Home » Archives for rrios

By rrios

Denton Domestic Violence Survivor Talks about Fleeing an Abusive Relationship, Financial Stress and Having No Other Choice Than to Take Out a Payday Loan to Take Care of Her Four Children

Denton, Texas – January 27, 2015 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) thanks Denton County Friends of the Family and the Allstate Foundation for their efforts to combat domestic violence.  Denton County Friends of the Family and Allstate are leaders in a groundbreaking project with the Texas Council on Family Violence that is working to prioritize and forge solutions related to family violence.   The Allstate Foundation has given a one-of-a-kind grant program supporting financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. 

“The Moving Ahead Financial Empowerment Grant Program provides funds to state domestic violence coalitions to help address the No. 1 reason victims stay in and return to violent relationships—finances.  We are proud to partner with organizations, like the Denton County Friends of the Family, to help provide financial empowerment services to survivors of domestic violence,” said Mark Tucker, a local Allstate agency owner. 

People like Mandy of Denton.  Mandy escaped an abusive relationship and sought help at Denton County Friends of the Family.  The mother of four had to turn to a payday loan with a staggering interest rate because she had no other financial resources to take care of her four children after she left her abusive relationship.

She took out a loan of $3,500 dollars and within 4 or 5 days the interest was already $400.  Her monthly payment on the payday loan was $662.00 and her entire income for her and her four children was $1,000 a month.  “It is very scary because these are your children and you have to get out of the situation, but take care of the family.   I had to take out a loan to pay an attorney for my divorce, help with daycare and fix my truck and catch up on bills.  The payday loan ended up taking the vast majority of my paycheck,” said Mandy, a domestic violence survivor.  Fortunately, she was able to pay the loan back before the payments were completely out of control when she received help from Denton County Friends of the Family and the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.  She currently lives with her brother and she shares a room with three of her children ages 8, 4 and 3, but she would like to be able to move them into their own home. 

As a result of this new focus on economic empowerment programming for survivors of domestic violence Mandy will have access to resources and the continued support of the staff at Denton County Friends of the Family that will help her improve her financial situation and will give her and help her gain an economically stable foundation. 

New research shows that three in five Americans know someone who has been the victim of abuse and more than one in four have been abused themselves.  Most all of these situations, financial abuse and control are used to trap women in abusive relationships.  These grants will help women and their families leave abuse behind and take control of their financial futures.  Each grantee will work with local domestic violence organizations to provide education and support for domestic violence survivors in the areas of budgeting, credit repair and management, investing, and retirement planning.  The Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, designed specifically for survivors, is the main financial education resource used to deliver the information.

“We want everyone who lives in our area to know we are here to help anyone who is in a domestic violence situation,” said Toni Johnson- Simpson, Executive Director at Denton County Friends of the Family.  “We provide shelter, counseling, case management, legal advocacy, safety planning and career assistance.  All services are provided at no cost.  But, we are also honored to be able to offer something new and exceptional to our clients.  We are able to offer enhanced financial education and job readiness services because of a $33,700 dollar grant from Allstate.  Often, victims of domestic violence need something small to get them back on their feet and this assistance can help keep the family afloat.”   

Over the past year, 223,000 Texans called domestic violence hotlines, nearly 80,000 people, primarily women and children sought services from family violence programs, because they did not feel safe in their own homes and 119 women lost their lives along with 17 additional family members, friends and bystanders in domestic violence homicides.

“The New Year is a time to reassess our lives and make changes to improve our circumstances and that includes our finances,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “We salute Denton County Friends of the Family and the Allstate Foundation and thank them for not only strengthening the response and services to families in crisis, but for inspiring hope for a safer, more peaceful Texas.”

                                                                      ###

 

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://tcfv.org/

About The Allstate Foundation Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

Denton County Friends of the Family is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, healing, and prevention.

Domestic Violence Survivors are Getting Financial Help Leading into the Christmas Holidays

Abilene, Texas – December 18, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) thanks Noah Project of Abilene and Allstate for their efforts to combat domestic violence.  Noah Project and Allstate are leaders in a groundbreaking project with the Texas Council on Family Violence that is working to prioritize and forge solutions related to family violence.   The Allstate Foundation has given a one-of-a-kind grant program supporting financial empowerment services for domestic violence survivors. 

“The Moving Ahead Financial Empowerment Grant Program, now in its seventh year, provides funds to state domestic violence coalitions to help address the No. 1 reason victims stay in and return to violent relationships—finances. We are proud to partner with organizations, like the Noah Project, to help provide financial empowerment services to survivors of domestic violence,” Jay Hansen, the Allstate Foundation. 

People like Graciela of Abilene. Graciela escaped an abusive relationship and sought help at Noah’s Project.  With the help of the Allstate matching grant she was able to get her GED and is working to take college classes.  Graciela says,  “My husband kept me from learning English and would not let me go to school to better myself. The Allstate grant allowed me to take the GED in Spanish and I received one of the highest scores ever taken.  I am now learning how to speak English better and I am saving money and studying to go to college one day.” 

New research shows that three in five Americans know someone who has been the victim of abuse and more than one in four have been abused themselves.  Most all of these situations, financial abuse and control are used to trap women in abusive relationships. These grants will help women and their families leave abuse behind and take control of their financial futures.  Each grantee will work with local domestic violence organizations to provide education and support for domestic violence survivors in the areas of budgeting, credit repair and management, investing, and retirement planning. The Moving Ahead Through Financial Management curriculum, designed specifically for survivors, is the main financial education resource used to deliver the information.

“We want everyone who lives in our area to know we are here to help anyone who is in a domestic violence situation,” said Leigh Ann Fry, Executive Director of Noah Project.  “We provide shelter, counseling, case management, legal advocacy, safety planning and career assistance.  All services are provided at no cost.” But, we are also honored to be able to offer something new and exceptional to our clients, a match program where the Allstate Foundation will match dollars saved up to $500 dollars.  Often, victims of domestic violence need something small to get them back on their feet and reach their goal.”   

