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By Danielle Ohlemacher

Honoring Texas Victims Report

In 2016, 146 women were killed by a male intimate partner in Texas. As inexplicable as these tragedies are, the Honoring Texas Victims report identifies promising practices for understanding and preventing future fatalities. The report recommends new ways to elevate survivor safety through community collaboration to address the threat of firearms, recognition of crucial periods for intervention, and identification of technology facilitated abuse. We highlight solution focused responses, including a critical change in the law to allow for victim-advocate privilege, prevention collaborations between athletic communities and family violence programs, improved evidence collection tools, new understanding of traumatic brain injuries, and effective media reporting within communities.

Key facts:

  • A man killed his female intimate partner every 2.5 days in Texas.
  • These intimate partner murders make up one in every 10 homicides in Texas.
  • Fatalities occurred in 55 counties across the state.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Victims’ ages ranged from 15 to 92; 82 women were between the ages of 20-39.

The report helps us come to both know a little about these beautiful women who tragically lost their lives and  inform our collective work across the state.We know that family violence deaths are identifiable, knowable and preventable, and we continue to hold tight to the belief that we can eliminate family violence in our communities.

Read the Report

Public Policy Director

Job Title: Public Policy Director                 
Approved By: CEO
Reports To: Chief Executive Officer                      
Approved Date:   December 7, 2017
FLSA Status: Exempt

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 1,000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic Public Policy efforts.

TCFV strongly relies on the Public Policy Director both internally and externally to advance the family violence movement by leading statewide and national policy promulgation and practice. The Director participates in and informs national Public Policy initiatives.

The Policy Director takes responsibility for the administration and management of TCFV’s objectives, services and initiatives relating to public policy issues, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and enhancement of social safety nets for survivors of domestic violence.  The Policy Director provides leadership and administrative oversight and directly supervises the Policy team and contract labor as needed. The position also holds responsibility for department budget.  The position serves on TCFV’s Leadership team along with the agency’s other Directors and the CEO.

This position requires high energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position policy discussions at both strategic and tactical levels. 

II. Priority Functions/Accountabilities

A. Project Coordination / Program Delivery

  • Collaborates with the CEO in developing, establishing, implementing, and evaluating operational initiatives, strategic long- and short-term goals and programs and priorities, and effectively guiding management and employees in implementing changes in mission and operations.
  • Plans, develops, implements, and evaluates programs to enhance social safety nets including legal, employment, and housing options for survivors of domestic violence, and/or any other social safety net initiatives as directed by the CEO.
  • Plans, develops, implements, and evaluates a legislative advocacy program with a focus on appropriations for family violence services and on substantive matters of policy. Builds and cultivates relationships with legislators and their staffs and responds to their questions.  Oversees the activities of contract lobbyist(s).
  • Plans, develops, implements and evaluates advocacy with statewide family violence funders.
  • Makes recommendations to CEO for program and process improvement both internally and externally.
  • Builds, cultivates and maintains networking and advocacy with state agencies that intersect with family violence service providers, including but not limited to: HHSC, OAG, Office of the Governor (CJD), council of Government, and DFPS.
  • Builds, cultivates and maintains networking and advocacy with those who may be able to enhance and/or increase social safety nets for survivors. These initiatives may require legislative advocacy, regulatory policy-making, education, collaboration, and influence with the for-profit sector to improve opportunities for survivors.
  • Oversees the financial management of the Policy Team budget. In cooperation with the CEO and other Directors; helps to develop and manage the agency budget.
  • Accomplishes timely and accurate grant management, including submission of grants and timely reporting.
  • Supervises staff in accordance with personnel policies, procedures and practices.
  • In coordination with the CEO, directs personnel matters for the Policy Team, including hiring, terminating, and staff development. Aids in the same processes for other agency teams as appropriate and requested. 
  • Accomplishes timely and accurate submission of evaluations, reports, and other required or requested documentation.
  • In coordination with the CEO, collaborates and provides staff support and recommendations to the Public Policy Committee. Leads the development of the legislative agenda for each Texas legislative session.  Provides staff support and recommendations to other committees in coordination with the CEO.
  • Facilitates problem resolution techniques that promote positive working relationships and strengthens internal management and effective team building.
  • At the CEO’s discretion, the CEO may assign additional projects and responsibilities and/or change those listed above.

B. Financial / Administrative

  • Manages the agency’s resources responsibly.
  • Develops and maintains sound financial practices with contractors and vendors.
  • Works with program staff, Finance, and the CEO to prepare the annual budget. 

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 represent the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  TCFV may make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Strong team building and management skills to effectively manage Coalition activities through vision, strategic planning and expertise.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to elicit commitment to and advancement of TCFV’s mission and vision.
  • Effective communication skills to act as spokesperson for TCFV to convey its mission to board, staff, funders, policy makers, and constituents served.
  • Advanced communication skills suitable for presentations and in written publication for internal and external distribution.
  • Management skills to lead the Coalition in responding to changing environments and to develop the cultural climate required to implement new models of operation.
  • Critical analytical skills to understand the political, social, financial and external issues affecting service providers; to foresee and interpret trends and the dynamic changing needs of those TCFV serves; and to develop process and resources to respond effectively and in a timely manner.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the state and national legislative agenda process and key players.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability in budgeting and program development, implementation and measurement, and public advocacy.
  • Demonstrated high integrity and fiduciary responsibility in managing resources.
  • Thorough knowledge of family violence issues and circumstances faced by those experiencing family violence.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and work under tight and/or changing timelines; disciplined time management skills to coordinate and prioritize the Director’s own and others’ activities, evaluate progress and provide feedback; and to reallocate resources to complete activities within set deadlines.
  • Working knowledge of Windows Operating Systems and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Services, Human Services or Business Administration or related field. 
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in a not-for-profit executive leadership role, which includes providing services to individuals affected by domestic violence, and a minimum of three years of administrative experience in budgeting, hiring, and terminating and supervising staff.
  • Alternatively a combination of related education and experience with a documented record of the ability to perform duties and responsibilities of the position.

