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By Danielle Ohlemacher

5 Reasons to Sign the Purple Postcard

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1. You can amplify the voice of domestic violence survivors. 

Sign the Postcard to show you stand alongside survivors. We are powerful when we speak in unison.

2. 15,000 adults seeking shelter from an abusive relationship were turned away last year. 

Nearly 40% of adults seeking shelter are turned away due solely to lack of space. Everyone deserves a place to stay when home is not safe. 

3. Now is the best time to make our voices heard.

The Texas legislature only meets every other year. Now is the best opportunity to make sure that funding for domestic violence services is preserved and increased.

4. You believe in safe and healthy communities.

What would our communities look like if safe and healthy relationships were the expectation for everyone? Working together, we can change community norms and promote values that help us all be safe. 

5. Family violence murders are knowable, predictable and preventable.

158 women were killed by a male intimate partner in 2015 – one death is too many. Domestic violence deaths exhibit predictable patterns. We can redouble our efforts to prevent them.

I support full funding for family violence services!

Sign the Purple Postcard

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Spotlight on a Young Leader

“I wasn’t a typical high school,” says Jimmy James, a quiet young man whose life changed by joining Houston Police Department’s Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).

“When I met Jimmy, he couldn’t open his mouth. Now he won’t shut it!” jokes his mentor Rhonda Collins Byrd.

Recognizing that teens are overlooked, the chief of police convened YPAC where participants conduct service projects, facilitate Teen Court, and train peers and adults on dating violence and suicide prevention. The program has increased understanding and dialogue between HPD and area youth. Read more

TCFV Honors Four Mothers who Empower Women

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FOUR MOTHERS WHO EMPOWER WOMEN

Austin, Texas – May 7, 2016–On Mother’s Day, TCFV acknowledges the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women create remarkable services and policies and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.

This Mother’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Jennifer King, Region 3 Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Maricarmen Garza, Victim Rights Group Coordinator & Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
  • State Senator Jane Nelson
  • Marta Pelaez, CEO, Family Violence Prevention Services

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2016 Young Hearts Matter Social Media Winners

 

Week 1:

@loveisbtx, a collaboration between Boerne ISD and Kendall County Women’s Shelter, formed a team of young people who promoted healthy relationships during TDVAPM with their “Love Is” Campaign.

loveisbtx

Week 2:

Aleleone Vargas, from Columbus Jr. High School – Riverside Campus, participated in the Family Crisis Center #ourheartsmatter Photo Booth submitted by @FCCPrevention  

FCCPrevention

Week 3:

Samantha Martinez & the Juarez Lincoln High School Law Enforcement Club collaborated with the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force to host the Young Hearts Matter 2K walk & pep rally.  

Hidalgo

 

Week 4:

Women’s Shelter of South Texas traveled to area schools like Gregory-Portland High School to snap photos and talk about healthy relationships with their #WSSTX campaign.

WSSTX

 

2016 Young Hearts Matter Awards

2016 Young Hearts Matter Award Winners

 

Activist of the Year

Lizzie2Lizi Xiong, Bellaire High School, Houston, TX

This award 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.

16 year old Lizi Xiong founded the Young Women United USA (YWUU), an international non-profit with over 400 members in 6 countries. The mission, to break down cultural barriers, protect human rights, provide empowerment tools for women, and inform the public about world affairs. Though the organization started as a local area organization, Lizi decided to expand the organization to include international chapters after networking and participating in a series of national youth leadership trainings.

Lizi successfully produced one of the winning videos in the TCFV #ManUp video contest held during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and continued her efforts to raise awareness about domestic violence on social media with the YWUU #AgressionIsNotAffection project. The project moved from social media to film when Lizi and her peers produced a 16
minute documentary about their experiences and knowledge about teen dating violence. Lizi has been described as an empathetic and respectful leader who is changing the world.

Advocate of the Year

Pillich2Coach Jennifer Pillich, Girls Athletic Coordinator, Manor ISD, Manor, TX

This award 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.