The holidays are a time for reflection and gratitude.  Today, we reflect on the large numbers of Texas families who will spend Christmas in domestic violence shelters across the state.  Over the past year, 223,000 Texans called domestic violence hotlines, nearly 80,000 people, primarily women and children sought services from family violence programs, because they did not feel safe in their own homes and 119 women lost their lives along with 17 additional family members, friends and bystanders in domestic violence homicides.

“The holiday season is a time for reflection on the pain caused by family violence,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “We salute Noah Project and the Allstate Foundation and thank them for not only strengthening the response and services to families in crisis, but for inspiring hope for a safer, more peaceful Texas.”

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://tcfv.org/

About The Allstate Foundation Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

About Noah Project For over 30 years Noah Project has served victims of domestic violence. We are here to help.  Victims of family violence should call the Women’s Center of East Texas at 1- 800-444-3551. You can also go to our website for more information. http://noahproject.org/index.html Noah Project serves the following ten counties of West Central Texas: Callahan, Eastland, Haskell, Knox, Jones, Shackelford, Stonewall, Stephens, Taylor, and Throckmorton. 



Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons Takes a Stand Against Domestic Violence and the Daughter of a Law Enforcement Officer Killed in the Line of Duty during a Domestic Violence Call Tells Her Story

Bryan-College Station, Texas – December 8, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) thanks Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons in his efforts to combat domestic violence.  The Brazos County District Attorney has been serving as a leader in a groundbreaking project between the Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association (TDCAA) that is leading an effort to bring together elected prosecutors from all over Texas to discuss, prioritize and forge solutions related to family violence prosecution.

“I am honored to partner with the Texas Council on Family Violence and work to find innovative ways to combat domestic violence,” said Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons.

Miranda Russ Henderson was 13 years old when her father was killed in the line of duty.   Ward County Sheriff’s Deputy Lee Russ was stabbed to death while responding to a domestic violence call in the small West Texas town of Monahans.   “My father was the first to arrive at the scene and while trying to protect the victim, Norma Sepulveda Galindo, he was stabbed by the victim’s husband 19 times,” said Miranda Russ Henderson.  “My dad was able to shoot the husband with his service revolver but when his back up arrived all three had died.  My dad was my hero and I learned so much from the sacrifices he made.  He worked so hard to give his family the best life we could have.  Domestic violence not only affects one victim, it shakes up entire communities.”

“Any time a law enforcement officer’s life is put in danger or family members are injured or killed in a domestic violence murder, it should remind us that domestic violence is a serious problem in the state of Texas,” said District Attorney Parsons. 

The district attorney has also launched a new program called Cut it Out and has trained 100 salon professionals in Brazos County.  Cut it Out is a program dedicated to mobilizing salon professionals and others to fight the epidemic of domestic abuse in communities across the U.S. by building awareness and training salon professionals to recognize warning signs and safely refer clients, colleagues, friends and family to local resources.

“With proper training on how to recognize the signs of abuse and safely refer victims to help, salon professionals can become invaluable and influential community partners in the fight against domestic abuse.  This is one of many ways I plan to help victims find safety,” said Parsons.

Salon professionals are in a unique position to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse in their clients and co-workers.  Because of the intimate and nurturing nature of the relationship between salon professionals and their clients and co-workers, salon professionals can often spot signs of physical abuse that others may never see.  Research shows that most battered women never call the police or go to a shelter. However, they do usually talk about the abuse with someone they trust.  Because salon professionals are skilled and experienced listeners who are personally interested in those around them, many victims suffering from abuse feel comfortable confiding in them – even if they would never tell anyone else.  For an abused woman, the salon may be an ideal environment to seek out help because it may be one of the few places she is allowed to go without her abuser.

“We work with women every day and we build a trust with each other—trust with hair— if someone brings up domestic violence we need to be trained on how to handle the situation and spot the warning signs,” said Priscilla Flores, stylist at Funky Cheveux Hair Studio.  “I want to be able to help a client thru that part of their life by letting them know that they are not alone.”

“We want everyone who lives in our area to know we are here to help anyone who is in a domestic violence situation,” said Linda Chandler, Program Director of Phoebe’s Home.  “We provide shelter, counseling, case management, legal advocacy, safety planning and career assistance.  All services are provided at no cost.”  Phoebe’s Home is a 24-hour emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.  Services are provided at no cost in all seven counties of the Brazos Valley Region: Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington.  If you need help, please call the local hotline at 979-775-5355 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

The holidays are a time for reflection and gratitude.  Today, we reflect on the large numbers of Texas families who will spend Christmas in domestic violence shelters across the state.  Over the past year, 223,000 Texans called domestic violence hotlines, nearly 80,000 people, primarily women and children sought services from family violence programs, because they did not feel safe in their own homes and 119 women lost their lives along with 17 additional family members, friends and bystanders in domestic violence homicides.

“The holiday season is a time for reflection on the pain caused by family violence,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “We salute Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons and thank him for not only strengthening the response and services to families in crisis, but for inspiring hope for a safer, more peaceful Texas.”   

Parsons serves as a part of a core group of prosecutors from across Texas chosen to help lead the effort across the state.  They include prosecutors from El Paso, Comal County, Vernon, Floresville, Brazos County, Travis County, Killeen, Houston and Nueces County. 

###

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://tcfv.org/

Travis County Domestic Violence Task Force Holds Screening of HBO Documentary “Private Violence”

Austin, TX-Dec. 7, 2014– Domestic violence has become a main topic across the sports landscape in recent months, particularly in light of the case of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and the NFL’s handling of his suspension and domestic violence cases in general.  And it’s not just sports, domestic violence happens every day in America. 

The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  In 2013, 119 women were killed in domestic violence murders and 114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  Four women were killed in Travis County in 2013.  In 2012, 3 women were killed in Travis County. 

“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and preventable,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “We commend the task force for raising awareness in the community and holding a discussion about domestic violence.” 

The Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force is hoping to evoke a deeper and more meaningful discussion about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationship on Sunday December 7, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. in Austin’s own Stateside Theatre at the Paramount.  The task force is hosting a special screening of a new HBO documentary called Private Violence (www.privateviolence.com).  The Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force is commemorating the task force’s 25th Anniversary and holding a community discussion about domestic violence in Travis County. 

 “Private Violence is a pivotal documentary that illuminates how responses to intimate partner violence have evolved and challenges communities to do more,” said Gretta Gardner, Chair of the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force.  “The Task Force is committed now more than ever to a coordinated community response to shed light on “private” violence through education and public awareness initiatives.  We have a collective responsibility to hold batterers accountable and keep victims safe to end intimate partner violence.” 

Members of the community including domestic violence advocates, law enforcement, task force members and representatives of the community will gather to watch the film and talk about solutions to reducing the number of domestic violence deaths in Travis County.  Travis County Constable, Carlos B. Lopez serves more than 900 protective orders in Travis County per year, all of the protective orders in Travis County.

“Travis County has always been on the forefront of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault prevention,” said Travis County Constable, Carlos B. Lopez, Pct. 5.  “Protecting families is the number one priority in my office as is with the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force and yet the abuse continues.  Enforcement of current laws is necessary to addressing this issue but education, awareness and social change is essential to ending these horrible acts of violence.” 

Tickets to the screening are still available but are limited to 300 (the theatre’s capacity) and are free to the public.  Limited tickets are also available for $25 to attend a VIP Reception before the film screening.  Tickets for both the film screening and to attend the VIP Reception before the screening are available through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/private-violence-a-hbo-documentary-film-tickets-14030249855.  

Special guest Kit Gruelle, a survivor of domestic violence and the film advisor, will be in attendance at the Austin screening.  This event offers the opportunity to publicly ask, “What happens when an abused person in my community asks for help?” 

###

About the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force – For the past 25 years, the Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force has worked in collaboration with social service providers, law enforcement, attorneys and advocates to decrease the risk families have when violence enters their home. The Austin/Travis County Family Violence Task Force created a special court, known as Court Four, which deals entirely with domestic violence cases.  The Youth Issues committee works to prevent bullying in schools and teen dating violence. The Task Force also has a Battering Intervention committee, which enforces standards on programs for perpetrators.

We believe in a holistic approach of treating the whole family, to end the cycle of violence and abuse. Our Public Awareness committee is dedicated to bringing documentaries like Private Violence to let the people know there should be no stigma associated for the victims of domestic or sexual violence. With your generosity, we can remain deeply committed to educating the public and healing families for the next 25 years.

 

Dallas County has the Highest Per Capita Female Murder Rate in the state at 1:62,752

Dallas, Texas – October 6, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  119 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  Harris County has stood alone as the county in Texas with the most women killed for many years, but this year Dallas County and Harris County are tied with the highest numbers of domestic violence murders of any county in Texas at 20 domestic violence homicides in each county.  Dallas County has the highest per capita female murder rate in the state at 1: 62, 752. 

Dallas County had 20 homicides in 2013 compared to 9 in the previous year.  Tarrant County had 11 homicides compared to 6 in the previous year.  Collin County had 3 homicides compared to 1 in the previous year.  Ellis and Rockwall counties each had 1 homicide compared to 0 in the previous year.  Denton County had 2 homicides compared to 3 in the previous year.  In all, the DFW metroplex had 38 domestic violence homicides, the most of the any metro-area in the state of Texas. 

“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and preventable,” 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.  We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships.“

“This important report should motivate all of us to strengthen our resolve to work together to protect victims of domestic violence in Texas.  We must provide more protection for victims, improve systems coordination, and never forget that the most dangerous time for a woman fleeing a violent relationship is when she is leaving or attempting to leaving her partner,” said Mary Lee, Hafley, CEO of SafeHaven in Arlington and Ft. Worth. 

“While we shine the spotlight on domestic violence during October, the Family Place works year round with individuals and families who have been subjected to violence in their own homes.  Our efforts to provide immediate shelter, services and longer-term advocacy are supported by other area service providers and by our colleagues in the criminal justice system and in law enforcement.  Their support, and the support of the entire community, is critical to prevent and reduce domestic violence,” said Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place in Dallas.

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.

In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members.  Another 11 bystanders or witnesses were injured.  The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013. 55 children witnessed their mother’s die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.  

Some key statistics include: 

  • Dallas County & Harris County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county
  • DFW has 38 domestic violence homicides in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant Counties
  • Collin-3  (1) previous year
  • Dallas-20  (9) previous year
  • Denton-2 (3) previous year
  • Ellis-1 (0) previous year
  • Rockwall-1 (0) previous year
  • Tarrant-11 (6) previous year
  • 76% of the women were killed at home
  • 58% were shot
  • 22% were stabbed
  • 6% were strangled
  • 21 women had taken steps to leave
  • 17 bystanders or witnesses killed
  • 11 bystanders or witnesses injured 

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

Harris & Dallas Counties Tied for the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Murders in the State

Houston, Texas – October 3, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  119 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  Harris County has stood alone as the county in Texas with the most women killed for many years, but this year Dallas County and Harris County are tied with the highest numbers of domestic violence murders of any county in Texas at 20 domestic violence homicides in each county.  However, last year Harris County had 30 domestic violence murders, so domestic violence murders decreased by one-third in Harris County in the new report. 

Antrece Baggett, a survivor of childhood domestic violence, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Deborah Mosley, Executive Director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Pasadena and TVFV Board member, Rebecca White, CEO at the Houston Area Women’s Center and Barbie Brasher, Executive Director, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry at a news conference in Houston to unveil the annual report titled:  “Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.” 

“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and predictable,” 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.  We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships.“ 

“This important report should motivate all of us who work to protect victims of domestic violence in Texas to dig deeper and continue to improve our system, strive to better protect victims and understand that the most dangerous time for a woman fleeing a violent relationship is when they are leaving or attempting to leave the relationship,” said Deborah Moseley, Executive Director of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters. 

