The Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a statewide reach and direct local impact, TCFV shapes public policy, equips service providers with essential tools and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Since 1978, we have been a nationally recognized leader in our efforts to end family violence.

A member-focused organization, TCFV is committed to mobilizing people and megaphoning voices to make an impact for Texas’ thousands of victims and their families. We are one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation, strengthened by a membership of more than 1,000 family violence service providers, businesses and business professionals, communities of faith, concerned citizens and family violence survivors.

We host an array of signature conferences, summits, training events, webinars and prevention efforts throughout the year. From training law enforcement to working with domestic violence abusers, our mission is to encourage safe, healthy relationships and create a future that is free from domestic violence.

Our History


The Texas Council on Family Violence was born in April 1978 when Deborah Tucker, executive director of the Austin Center for Battered Women, hosted the first TCFV meeting.

At the meeting, several founding members spoke about the challenges they had encountered in working at rape crisis centers. They’d heard time and time again victims asking, “Can you help me? I wasn’t raped by a stranger. I was beaten and raped by my husband.” Representatives from nine Texas communities—Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Waco—resolved to form an organization that would provide a unified statewide presence. They began to coordinate efforts with community service providers and political office holders. 

Toby Myers with the Houston Area Women’s Center was selected as the first Board Chair. As a formerly battered woman who was providing help to others, she perfectly embodied the mission of TCFV.


Beginning of Policy Advocacy

From the beginning, TCFV planned to approach the Texas legislature to ask for law changes and gain financial support for prevention and intervention.

In 1979, TCFV worked alongside Senator Chet Brooks of Houston/Galveston to establish a pilot funding program through the Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS) that appropriated $200,000 to the initial nine agencies.

In 1981, Senator Brooks and El Paso Representative Mary Polk followed TCFV’s recommendations and sponsored a bill that established the Family Violence Program in the TDHS. The Texas Legislature increased funding to $1 million, which made it possible to support more than 30 programs. Since then, every subsequent legislative session has continued to increase funding and the number of programs receiving state support!

In 1981, TCFV also pushed for criminal sanctions, making violating a protective order worthy of a Class A misdemeanor.

Beginning of Technical Assistance and Training

In January of 1982, a three-year challenge grant from the Levi Strauss Foundation made a staffed office for TCFV a reality. It was matched with donations from the Haas Foundation, The Trull Foundation and dues from programs and members who believed in the organization’s mission. Eve McArthur and Debby Tucker, both from the Austin Center, became the first official staff.

TCFV toured every shelter and family violence program in the state over the course of its first year and was contracted by the TDHS to provide significant technical assistance and support for local programs. TCFV also wrote manuals such as A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: Administering a Family Violence Shelter.

The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, the Beginning of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the passage of the Violence Against Women Act

When the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) passed in 1984, TCFV set aside a percentage of what Congress appropriated to fund state-level work and coordination. Before the creation of the set-aside funding for state coalitions in FVPSA, only half of the states had established an office to perform state-level work and coordination. By the time TCFV came together to form the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), almost every state had an office for their coalition.

In 1989, TCFV advocated for the establishment of the Battering Intervention and Prevention Project (BIPP) and secured an initial allocation of $400,000 to fund 14 programs working with men committing violence against family and household members. This was one of the first — if not the first — state-funded civilian programs for intervention with offenders. National organizations and stakeholders such as Men Stopping Violence, Emerge and Dr. Edward Gondolf advised TCFV in the development of the program standards.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed in 1994, after the NNEDV worked closely with Joe Biden, Charles Schumer, and Representatives Patricia Schroeder and Jack Brooks to write the legislation.

Founding of the National Domestic Violence Hotline

The original national hotline, operated by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, closed when funding ran out. TCFV stepped up to reestablish it, working with Senator Edward Kennedy to draft legislation that promised federal funding for the hotline. In February 1996, TCFV opened the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Our Work

TCFV, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization with an integrated funding base of federal, state, private and public support.

Support to Service Providers: TCFV educates and trains criminal justice personnel, victim advocates, service providers, health care providers, faith communities and businesses throughout Texas and the nation. We host hundreds of local, statewide and online trainings each year. We also answer thousands of technical assistance calls from family violence, battering intervention and prevention programs every year. We’re committed to supporting every program in Texas with the expertise and materials needed to keep survivors safe and hold batterers accountable.

Public Policy: The TCFV Public Policy Team is a unified voice before the Texas Legislature on behalf of domestic violence victims. We support drafting and passage of laws that assist victims and survivors.

Prevention: The TCFV Prevention Team seeks to accomplish long-term social change. We support prevention efforts through technical assistance, consultations, trainings and online resources, and provide a larger framework for communities across the state to engage in violence prevention.

