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.