(Equivalency formula: two years of experience is equal to one year of education.)

IV. Desired Training, Skills and Education: Although not required, TCFV posits the following background, skills and expertise as positive attributes for the Policy Director.

  • Juris Doctorate, Masters Degree in Public Policy or similar secondary degree relevant to the position.
  • Strong understanding of the civil and criminal justice system, ideally having practiced law in those environments.
  • First-hand understanding and experience living and working in Texas

V. 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; maintaining a sense of humor throughout.

TCFV intends the above statements as descriptors of the general nature and minimum level of work performed.  These statements expressly do not represent an exhaustive of all duties, responsibilities and skills required for the position.  The employee should anticipate performing additional job-related duties as required by the job objectives, the CEO and mission and philosophy of TCFV. 

2018 Young Hearts Matter Award Nominations Open

Texas Council on Family Violence is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Young Hearts Matter awards. These awards recognize individuals who inspire and lead their communities to promote healthy relationships for young hearts in Texas. Recipients will be honored in February 2018 and will receive a $200 honorarium for the Activist of the Year and Advocate of the Year award categories.  

Award Categories 

Young Hearts Matter Activist of the Year recognizes a young person who has been a driving force for social change among their peers and has done significant work to promote awareness and prevention of dating abuse in their community or school.  Young Hearts Matter Advocate of the Year recognizes an adult ally who partners with young people, is a leader for violence prevention in their community, and has made prevention programming more accessible as a result of their efforts.  

How to Apply 

Sound like someone you know? Submit an application onlineDeadline: December 21, 2017 

Nominees will be directly notified of their nomination by TCFV and the final award recipients will be announced in February 2018 in observance of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.  

For additional questions, please contact: Shannon Spriggs Murdoch, Prevention Director 512-685-6317 or email smurdoch@tcfv.org 


Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

For Immediate Release

Gloria A. Terry, TCFV, 512-627-5295 gterry@tcfv.org
Mikisha Hooper, TCFV, 580-380-6615 mhooper@tcfv.org

Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

Domestic Violence Tears at the Very Fabric of Texas with 146 Women Killed by Their Male Intimate Partners in 2016 and 24 Additional Family Members, Friends and Bystanders Also Harmed

Make no mistake: domestic violence causes far reaching impact and devastation on Texas families and communities.  Violence at home too often erupts into neighborhoods, workplaces and indeed places of worship.  These heartbreaking domestic violence related murders over the weekend tear at the very fabric of Texas. 

Points of fact: In an analysis of mass shootings nationally between 2009 and 2015 perpetrators killed intimate part­ners or other family members in 57% of the cases. In 15% of the cases, the perpetrator had a prior domestic violence charge. Moreover, in Texas in the last year, 146 women lost their lives at the hands of a male intimate partner, an additional 24 children and adults were killed in those 146 incidents. Also in 2016, Texas experienced eight incidents of familicide – a significant increase from the prior year total of zero, where perpetrators killed their children and partner before killing themselves. Additionally, firearms were used in 68% of the 146 incidents, 15% were stabbed, 10% were strangled and the remaining 7% involved other means of death.

We continue to underestimate the reach and devastation of domestic violence.  Seeing it only as a microcosm, as something that happens privately between two people. Yet domestic violence thrives in the silence and obliviousness we give it.

Only when we confront the very conditions which allow domestic violence to exist will our homes, public spaces and places of worship be truly safe.


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/

Go Purple – Celebrate!

As October comes to an end, we want to take a moment to thank domestic violence advocates and service providers throughout the state for their amazing work in supporting survivors. Last year, nearly 73,000 Texans found support and guidance on their path to leave abuse with the help of advocates like you. Texas domestic violence programs save lives, and TCFV is proud to represent and support you as your state coalition.  

We also want to thank all the survivors who tell their stories during DVAM. Your voices lead the way. Your courage galvanizes us all to confront the conditions that permit violence to occur. And your strength inspires us to build a safer Texas.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s DVAM! Tell us what you learned and your favorite moments from this month on our Facebook and Twitter.

Stay in touch with domestic violence news and awareness opportunities all year long – sign-up for our email list!

Go Purple – Honoring Texas Victims

At TCFV, we are committed to telling the story of domestic violence in Texas. Since 1990, we’ve published the Honoring Texas Victims report – because we know that every woman deserves to be counted. This report gives factual accounts of the women killed by their partners, telling each story with utmost care and respect.

This week, we want to reflect on these women’s stories and the impact of these murders throughout our state. It is heartbreaking, necessary work to bring domestic violence out of the shadows. While the full Honoring Texas Victims report will be released later, we can share key facts to galvanize our communities:

Now more than ever, it’s essential that we work together to tell the story of domestic violence in Texas. Family violence is knowable, predictable, and preventable. Knowing the facts about domestic violence is the first step in being able to keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable. Find more facts and social media graphics from the Honoring Texas Victims report on our website at TCFV.org/GoPurple.