“While we shine the spotlight on domestic violence during October, the Houston Area Women’s Center works year round with individuals and families who have been subjected to violence in their own homes.  Our efforts to provide immediate shelter, services and longer-term advocacy are supported by other area service providers and by our colleagues in the criminal justice system and in law enforcement.  Their support, and the support of the entire community, is critical to prevent and reduce domestic violence,” said Rebecca White, President and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center. 

As Barbie Brashear, the Executive Director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC), states “The systems that respond to domestic violence in Harris County are committed to working together to increase safety and access to services for victims and their families.  This commitment has led to HCDVCC’s strategic plan to examine how we respond, recommend change, and implement strategies to improve how we collectively work to keep families safe.  We are very pleased to see that the number of deaths has decreased, but we also recognize that there is still a lot of work to do.” 

“My involvement with the HCDVCC is important to me because I wish all of these resources and agencies working together were available to me and my family when I was growing up in an abusive household,” said Antrece Baggett. 

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. 

In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members.  This includes 5 minor children; 5 other children were severely injured as a result of the attacks.  12 adults were killed by the perpetrators and 6 adults were severely injured during the attacks.  The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013. 55 children witnessed their mother’s die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.  

Some key statistics include: 

  • Harris County & Dallas County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county 
  • 76% of the women were killed at home
  • 58% were shot 
  • 22% were stabbed 
  • 6% were strangled 
  • 21 women had taken steps to leave 
  • 17 bystanders or witnesses killed 

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

25 Member Domestic Violence Task Force Meets in Austin

Austin, Texas – October 8, 2014 – Today The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  119 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  Four women were killed in Travis County.  One woman was killed in Williamson County.  One woman was killed in Bastrop County.  In the previous year 3 women were killed in Travis County and no women were killed in Williamson or Bastrop Counties.  Dallas and Harris Counties had the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the state with 20 deaths in each county. 

“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and preventable,” 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.  We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships.“ 

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. 

In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members.  This includes 5 minor children; 5 other children were severely injured as a result of the attacks.  The perpetrators injured 11 bystander or witnesses.   The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013.  55 children witnessed their mother’s die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. 

Also, today a new Domestic Violence Task Force led by 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, are leading a new Texas Health and Human Services Commission Task Force on Domestic Violence.   

“The Texas Council on Family Violence is honored to chair the new 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,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “Pregnant women face an increased risk of intimate partner violence, and homicide is the leading cause of traumatic death for both pregnant and postpartum women in the US.  At the same time they are at increased risk and vulnerability, pregnant women in general have repeated contact with health care providers because of standard prenatal health recommendations.“ 

Because of both their vulnerability to domestic violence and the health care protocols already in place for them, pregnant women represent an important and ideal focus for violence prevention and intervention. 

The duties of the task force:

  • Examine the impact of domestic violence on: maternal and infant mortality, health of mothers, health and development of fetuses, infants and children.
  • Identify the health care services available to children age 2 and younger and mothers and explore opportunities for improving the ability of those services to address domestic violence
  • Identify methods to effectively include domestic violence information and support for educators and protocols for health care providers 

The Texas Council on Family Violence is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation.  Since 1978, TCFV, headquartered in Austin, has been a nationally recognized leader in the efforts to end family violence through partnerships, advocacy and direct services for women, children and men.  Dr. Temple, a psychologist in UTMB’s Ob/Gyn department, specializes in the study and treatment of intimate partner violence.  HB 2620 was a key part of TCFV’s legislative priorities during the 83rd legislative session.  It calls for measures to examine and address the impact of domestic violence on the health of women and children during pregnancy through the first two years of life and to help health care providers identify signs of domestic abuse.  The formation of the new Texas Health and Human Service Commission Task Force on Domestic Violence is the result of this bill. 

 “I am so honored to work on this important task force and to find solutions to help victims of domestic violence,” said Dr. Temple.  “The physical and emotional trauma caused by domestic violence can have terrible ripple effects that permeate families and communities.  This task force is going to come up with concrete ways to make a difference.  I am very excited about the potential of our work to turn around thousands of families’ lives.” 

The Domestic Violence Task Force directive is to identify gaps, needs and opportunities across the health care spectrum to examine the impact of domestic violence on the health of pregnant women, mother’s and young children.  Committee members have been asked to develop ways to include domestic violence information in new protocols for health care providers and educators.  The group is also expected to design health system responses to domestic violence against women who are pregnant and postpartum, including universal information, early screening and detection and public awareness efforts. 

The task force expects to meet quarterly to gather information and craft recommendations to ultimately present in a report to the Legislature due September 2015, containing findings and legislative, policy and research recommendations for state leadership. 

“Texas Council on Family Violence CEO, Gloria Terry and Dr. Temple have the expertise, experience and perspective to be strong assets to this group,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek, who appointed Terry and Temple to the task force. 

Some key statistics include: 

  • Travis County had an increase in the number of deaths at 4 (3 previous year)
  • Williamson County and Bastrop County had an increase in the number of deaths to 1 in each county.  (Neither County had a homicide the previous year)
  • Dallas County & Harris County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county
  • 76% of the women were killed at home
  • 58% were shot
  • 22% were stabbed
  • 6% were strangled
  • 21 women had taken steps to leave
  • 17 bystanders or witnesses killed
  • 11 bystanders or witnesses injured

 

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

New Report Released by TCFV during Domestic Violence Awareness Month shows an increase in the number of domestic violence deaths in East Texas and across the State

Longview, Texas – October 2, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows an increase in the number of women killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  119 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  10 women were killed in 13 east Texas counties. 

Three women were killed in the six county area that the Women’s Center of East Texas serves which includes: Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Upshur, Rusk and Panola Counties.  In addition, if you look at the numbers for the last 12 months, which includes not only 2013, but deaths so far in 2014, nine women have been murdered in Gregg and the surrounding counties representing a 2/3 increase in domestic violence murders. 

