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Our Mission

Creating a Safer Texas

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.

Our Chief Executive Officer

Mobilizing Life-Saving Services

Domestic violence tears at the very fabric of our society. With a statewide reach and direct local impact, TCFV mobilizes a network of over 100 agencies to provide life-saving services and more importantly to confront the conditions that allow violence to occur. Our core beliefs are centered on survivors as experts, prevention is foundational, and our collective work is transformative.

If you can imagine a safer Texas, you can help create it.

– Gloria Aguilera Terry
Our History

Nationally Recognized
Since 1978

Formation

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 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 Impact

A Leader in
Our Efforts

Support to Service Providers

The TCFV Support to Service Providers Team offers signature conferences, customizes trainings and technical assistance to family violence service providers, Battering Intervention and Prevention Programs, and community partners. We strive to support 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.

Our Leadership

Board of Directors

Frances Wilson
Chair
Region 8 Director
President | CEO

The Purple Door

Corpus Christi, TX

Jim Womack
Vice Chair
Region 1 Area Director
Chief Executive Officer

Family Support Services

Amarillo, TX

Lyndia Allen
Treasurer
Region 3 Area Director
Executive Director

Gateway Family Services, Inc.

Synder, TX

Staley Heatly
Secretary
At-Large Area Director
District Attorney

46th Judicial District

Vernon, TX

Lorie Dunnam
Region 2 Area Director
Executive Director

Crisis Center of West Texas

Odessa, TX

Toni Johnson-Simpson
Region 4 Area Director
Executive Director

Denton County Friends of the Family

Denton, TX

Marta Pelaez
Region 5 Area Director
President | CEO

Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

San Antonio, TX

Ryan Shriver
Region 6 Area Director
Executive Director

SAFE-T Crisis Center

Mt. Pleasant, TX

Deborah Tomov
Region 7 Area director
Executive Director

Family Services of Southeast Texas

Beaumont, TX

Darlene Lanham
Region 9 Area Director
Executive Director

Asian Family Support Services of Austin

Austin, TX

Twila D. Carter
At-Large Director
Executive Director

Astros Foundation

Houston, TX

Shirley Cox
At-Large Director
Senior Vice President

Amegy Bank

Arlington, TX

Maricarmen Garza
At-Large Director
Chief of Programs

The Tahirih Justice Center

Houston, TX

Elizabeth Lippincott
At-Large Director
Executive Director

Texas Clean Energy Coalition

Austin, TX

Katie Pothier
At-Large Director
General Counsel | Executive VP

Texas Rangers Baseball Club

Arlington, TX

Zena Stephens
At-Large Director
Sheriff

Jefferson County

Beaumont, TX

Our Members

Programs & Partners

Family Violence Program

Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA)

Houston

The Ark Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Shelter

Brownwood

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
Supporting Family Violence Program

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
Community Partner

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