Coach Jennifer Pillich was nominated for her passion and leadership to empower young people, particularly girls, in Manor, TX. She is driven by the cause to provide young girls with a foundation for successful relationships and futures, using her position as a coach to lead a movement in Manor ISD. Coach Pillich speaks and acts from the heart, conveying her love and respect for every young person in her care.

In September 2015, Coach Pillich was one of eleven local coaches and advocates attending A Call to Men’s National Conference entitled, “Sports Culture: Advancing its role in preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.” Energized and inspired, she immediately created a 2-part Empowerment Workshop for over 85 female athletes. Using the No More campaign as a starting point, Coach Pillich designed T-Shirts, activities, and a Twitter hashtag to share her enthusiasm throughout MISD and beyond – and this is just the beginning! Coach Pillich served as a panelist who presented to the City of Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force in 2015 and plans to continue her efforts to empower female athletes and promote healthy relationships amongst young people.

Texas Partner for Change

Coaches2D.W. Rutledge and the Texas High School Coaches Association

This award recognizes a community leader whose partnerships and efforts have given voice to violence prevention and have inspired systemic or community wide change across the state of Texas. 

The Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) takes an active role in developing Texas coaches to be key, positive role models in the lives of student athletes and pivotal actors in promoting better lives for those they coach.  As the Executive Director of the THSCA, D.W. Rutledge epitomizes this role. Seen as one of the most successful high school coaches in Texas football history, his accolades do not end there.  Showing his commitment to impacting positive change, he co-authored a book, Coaching to Change Lives that promotes the role of athletic programs in developing values in the young people they serve.  Additionally, he has been an active supporter of educating coaches on Coaching Boys into Men, a curriculum designed to help prevent dating violence among young athletes.

For several years the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) has prioritized supporting Texas coaches in working to end domestic violence and promoting healthy relationships among their athletes. D.W. Rutledge and The Texas Coaches Association continues to be a key partner in this work by supporting the presence of the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) at the Annual Texas Coaches Leadership Summit, which promotes “Coaching Beyond the Game” as well as the Annual THSCA Convention and Coaching School, which draws an attendance of over 12,000 people including coaches and athletic directors from across the state of Texas.  

As a coach, D.W. Rutledge has touched the lives of so many athletes and as the head of the THSCA, he touches the lives of countless others. For his relentless commitment to young hearts in Texas, the Texas Council on Family Violence names D.W. Rutledge as this year’s Young Hearts Matter Texas Partner for Change. 


Activist of the Year Nominees

Recognizing 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.

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Hibba Siddiqi, Houston
HPD Youth Policy Advisory Council

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Sam Martinez, La Joya
Rio Grande Valley VOC Program,
Juarez Lincoln High School Law Club

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Shasparay Lighteard,
Round Rock
Community activist & poet

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Lizi Xiong, Houston
Young Women United – USA

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Alejandra Saenz, Del Valle
Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble

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Jimmy James, Houston
Love is Respect Board Member,
HPD Youth Policy Advisory Council

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Caroline McKenzie, Austin
Texas Advocacy Project Teen Ambassador 

 

 Advocate of the Year Nominees

Recognizing 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.

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Nathan Richardson, Denton
Denton County Friends of the Family

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Marilyn Gambrell, Houston
No More Victims, Inc.

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Superintendent Juan Cabrera,
El Paso Independent School District

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Hillarye Hightower, Denton
Denton County Friends of the Family

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Florence Briceno, Austin
Travis County Sheriff’s Office

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Angie Stafford, Victoria
Midcoast Family Services

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Tonya Bradley, Houston
Ronald McDonald House

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Jennifer Pillich, Manor
Girls Athletic Coordinator,
Manor ISD

Texas Partner for Change Nominees

Recognizing a community leader whose partnerships and efforts have given voice to violence prevention and have inspired systemic or community wide change across the state of Texas.

2016 Young Hearts Matter Award Nominees

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 2016 and will receive a $200 honorarium for the Activist of the Year and Advocate of the Year award categories.

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2016 Young Hearts Matter Award Nominations

Texas Council on Family Violence is now accepting nominations for the 2016 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 2016 and will receive a $200 honorarium for the Activist of the Year and Advocate of the Year award categories.

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