Rhonda Yocum, the mother of Cheyenne Green who was murdered in a parking lot during an east Texas football game and Hank Hunt, the father 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. 

Seven other women were killed in other east Texas counties including: Angelina, Bowie, Smith, Van Zandt, Wood, Hopkins and Texarkana. 

“The Women’s Center of East Texas works year round with individuals and families who have been subjected to violence in their own homes.  Our efforts to provide immediate shelter and long-term advocacy and support are supported by our colleagues in the judicial system and law enforcement.  The support of the community and the launch of a new fatality review team will be a critical component of our mission to prevent and reduce domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Shannon Trest, Executive Director of the Women’s Center of East Texas. 

Trest announced the formation of a Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team that will examine domestic violence homicides for clues to preventing future deaths.  The team is comprised of the women’s center, Gregg County Sheriff’s Department, the Longview police, the Department of Public Safety, District Attorney Carl Dorrough’s office and Good Shepherd Medical Center. 

“Domestic violence murders are knowable, identifiable and predictable,” 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.  We hope the report will evoke deeper and more meaningful discussions about barriers and realities that affect the ability of women to escape danger within their relationships.“ 

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. 

Harris County has stood alone as the county in Texas with the most women killed for many years, but this year Dallas County and Harris County are tied with the highest numbers of domestic violence murders of any county in Texas at 20 domestic violence homicides in each county. 

In 2013, perpetrators killed, in addition to their partners an additional 17 friends and/or family members.  This includes 5 minor children; 5 other children were severely injured as a result of the attacks.  The perpetrators killed 12 adults and 6 adults were severely injured during the attacks.  The collateral damage from these homicides is significant and tragic. 186 children and adults in Texas lost a parent as a result of femicides in 2013. 55 children witnessed their mother’s die at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.  

Some key statistics include: 

  • Three women were killed in the six county area that the Women’s Center of East Texas serves which includes: Greg, Harrison, Marion, Upshur, Rusk and Panola Counties. 
  • 10 women were killed in 13 east Texas counties.
  • Harris County & Dallas County have the highest number of deaths at 20 in each county
  • 76% of the women were killed at home
  • 58% were shot
  • 22% were stabbed
  • 6% were strangled
  • 21 women had taken steps to leave
  • 17 bystanders or witnesses killed
  • 11 bystanders or witnesses killed 

Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence and needs help can call the Women’s Center of East Texas at (903)295-7526, (800)441-5555 or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.

Labor and Civil Rights Leader, Dolores Huerta Delivers Keynote Address to Texas Council on Family Violence State Conference

Austin, Texas –September 23, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is pleased to welcome Dolores Huerta, labor leader and civil rights activist to be the keynote speaker at the our bienniel Statewide Conference in Galveston, Texas on Tuesday September 23, 2014 from 4 to 5 p.m. 

Dolores Huerta is visionary leader of social change and a national treasure. In 1962, she co-launched the National Farm workers Movement with Cesar Chavez, and quickly moved to fight for the rights of women and children farm workers in particular. 

Five decades of labor and feminist organizing later, in 2012, Huerta received The Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama — the highest civilian award in the United States. Upon receiving this award Dolores said, “The freedom of association means that people can come together in organization to fight for solutions to the problems they confront in their communities. The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights. I thank President Obama for raising the importance of organizing to the highest level of merit and honor.” 

The civil rights leader who currently works on LGBT issues and continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children will also participate in a VIP Reception and photo opportunity from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy. 

The Huerta Legacy 

Huerta co-founded the National Farm workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).   When working as a teacher in Stockton, California, she could no longer bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, and thus began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice. 
 

Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During the 1960’s she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. She continued a lifelong passion for helping the disadvantaged and partnered with Cesar Chavez co-founding what is now the United Farm Workers Union. 

On June 5, 1968, Huerta stood beside Robert F. Kennedy on a speaker’s platform at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles as he delivered a victory statement to his political supporters shortly after winning the California Democratic presidential primary election. Only moments after the candidate finished his speech, Huerta was a safe distance behind Kennedy as he and five other people were wounded by gunfire inside the hotel’s kitchen pantry. Only 15 min before the shooting, Huerta had walked through that pantry alongside the US Senator from New York while Kennedy was on his way to deliver his victory speech. Kennedy died from his gunshot wounds on June 6. 

She also traveled the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power: 50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign encouraging Latina’s to run for office. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives at the local, state and federal levels. 

There are four elementary schools in California, one in Fort Worth, Texas, and a high school in Pueblo, Colorado named after Dolores Huerta. 
 

She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of l997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of The Year Award from the California State Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and Nine Honorary Doctorates from Universities throughout the United States. 

Huerta is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which she founded in 2002. The Dolores Huerta Foundation is a 501(c)(3) “community benefit organization that organizes at the grassroots level, engaging and developing natural leaders. DHF creates leadership opportunities for community organizing, leadership development, civic engagement, and policy advocacy in the following priority areas: health & environment, education & youth development, and economic development.” At 84, Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women and children. 

The event is open to the public and a few seats are still available for her keynote address. If you are interested in attending the cost are $20 for the public to attend the keynote address.  The keynote speech is Tuesday, September 23, 4:00-5:00 p.m. The cost to attend the VIP event and photo opportunity is $50.00 and will take place from 5:30-6:30 at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston, Texas.

TCFV and the Leading Experts on Domestic Violence from the Houston Area Speak Out After a Horrific Week of Domestic Violence Murders in Houston

Houston Agencies Want Victims of Domestic Violence to Know There Are Many Services Available in the Houston Area     

Houston, Texas – July 17, 2014 –Today, the Texas Council on Family Violence and domestic violence experts, who comprise the largest domestic violence and sexual assault programs across Harris County, are speaking out on a horrific week of domestic violent murders in Houston including the domestic violence murders in Spring, Texas. 

