49 McKinney

06/20/16

Kelley Bigham, 50, shot and killed his wife Karen in her home office. Bigham then shot and killed Karen’s twin sister, Kathy Boobar, 50. Karen had separated from Bigham six months prior to the murder and filed for divorce. A few days before Bigham killed Karen, he came to her home and threatened her with a gun. The day of the murder, Karen asked her daughter and sister to be at the home with her while Bigham picked up some of his belongings. Bigham threatened their daughter with a gun and told her to leave the house with her son. As she fled, she called the police. Authorities arrested Bigham in a nearby county and charged him with capital murder; he received a sentence of life in prison. Karen is survived by her adult son and two adult daughters.

Kayley Winburn, 20 McKinney

10/30/16

Jordan Sullivan, 21, shot and killed his wife Kayley in their home. Authorities arrested Sullivan and charged him with murder. The couple had married a few months prior to the murder. Sullivan is awaiting trial for murder.

Karen Ann Rolston, 33 Melissa

08/09/16

John Gaynor, 41, shot and killed his girlfriend Karen in their home. Gaynor then shot and killed himself. Officers discovered their bodies when they responded to a welfare check.

Noshin Chambers, 41 Plano

03/17/16

Gardner Chambers, 45, shot his wife Noshin in their home. Chambers then shot and killed himself. Noshin’s children were in the home at the time of the murder; her 17-year-old son called police while the younger children fled to a neighbor’s home to get help. Emergency responders transported Noshin to a hospital where she later died. Noshin had feared for her safety and had filed for divorce prior to her death. The couple had a pending court hearing the week of the murder. Noshin is survived by two sons and one daughter.

Jennifer Spears, 43 Plano

05/29/16

Kenneth Amyx, 45, stabbed and killed his girlfriend Jennifer in her apartment. Amyx posted photos of Jennifer’s body on social media. After calling his father to admit to committing the crime, Amyx attempted to kill himself. Police found Amyx with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities arrested Amyx and charged him with murder. Amyx confessed to killing Jennifer and received a sentence of life in prison.

Jessie Bardwell, 27 Richardson 

05/09/16

Jason Lowe, 27, assaulted and killed his girlfriend Jessie in their home. He then buried her body in Farmersville. After not hearing from Jessie for more than two weeks, Jessie’s family drove to Texas to file a missing person report. Law enforcement conducted two welfare checks and began an investigation into her disappearance. Officers arrested Lowe on a drug possession charge and while searching his property found evidence of Jessie’s murder. Authorities charged him with murder. Officers located Jessie’s body ten days after Lowe’s arrest. Lowe has a history of family violence. A jury convicted Lowe of Jessie’s murder in September 2017 and a judge approved an agreed-upon sentence of 50 years in prison.

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The mission of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center (HDNBC) is to offer intervention and prevention services to individuals and families affected by intimate partner and family violence and to provide education programs that enhance the community’s capacity to respond. HDNBC serves individuals from all over North Texas.  HDNBC’s services include individual counseling (for both adults and children), support group therapy, emergency shelter, rapid rehousing (formally transitional housing), legal advocacy, community education, and battering prevention programs. For more information, visit www.hdnbc.org , www.facebook.com/hopesdoor , www.twitter.com/hopesdoorinc , or www.instagram.com/hopesdoor.

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/

Temporary Policy Research Support

Job Title: Temporary Policy Research Support – The State Plan Project

FLSA Status: Part-Time, Temporary Employee

Reports to:  Policy Manager

I. Purpose & Summary of Position:

The 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.

Working with the TCFV Policy Team, this staff person will help facilitate existing efforts supporting local DV programs and systems in their response to survivors.

II. Priority Functions / Accountabilities

  • This position will focus on administrative and support for a large research project aimed at understanding the need for and availability of family violence services across Texas (the State Plan).
  • In additional the position will offer support on a smaller project focused on program assessments and implementing trauma-informed services in family violence centers.
  • The staff person will perform research, administrative functions, task management, writing and other responsibilities as assigned.
  • The position will also support other relevant policy issues.
  • Work will be chiefly administrative in nature to include data input and management, organization of administrative tasks, working to update web content as needed, and supporting the research team with program data collection.

III. Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Sought: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below represent the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  TCFV may make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Adept at use of technology and excellent computer proficiency
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Administrative experience
  • Understanding of dynamics of domestic violence.