Board of Directors

At- Large Directors

Danielle Agee | Irving

Jeff Allar | Austin

Shirley Cox | Arlington

Twila D. Carter | Houston

Staley Heatly | Vernon

Laura Squiers | Lufkin

Heather Kartye | Ex-Officio Member


Jamie Esparza | Chair At-Large Director

Frances Wilson | Vice Chair | Region 8

Julia Spann |Treasurer | Region 9

Jim Womack | Secretary | Region 1

Regional Directors

Jim Womack | Region 1

Karen Pieper | Region 2

Lyndia Allen | Region 3

Jim Malatich | Region 4

Marta Pelaez | Region 5

Roger Pharr | Region 6

Sherri Kendall | Region 7


Our Members

Catagory I | Family Violence Programs

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA)  |  Houston

The Ark Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter | Brownwood

Bastrop County Family Crisis Center | Bastrop

Bay Area Turning Point | Houston

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters | Pasadena

Brighter Tomorrows | Grand Prairie

Casa de Misericordia | Laredo

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) | El Paso

Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties | Jacksonville

Crisis Center of Comal County | New Braunfels

Crisis Center of Matagorda and Wharton Counties, The | Bay City

Crisis Center of the Plains | Plainview

Crisis Center of West Texas | Odessa

Daya | Houston

Denton County Friends of the Family, Inc. | Denton

Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc. | Texarkana

East Texas Crisis Center | Tyler

Eastland County Crisis Center, Inc. | Eastland

Families in Crisis, Inc.  | Killeen

Family Abuse Center, Inc. | Waco

Family Crisis Center of East Texas | Lufkin

Family Crisis Center of the Rio Grande Valley | Harlingen

The Family Place | Dallas

Family Services of Southeast Texas | Beaumont

Family Support Services | Amarillo

Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. |San Antonio

FamilyTime Crisis and Counseling Center | Humble

Fannin County Family Crisis Center | Bonham

First Step, Inc. | Wichita Falls

Focusing Families | Hempstead

Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Inc. | Richmond

Freedom House | Weatherford

Friendship of Women, Inc. | Brownsville

Gateway Family Services, Inc. | Snyder

Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support | Dallas

Grayson County Crisis Center | Sherman

Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter | Seguin

Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center | San Marcos

Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center | Marble Falls

Hill Country Crisis Council, Inc. | Kerrville

Hope Alliance | Round Rock

Hope, Inc. | Mineral Wells

Hope’s Door New Beginning Center | Plano

Houston Area Women’s Center | Houston

Hutchinson County Crisis Center, Inc. | Borger

Johnson County Family Crisis Center | Cleburne

Mission Granbury, Inc. | Granbury

Mujeres Unidas/Women Together Foundation, Inc. | McAllen

NewBridge Family Shelter | San Angelo

Noah Project, Inc. | Abilene

Phoebe’s Home | Bryan

The Purple Door | Corpus Christi

Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County | Galveston

SAFE Alliance, The | Austin

Safe Place of the Permian Basin | Midland

Safe Place, Inc. | Dumas

SafeHaven of Tarrant County | Fort Worth/Arlington

Shelter Agencies for Families in East Texas (SAFE-T) | Mt. Pleasant

Southwest Family Life Centers, Inc. | Hondo

Wintergarden Women’s Shelter, Inc. | Carrizo Springs

Wise Hope Shelter & Crisis Center | Decatur

Women In Need, Inc. | Greenville

Women’s Center of Brazoria County | Angleton

Women’s Center of East Texas | Longview

Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock, Inc. | Lubbock

Category II | Supporting Family Violence Programs

Abigail’s Arms – Cooke County Family Crisis Center | Gainesville

Asian Family Support Services of Austin | Austin

Cross Timbers Family Services | Stephenville

Deaf Smith County Crisis Center | Hereford

Dove Project, Inc. | San Saba

Families to Freedom | Addison

Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend, Inc. | Alpine

The Family Peace Project | Athens

The Haven Family Shelter of McCulloch County, Inc. | Brady 

Healing Hearts Center | Waxahachie

Kendall County Women’s Shelter | Boerne

Mid-Coast Family Services | Victoria

The Montrose Center | Houston

Mosaic Family Services | Dallas

One Safe Place | Fort Worth

Safer Path Family Violence Shelter | Pleasanton

The Salvation Army Domestic Violence Program | Dallas

Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, Inc. | Plano

Category III | Community Partners

All About Recovery | Houston

Alternative at Emergence Health Network | El Paso

Asians Against Domestic Abuse | Sugarland

BCFS Health & Human Services | Del Rio

Behavioral Adjustment Counseling Center (BACC) | Houston

Bexar County Family Justice Center | San Antonio

Burleson County Attorney | Caldwell

The Center for Cognitive Education, LLC | Georgetown

Comal County Criminal District Attorney | New Braunfels


Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) | Dallas

Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) | Coppell

First Choice Social Services | Dallas

First Judicial District of Texas | Jasper

Freedom From Fear Project | Pasadena

The Harbor Children’s Alliance & Victim Center | Port Lavaca

Jane’s Due Process, Inc. | Austin

Katy Christian Ministries | Katy

Nueces County Attorney’s Office | Corpus Christi


Parkland Hospital Victim Intervention Program/Rape Crisis | Dallas

Path of Righteousness Ministries | Dallas

Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone | McAllen

Tahirih Justice Center | Houston

Tarrant County Pct. 1 | Fort Worth

Texas Advocacy Project, Inc. | Austin

Travis County Counseling & Education Services | Austin

Val Verde County Attorney’s Office | Val Verde

Your New Beginning | Houston


Texas Council on Family Violence
PO Box 163865
Austin, TX 78716

P 512.794.1133
F 512.685.6397

© 2020 Texas Council on Family Violence