“We are standing together today to let anyone in the Houston area who may be a victim of domestic violence know there are many services across Harris County to assist them if they are in an abusive relationship,“ said Houston Area Women’s Center President and CEO, Rebecca White. 

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Stay family, their friends, neighbors and the entire Houston area after this unthinkable tragedy in Spring, Texas.   We want the community to know, that as we have seen in this case, where we have four dead innocent children and their parents – that domestic violence is very dangerous to the entire family.  We are increasingly seeing that when a perpetrator is determined to kill, not only their target, but often innocent family members, children and friends are caught in the crossfire,” said Gloria Terry CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. 

Domestic violence is a serious problem in Texas and across the country.  3 women are killed every day in the United State in domestic violence murders.  In 2012 in Texas countless children were either witnesses or victims to the murder and 114 women lost their lives in domestic violence murders. 

“This case should motivate all of us who work to protect victims of domestic violence in Texas to dig deeper and continue to improve our system, strive to better protect victims and understand that the most dangerous time for a woman fleeing a violent relationship is when they are leaving or attempting to leave the relationship,” said Deborah Moseley, Executive Director of the Bridge Over Troubled Waters. 

In most abusive homes, there can be years of name-calling, threats of violence, walking on eggshells, black eyes, isolation from family and friends or dozens of other types of abuse before the situation turns deadly.  Chances are also great that someone, outside the marriage, recognized there was a problem but perhaps did not recognize the danger. 

Sheryl Johnson, Director of the Northwest Assistance Ministries’ Family Violence Center that is less than five miles away from the shooting, says as a community, we should all be more aware and report abuses before the situation escalates to murder.   “We must be aware of what these abuses look like.  We must be aware of our friends and family members who are hurting.  We must be aware of abusers who are becoming more violent.  We must be aware that we can all be at risk, whether the abuser lives in our home or not.“ 

True coordination is not only necessary, but also, vital to keeping victims safe.  Harris County is working together in a local Coordinated Community Response.  

“The Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council will continue to focus on building systemic, collaborative relationships that ensure that victims of domestic and sexual violence have access to services and safety.  The Council is comprised of representatives from all of the systems that serve victims of domestic violence, including the Domestic Violence Agencies and working together we will continue to improve our collective efforts to better keep victims safe,” said Barbie Brashear, Executive Director of the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council. 

Sherri Kendall, the Chief Executive Officer of Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) says she wants any victim of domestic violence to know her organization is one of many that provide direct services to families that are victimized by domestic violence.  “We provide free legal representation for protective orders, divorce, child custody, and battering intervention programs for the abuser.  AVDA also has an extensive youth and outreach program, as well as counseling. We want Houston to know that there is help for everyone to seek a life free from abuse.”

Another important tool for the public is to know there are many 24-hour hotlines that can help in times of crisis in Houston.   At the other end of these 24-hour hotline numbers you will find compassionate, caring and trained advocates who can answer questions, help with safety planning, provide shelter, offer counseling and help the caller seek a safer life.   If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call one of these 24-hour Hotlines:           

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

            800/799-SAFE

Houston Area Women’s Center Hotline

           713.528.2121 

Northwest Assistance Ministries’ Family Violence Center

            281/885-4673 or 888/750-4673

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Crisis Hotline

           713-473-2801

Bay Area Turning Point Hotline

          281-286-2525

Or for legal assistance call:

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse

          713-224-9911

El Paso Provides Innovative Leadership Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Texas Council on Family Violence Holds Economic Justice Summit to Showcase El Paso & Teach Economic Empowerment Solutions Statewide 

El Paso, Texas – June 26, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today launched the Economic Justice Summit in El Paso showcasing positive examples of how new groundbreaking community partnerships of work force centers, domestic violence shelters, community colleges and corporate partners can work together to help victims of domestic violence strengthen their economic security and live a life free of domestic violence. 

“Economic stability is the critical underpinning domestic violence survivors need to be safe, healthy and thrive,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO. “I am proud to return home to El Paso and lead a discussion with experts from across the nation in the community that has been a national leader in helping victims achieve long term economic stability.”      
  

El Paso is one of the first cities in the nation where the local workforce development board-Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande and the local shelter-Center Against Family Violence join forces to help women get started on the job search while in emergency shelter. 

The Center Against Family Violence and its’ partnership with El Paso Community College and the Upper Rio Grande Work Commission over the last 18 months have helped 40 domestic violence survivors get their GED in special on-site classes at the shelter. This is one of many new innovative ways domestic violence advocates are working to help the economic stability of victims of domestic violence. 

 “We are constantly working to improve the services we provide to victims of domestic violence to help them get back on their feet again after leaving a violent relationship and education is the first step to economic self-sufficiency,” said Stephanie Karr, Executive Director of the Center Against Family Violence.  “The Center Against Family Violence is honored to be a partner with the Texas Council on Family Violence once again for this year’s Economic Justice Summit.  Each day we have survivors of domestic or sexual violence come to us seeking safety, guidance encouragement and hope.  We know that a person’s economic self-sufficiency is key to their ability to live a violence-free life. Through our Family Resource Center and Emergency Shelter, we offer a variety of programs and services that help create the change needed for healthier and safer lives. “ 

Monica Delgado left her husband and ended a violent relationship to protect herself and her children.   After her husband moved out, he returned to stalk her at her home and she fled to her parent’s house, where he continued to stalk her and make her feel unsafe.  She sought refuge at the El Paso Center Against Family Violence and began the steps to rebuild her life free of domestic violence.  “They were my whole support network.  They helped me get a restraining order, a divorce and encouraged me to continue to pursue my education.  I want anyone who is in my situation to know that no matter how scared you are- doing nothing enables the perpetrator to keep abusing you. There is something you can do to change the situation,” said Monica Delgado, a domestic violence survivor.” 

Monica obtained her P.H.D and now is Dr. Monica Delgado, Chemistry Lecturer at El Paso Community College.   