Other Requirements, Working Conditions, and Considerations

  • Availability to travel occasionally.
  • Must have emotional and physical stamina to tolerate prolonged sitting or standing to deal with a variety of potentially stressful situations, including responses to complaints and internal and external interactions, to effectively work long and at times odd hours, while maintaining a sense of humor.
  • Works in a normal office environment except while traveling, with minimum exposure to dust, noise, or temperature extremes. Requires bending, stooping, lifting and carrying objects up to 25 pounds, with or without accommodations. 
  • This position relies on grant funding that will expire in 6-9 months of hire. TCFV expressly offers no guarantee of continued employment past this timeframe.

TCFV expressly intends the above statements to describe the general nature and minimum level of work being performed.  They do not represent an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities and skills required for the position.  TCFV will require the employee to perform any other job-related duties as required by the job objectives, the supervisor and mission and philosophy of TCFV. 

Go Purple – Intersections & Connections

Domestic violence effects our whole community. Each year, a network of passionate domestic violence service providers and sister organizations strive to help Texas families create opportunities for freedom from violence. Yet for too many in our state, help can be out of reach.

This week is all about building connections and recognizing intersections between domestic violence and other social justice and social welfare issues. By building connections with other organizations and passionate individuals in our communities, we strengthen our movement and our state.

Here are just some of the ways domestic violence intersects and connects throughout our communities: 

What intersections do you see that impact survivors? How do you build more connections to support survivors and their families? Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

Go Purple – Knowledge is Power

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in Texas, we Go Purple and strive for a state where no woman loses her life to domestic violence. Go Purple celebrates the progress of our movement and recognize the work still ahead toward our shared vision of a Texas free from violence.

For the first week of domestic violence, we recognize that Knowledge is Power – so let’s help our communities learn the facts and inspire change. Here are some ideas to share on social media to get you started:

How are you sharing the facts for the first week of DVAM? Tag us on Facebook and Twitter to tell us your plans for #TxDVAM!

Accounts Payable Specialist

Job Title: Accounts Payable Specialist
Reports To: Director of Finance
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Approved By: CEO & Director of Finance
Approved Date:  13 September 2017

NOTE: To be considered for this position, a cover letter, resume and completed employment application are required. The application may be downloaded here. Email documents to kmcalister@tcfv.org or fax to 512-685-6397.

I. Purpose & Summary of Position:

The Texas Council on Family Violence is a statewide organization representing a network of domestic violence programs that provide direct services to victims and their families and serves as the voice of victims at the state level while working with local communities to create strategies to prevent family violence.

The Accounts Payable Specialist is a member of the Finance team. This position requires excellent organizational and communication skills. The Accounts Payable Specialist provides key accounting support to the Director of Finance with emphasis on financial data entry, accounts payable processing and performing.  Additionally, she or he works to strengthen the agency by providing efficient contract and funder management and reporting systems, providing analytical information utilizing existing database resources, and identifying new data collection systems and processes.  The Accounts Payable Specialist uses data collected to inform funder and donor reports as well as to synthesize the Council’s activities on training, technical assistance, and deliverables.  Finally, she or he must have knowledge of database techniques, plus the ability to work independently and envision analysis needs.  

II. Priority functions / Accountabilities

A. Financial / Administrative

  • Collect, review and prepare accounts payable invoices for entry into the MIP system and present to the Staff Accountant/Director of Finance for review.
  • Process all accounts payable in MIP; ensuring accurate, timely processing and mailing of payments.
  • Maintain vendor files: Collect and file necessary documents such as W-9s, contracts, and invoices to process payments.
  • Review all incoming vendor invoices and obtain proper payment approval.
  • Respond to inquiries regarding vendor invoices.
  • Understand and apply travel reimbursement processes, policies, procedures and internal control standards. Review and process travel reimbursement in accordance with internal control standards.
  • Develop and maintain sound financial practices with contractors and vendors.
  • In coordination with Grants Administrator, assist with processing monthly credit card statements for all staff, as needed.

B. Grant/Funder Contract Management

  • Monitor project progress by tracking activity; resolving problems; preparing progress reports; and recommending actions.
  • Work effectively with end users, IT and cross-functional teams.
  • Manage contract and grant records, correspondence, and amendments using Coalition Manager database.
  • Stay familiar with grant regulations and conditions on funded awards and contracts.
  • Grant billing assistance as needed.

C. Technical Report Collection, Analysis and Summary

  • Serve as backup to complete progress reports for all government-funded grants; monitor compliance with grant requirements and deliverables.
  • Ensure that staff record activities that meet contract deliverables and prepare periodic reports to track outcomes and services provided.
  • Assist with compilation of internal statistics.

III. Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in accounting/grant fiscal reporting.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Accounts payable experience; high level of accuracy and superb attention to detail.
  • Dedicated, energetic, detail oriented and ability to thrive in a dynamic environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and work under tight and/or changing timelines; disciplined time management skills to coordinate and prioritize own and others’ activities, evaluate progress and provide feedback; and to reallocate resources to complete activities within set deadlines.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
  • Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills.
  • Non-profit accounting experience preferred.

IV. Working Conditions and Environment/Physical Demands: Ability to read, write and converse in English, to travel as needed and tolerate prolonged sitting or standing. Must possess the emotional and physical stamina to deal with a variety of stressful situations, such as responding to complaints; handling difficult internal and external interactions; effectively working long and, at times, odd hours; and maintaining a sense of humor throughout.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and minimum level of work being performed.  They are not intended to be construed as exhaustive of all duties, responsibilities and skills required for the position.  The employee will be required to perform any other job-related duties as required by the job objectives, the CEO and mission and philosophy of TCFV.

Champions for Change

For Randy Barnes, Head Football Coach at Rains ISD, coaching is more than Friday night games. “Texas high school football coaches have always been tremendous at coaching beyond the game. We want to change kids’ lives, first and foremost.”

Coach Barnes is passionate about empowering youth leaders in his athletic program, so after noticing the frequent headlines surrounding professional and college athletes involved in domestic violence cases, he decided to take matters into his own hands. The desire to lead an initiative to address violence against women was there, but Barnes had no idea where to begin. Sports play a vital role in the lives of many young athletes, and teams often act as a second family for players. “Coaches are there for them,” he said, “but I needed more tools.”

Coach Barnes began his journey to address violence against women with a prevention curriculum designed specifically for coaches called Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM). “This is a tool that will immediately make an impact in their communities,” said Coach Barnes. “It’s easy to do, it’s timely, and it may be the most important thing they do for their kids.” Once Barnes received training on CBIM, he immediately connected to his local domestic violence program to ask the prevention team to work with the students outside of his athletic program.

“I know that everybody is facing this,” said Coach Barnes, “I’ve talked to coaches from the richest schools to the poorest schools; [domestic violence] is an issue.” In fact, one in three adult Texans have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. Similarly, one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse from a dating partner.

As a result, TCFV further sharpened focus for athletic directors and coaches who take initiative to address dating violence within athletic communities. Earlier this year, TCFV hosted a think tank of seven coaches from different parts of Texas. The coaches began with a conversation on why a coach’s influence is vital to shifting culture within our communities. Although TCFV has a long history with the CBIM curriculum, it became clear on that day, even more was needed. Champions for Change was formed.

Champions for Change promotes safe and healthy relationships within athletic communities across Texas. To achieve their purpose, the CFC is based around four key concepts: modeling, education, creating awareness, and connecting with local programs.

  • Modeling: Coaches must model healthy relationships and lead by example to educate and inspire their athletes.
  • Creating Awareness: Addressing domestic violence begins with acknowledging that it is a real issue.
  • Education: Multi-session learning opportunities assure the same messages are received more than once (also called dosage).
  • Connection: Coaches are not alone – local domestic violence prevention programs can bring programming to schools.

“My coaches made the biggest impact on me in high school and junior high,” recalls Coach Barnes. Caring adults – including coaches, educators, and parents – can make all the difference in preventing dating abuse.


Do you want to learn more about TCFV’s work and stay up-to-date with new resources? Sign up for our email list! 

Go Purple Toolkit for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is just around the corner, and with it, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Get ready to challenge your community to strive for a state where no woman loses her life to domestic violence. Go Purple by standing up for domestic violence victims and survivors and taking action to end violence in our communities. Use the Go Purple Toolkit to power your advocacy! 

Go Purple Calendar
Follow along with our Social Media Calendar and explore weekly themes. Download the Social Media Graphics Pack to customize your own campaign. Graphics available in English and Spanish.

Posters & Infographics
Customize posters and infographics in English and Spanish with your agency’s contact information and local data. New video tutorials walk you through how to customize – or use the ready-to-go materials!

Go Purple Day
Wear purple on October 19 in support of domestic violence victims throughout the state. Ask your community partners and followers to join you and post photos on social media.

Honoring Texas Victims Report
Each year, TCFV’s Honoring Texas Victims Report provides our state’s most extensive analysis of women killed in Texas by a male intimate partner. TCFV will release this year’s report during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The report will help galvanize your community and provide essential data and analysis. You will find the report, as well as a summary factsheet and social media graphics, online in October.

Go Purple!