How can signing a simple postcard help build a safer Texas?
Last legislative session, supporters of the Purple Postcard like you galvanized Texas lawmakers to protect and increase family violence program funding. In turn, programs across the state have been hard at work to turn that funding into safer communities.
Childcare helps move survivors and their children forward
In Dallas, new funding enabled the Family Place to deepen their services for child survivors of family violence. Their Child Development Center and School-Age Program provides childcare that specializes in the needs of child survivors: separation anxiety, grief, and fear. The childcare services help families heal and grow as well as allowing time for parents to look for a job or find housing.
“Survivors have so much they have to do and so much weighing on them,” said Angela Walker, Vice President of Residential Services, “to know they can go out and their children are in the care of qualified professionals can have such a great impact on the future of that family.”
Prevention work supports students and professionals
In Sherman, Grayson Crisis Center is working to prevent violence before it happens. The school-based prevention program works with both students and school professionals to build confidence and skills. “Having a whole community to support the individual receiving the education is a critical component,” said Shelli Shields, Primary Prevention Coordinator. “When a student hears a consistent message from the program, from peers, from parents, from teachers, from other professionals, it will have a greater impact.”
Funding from the last legislative session has allowed the program to continue for its third and fourth year and expand within the community.
Legal services offer guidance through complex issues
Texas Advocacy Project is expanding their work to provide survivors with high-quality legal services thanks to new state funding. TAP helps survivors through the complex legal system, from prosecution of a perpetrator, to protective orders, to divorce and custody issues. “Many of these survivors have been told [by their abuser] that they’ll never get custody or a divorce, that no one will believe them,” said Heather Bellino, Executive Director of TAP, and getting access to legal services “can be that tipping point for someone.”
With new state funding, TAP hired an additional staff attorney, which means they can provide support for an additional 700 cases as well as hundreds of hours of telephone service through the program’s legal hotline.
In a single year, Texas family violence programs serve more than 70,000 women, children and men because home is not safe.