“We see the need for economic self sufficiency every day as we work domestic violence cases as part of the 24-hour domestic violence program,” said Jaime Esparza, El Paso District Attorney.  “At the District Attorney’s Office we fight to ensure the safety of victims, but we see up close the need for other resources and the center does a great job helping victims with job readiness skills and support services that can lead to employment and financial independence.” 

The 2014 Summit will emphasize both economic stability and health promotion, recognizing the deep connections between women’s health and issues stemming from the violence and the long-term well-being and safety of survivors and their children.  TCFV is leading the charge to help survivors of domestic violence by helping them beyond their stay in the shelter and creating long-term solutions to achieve economic freedom. 

Jill Davies, author of Safety Planning with Battered Women and the recently published Second Edition: Domestic Violence Advocacy: Complex Lives/Difficult Choices, will kick-off the Summit.   Breakout sessions will provide information specific to housing and consumer law as well as the health impacts of intimate partner violence and strategies to enhance survivors’ access to health care coverage and preventive health services. Participants will gain concrete tools and information to provide holistic survivor-centered advocacy. 

TCFV is able to host Texas Family Violence Program advocates, leaders, and community partners from across the state for an El Paso Summit on innovative economic empowerment advocacy TCFV because of the generous support of our corporate sponsors Walmart and Allstate who are focused on helping women generate income and build economic stability.  

District Attorneys From Across Texas Gather in Dallas for a Groundbreaking Domestic Violence Summit with the Texas Council on Family Violence, the Only Statewide Organization Combating Domestic Violence in Texas

Domestic Violence Summit will be held in Dallas on April 10, 2014 

Dallas, Texas – April 10, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today joined with the Texas District and County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) to launch a groundbreaking collaborative project for TDCAA and the Texas Council on Family Violence called Next to the Jury Box.  This project brings together elected prosecutors from all over Texas to discuss, prioritize and forge solutions related to family violence prosecution.  The Summit for Urban Prosecutors across the state is being held in Dallas.   A summit for rural prosecutors was held in Austin earlier.  

Dallas City Councilmember Jennifer Staubach Gates will deliver the opening remarks at 1 p.m. at the Dallas Omni Park West Hotel at 1590 LBJ Freeway.  Gates, who heads the Dallas domestic violence task force, and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings have made domestic violence prevention a priority in Dallas.  

Elected District Attorneys from across the Metroplex who will attend include: 

  • Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney Kenda Culpepper 
  • Collin County Criminal District Attorney Greg Willis
  • Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon
  • Heath Harris & Tammy Kemp- Dallas DA’s office 

There are also District Attorneys or their top assistants attending from all over the state including: El Paso, Lubbock, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Houston, Galveston, Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Grayson County, Bell County, Comal County, Ector County, Potter County and every corner of the state. 

“Prosecutors across the state are in a unique position to shift the paradigm on the prosecution of family violence,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO.  “A shift in core philosophical underpinnings grounded in a prosecutorial response will result in a more genuine victim-centered, trauma-informed approach to strengthen a survivor’s resolve for a life free from violence.” 

In addition, a core group of prosecutors from across Texas have been chosen to help lead the effort across the state.  They include prosecutors from El Paso, Comal County, Vernon, Floresville, Brazos County, Travis County, Bell County, Harris County and Nueces County. 

The list of prosecutors who have agreed to participate in the Texas Leadership Core include: 

  • Brazos County District Attorney Jarvis Parsons
  • Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp
  • 34th Judicial District Attorney Jaime Esparza- El Paso
  • 81st District Attorney Rene M. Pena- Floresville
  • Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka
  • District Attorney at 46th Judicial District Staley Heatly- Vernon
  • Anne Jackson- Bell County
  • Patricia Baca- El Paso  
  • Jane Waters- Harris County
  • Mack Martinez- Travis County 

Summit’s are being held across Texas to keep victims safe and holding family violence offenders accountable. 

Austin Police Chief Remembers SXSW Crash Victims & APD Counselors During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

A Round Rock Mother Remembers her Daughter who was Brutally Murdered by a 12-Year-old Neighbor as Victims of Crime Bring Attention to the Importance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week on This 30th Anniversary

Austin, Texas- Thursday April 10, 2014– Austin will commemorate National Crime Victims’ Right Week by remembering all the South By Southwest Victims who were killed or injured in the recent tragedy and remembering the tragic murder of a 13-year old Round Rock girl who was brutally murdered by her 12-year old neighbor.    

“Our hearts and prayers go out all victims of crime; the little girl whose life was taken to soon and the victims of the South By Southwest Tragedy.  During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, I want to commend our team of crisis counselors on the frontlines, helping victims with information and informing them of their rights as a crime victim,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.  “The SXSW tragedy is one example of how there are many people behind the scenes that you may never see, but are vital to helping victims of crime navigate through the complicated criminal justice system.”

Judy Brumbelow’s daughter, Kelly Brumbelow, was the center of her universe.  She was a gifted athlete, cheerleader and ranked 2nd in her class.  But, her 13- year old daughter’s life was taken too soon, when a 12- year old neighbor brutally stabbed the teenager 97 times in the head and face and hid her body in his backyard under a pile of firewood.

Judy Brumbelow says she was treated with compassion from the start by the police and crime victim’s advocates.  She encourages others who are going through the process to speak out and don’t be afraid to ask questions if something doesn’t feel right.  She helped pass new legislation and believes victims’ rights give victims a voice. 

Only 30 years ago, crime victims had virtually no rights and no assistance.  The criminal justice system often seemed indifferent to their needs.  Victims were commonly excluded from courtrooms and denied the chance to speak at sentencing. They had no access to victim compensation or services to help rebuild their lives. There were few avenues to deal with their emotional and physical wounds. Victims were on their own to recover their health, security, and dignity.

Today, Texas and the nation have made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections, and services for victims.  Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws and all have victim compensation programs that pay many of victims out- of-pocket expenses from the crime, such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

“Our commitment to reaching every victim of crime is stronger than ever,” said Dr. Jennie Barr, Committee Chair of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.  “For 30 years, crime victim advocates help victims on a daily basis to help with hope, healing, and justice. Our message to all victims of crime is this: You are not alone.”

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week will be held April 6–12, 2014 in communities throughout the nation.  A news conference will be held at the Austin Police Department Headquarters on Thursday April 10th at 2 p.m. and a ceremony will also be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Central Christian Church of Austin, Texas.

THESE GROUPS ARE PARTICIPAING IN CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK  

  • Advancing Victim Rights Law in Texas Workgroup
  • Austin Bella Corda
  • Austin Police Department
  • Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas
  • Crime Victims’ Institute, Sam Houston State University
  • CrimeStoppers
  • For the Love of Christi
  • Institute for Restorative Justice, UT – Austin
  • Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, UT – Austin
  • Jennifer’s Hope
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • People Against Violent Crime
  • Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
  • Texas Advocacy Project 
  • Texas Council on Family Violence
  • Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Texas Department of Public Safety, Victim Services
  • Texas Legal Services Center
  • Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Texas Office of the Governor
  • Travis County District Attorney’s Office
  • Travis County Sheriff’s Office
  • Texas District and County Attorneys Association
  • Texas Victim Services Association 

Media Contact:

Anna Sabana anna.sabana@austintexas.gov 512-974-5335 Austin Police Department

Susan Risdon susan@redmediagroup.com  214-226-6741 Texas Council on Family Violence

 

TCFV Welcomes the Director of Corporate Communications for Mary Kay, Crayton Webb to the Board of Directors

Austin, Texas – March 24, 2014 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is pleased to welcome Crayton Webb to the Board of Directors for TCFV. Webb is Director of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, Texas. He leads the company’s global media and public relations team and is also responsible for Mary Kay’s global CSR and philanthropic efforts. Crayton and his team provide support and guidance to Mary Kay’s 35+ international markets and the U.S.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence takes great care and diligence in identifying key leaders in Texas to strengthen our collective response and prevention of domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “Crayton Webb brings a wealth of global business experience to the Board of Directors for the Texas Council on Family Violence and he also understands the needs of victims of domestic violence.”

Webb has received numerous awards and accolades over the past few years. He was selected as an honoree in the Dallas Business Journal’s 2011 class of 40 under Forty. In 2007, Webb was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and subsequently named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce in September 2008. From 2007 to 2009, Webb was a guest political columnist for D CEO Magazine, a publication of D Magazine.

From 2002 until 2005, Webb was chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. During that time he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Mayor’s Office, working with members of the news media and served as the Mayor’s spokesperson, media advisor and top aide. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Crayton was director of communications for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas where he served as spokesman and directed the organization’s advertising, media and public relations strategies. 



Webb’s professional background is in journalism. Crayton was a broadcast journalist for nearly ten years covering politics for television stations in Bend, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Austin, Texas and was an investigative reporter and covered City Hall for the CBS affiliate in Dallas from 1998 to 2001.

New Domestic Violence Survey Shows Critical Shortage in Funding for Domestic Violence Victims in Texas and the U.S.

Nearly 6,000 Victims Served in One Day – Hundreds of Victims Needs Unmet

 Austin, Texas – March 6, 2014 – A snapshot of the “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services in Texas,” captured in a new survey released today by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) shows many domestic violence programs across Texas and across the nation have a critical shortage of funds and staff to assist victims in need of services. 

The 24-Hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services shows that nearly 100 programs across the state are serving thousands of victims every day in Texas. Eighty-eight percent of the programs participated in the survey. 

On September 17, 2013, the day of the survey, nearly 6,000 victims of domestic violence were served in one day.  The number reflects nearly 1,000 more victims served than the previous year.  Nationally, nearly 66,000 victims of domestic violence were helped in a single day. 

Texans in need found refuge in emergency shelters, transitional housing and received assistance and services, including individual counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support. 

The survey also revealed compelling details: Across Texas 69 (3%) staff positions were eliminated in the past year and most often these positions were direct services, such as shelter or legal advocates, so there were fewer advocates to answer calls for help.  A Texas advocate reported that a victim came to their shelter indicating she had had already moved once for her safety.  Unfortunately, her abuser was still able to find her and she walked through the night on a state highway to a church in her community.  The pastor, knowing the shelter could provide services, called and the shelter picked her up to provide refuge.  She remains in the shelter, receiving support services and advocacy while she is working on changing her identity. 

“This snapshot is extremely poignant; we need to acknowledge that this is the stark reality of just one day in providing domestic services in Texas,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO and a member of the board for the National Network to End Domestic Violence.   “When a victim of domestic violence has the courage to reach out and ask a stranger for help, it is often a matter of life and death.  Resources must be readily available because statistics show, in many cases, if a shelter is not available; the victim is forced to return to the abuser.  It is also a time to recognize the selfless acts of the many who work in programs across the state.  The survey demonstrates that Texans are doing a great job serving thousands of victims of domestic violence in Texas everyday, but, it also clearly shows we must continue to work to secure additional funds for victims of domestic violence in Texas.” 

Every hour — hotlines, which are a lifeline to victims in danger, provided support, information and safety planning totaling nearly 2,000 callers in a 24-hour period and 79 hotline calls every hour in Texas. 

But, the one-day survey also shows that over 1,300 requests for domestic violence services were unmet because local programs were unable to provide services because there was not enough funding or staff to handle the requests for services.  Nearly 40 percent of those requests were for housing.


“Every day in this country, victims of domestic violence are bravely reaching out for help, and it’s essential that they have somewhere safe to go,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the NNEDV.  “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety.  But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”

### 

The National Census of Domestic Violence Services (Census) is an annual noninvasive, unduplicated count of adults and children who seek services from U.S. domestic violence shelter programs during a single 24-hour survey period. Conducted annually by NNEDV since 2006, this Census takes into account the dangerous nature of domestic violence by using a survey designed to protect the confidentiality and safety of victims.