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Texas Council on Family Violence strives to strengthen national and statewide communications efforts, public education, and awareness of domestic violence issues. We work collaboratively with a variety of media outlets in the development and distribution of important news releases, feature stories, story ideas and opinion/editorial (op/ed) pieces on domestic violence issues which are appropriate to statewide/national audiences.

TCFV Media Contact

Angela Hale
angela@redmediagroup.com
(512) 289-2995

Manager, Policy Legal Sub-team

I. Purpose & Summary of Position

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 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.

The Policy Manager reports directly to the Policy Director and is a member of the Policy Team. The Policy Team informs, supports and implements survivor-centered policy legislative, and regulatory initiatives; creates accessible opportunities and resources for improved stability and sustained well-being for survivors of domestic violence and their families; collaborates with allied partners and agencies; and provides liaison between family violence service providers and state agencies.

This position manages the TCFV Policy Legal Sub-team, including supervising, supporting, and overseeing work of on-site and remote employees on various projects and grants. The Legal Policy Manager provides training, technical assistance and systems advocacy to survivors, advocates, civil and criminal legal systems professionals, and other allies to support development and implementation of laws and policies that enhance safety and expand legal options and other important opportunities for survivors of family violence.

II. Essential Responsibilities/Duties

  •  Manage and implement statewide projects enhancing legal responses for survivors of family violence. Manager will provide oversight of a project portfolio including domestic violence high risk teams, fatality reviews, the legal advocate network, National Network to End Domestic Violence Census coordination, and other assigned projects related to civil and criminal justice responses.
  • Develop and provide training on issues related to family violence laws and best practice policies for advocates and other family violence program staff, judges, law enforcement, probation and parole personnel, civil and criminal lawyers, prosecutors, and other allied professionals and community members across the state, focusing on enhancing professional and systemic approaches to family violence which prioritize victim safety and maximize offender accountability.
  • Respond to requests for information and technical assistance on issues related to criminal and civil legal systems; and/or other public policy issues, via phone calls, emails and listserv posts; and follow-up as needed.
  • Develop technical assistance resource materials for family violence programs and allied professionals, including legal research and development of legal memoranda and policy recommendations; and document institutional responses to survivors seeking assistance. Consult and collaborate with legal experts and other allied professionals as needed.
  • Assist in creation, development and update of written materials and protocols or manuals as assigned.
  • Provide training to other technical assistance staff in own areas of expertise, to increase the capacity of the agency for providing technical assistance when requested.
  • Research, track, and provide recommendations about bills during legislative session, including TCFV’s priorities and other proposals that would impact family violence survivors and the allies who serve them.
  • Develop resources and offer expertise and training to guide implementation of new family violence laws following legislative session.
  •  Assist the Director in development of grant proposals, reports, and long-range planning for the Team’s grant activities.
  • Supervise Policy Coordinators as assigned, assist the Director in overall supervision of the Team and in achievement of goals.
  • Other projects and responsibilities may be added and/or changed at the discretion of the Director.

III. Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in political science, public policy, or criminal justice or other related field, plus five years of progressively responsible experience in a leadership role, including budgeting and supervising staff, and a minimum of three years legal and/or systems advocacy experience on behalf of survivors or other special interests.
  • Juris Doctorate or Masters in a related field preferred. Experience providing direct services to individuals affected by domestic violence preferred.
  • Or any combination of related education and experience with a documented record of the ability to perform duties and responsibilities of the position. (Equivalency formula: two years of experience is equal to one year of education)
  •  Must be proactive, communicative, responsive, creative, flexible, and results-oriented to accomplish agency and program goals; and possess mission of service attitude with a strong commitment to and knowledge of constituent service and relations.
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills to participate in, facilitate or lead teams to engage and/or partner with a wide variety of people and organizations, from state agency personnel to grassroots community organizers; develop and maintain strategic professional working relationships with community members, domestic violence program staff, agency staff and board, vendors, consultants, allied professionals, other stakeholders and general public.
  • Self-driven, self-directed to work independently and as part of a team and/or with minimal supervision, disciplined time management skills to coordinate and prioritize own and others’ activities; evaluate progress, provide feedback; and reallocate resources as needed.
  • Ability to respond with sensitivity and awareness to those with diverse cultural, ethnic, social backgrounds, values, attitudes, and languages.
  • Thorough knowledge of domestic violence issues and the circumstances faced by those experiencing it. Commitment to a non-violent perspective and willingness to work in such an environment.
  • Demonstrated program development, project management and supervisory skills.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal and professional skills in developing relationships with diverse audiences, including governmental agencies, funders, private sector interest groups, and/or other public interest advocacy groups.
  • Critical analytical skills to understand the political, social, financial and external issues affecting service providers; to foresee and interpret trends and dynamics changing needs of TCFV constituents; and to develop process and resources to respond effectively and in a timely manner.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills suitable for training and speaking before groups.
  • Self-driven to manage time and complete multiple activities within deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office applications and can adeptly navigate new software and technology.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team, providing support and constructive feedback in interpersonal interaction with staff, board, and members.
  • Commitment to performing at the highest standards of excellence, including responsiveness to colleagues and to people outside the agency seeking assistance.

IV. Working Conditions and Environment/Physical Demands

Ability to read, write and converse in English, to travel as needed and tolerate prolonged sitting or standing. Must possess the emotional and physical stamina to deal with a variety of stressful situations, such as: responding to complaints; handling difficult internal and external interactions; effectively working long and, at times, odd hours; maintaining a sense of humor throughout.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and minimum level of work being performed. They are not intended to be construed as exhaustive of all duties, responsibilities and skills required for the position. The employee will be required to perform any other job-related duties as required by the job objectives, the CEO and mission and philosophy of TCFV.

Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

For Immediate Release

Gloria A. Terry, TCFV, 512-627-5295 gterry@tcfv.org
Mikisha Hooper, TCFV, 580-380-6615 mhooper@tcfv.org

Honoring Texas Victims: TCFV Responds to the Domestic Violence Murders in Sutherland Springs, Texas

Domestic Violence Tears at the Very Fabric of Texas with 146 Women Killed by Their Male Intimate Partners in 2016 and 24 Additional Family Members, Friends and Bystanders Also Harmed

Make no mistake: domestic violence causes far reaching impact and devastation on Texas families and communities.  Violence at home too often erupts into neighborhoods, workplaces and indeed places of worship.  These heartbreaking domestic violence related murders over the weekend tear at the very fabric of Texas. 

Points of fact: In an analysis of mass shootings nationally between 2009 and 2015 perpetrators killed intimate part­ners or other family members in 57% of the cases. In 15% of the cases, the perpetrator had a prior domestic violence charge. Moreover, in Texas in the last year, 146 women lost their lives at the hands of a male intimate partner, an additional 24 children and adults were killed in those 146 incidents. Also in 2016, Texas experienced eight incidents of familicide – a significant increase from the prior year total of zero, where perpetrators killed their children and partner before killing themselves. Additionally, firearms were used in 68% of the 146 incidents, 15% were stabbed, 10% were strangled and the remaining 7% involved other means of death.

We continue to underestimate the reach and devastation of domestic violence.  Seeing it only as a microcosm, as something that happens privately between two people. Yet domestic violence thrives in the silence and obliviousness we give it.

Only when we confront the very conditions which allow domestic violence to exist will our homes, public spaces and places of worship be truly safe.

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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://www.tcfv.org/

Honoring Texas Victims: Bexar County is One of the Top Five Counties with the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State with 11 Murders

Aaron Setliff, TCFV, 512-590-9808 asetliff@tcfv.org

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016 – Bexar County is One of the Top Five Counties with the Highest Number of Domestic Violence Homicides in the State with 11 Murders

 New Report Released During Domestic Violence Awareness Month Shows Increase in the Number of Women Killed in San Antonio   

San Antonio, Texas – October 20, 2016 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows 146 women were killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  Fatalities occurred in 55 Texas counties.  24 family members and friends were also killed (this includes 13 children); 4 family members and friends were injured during the incidents.  This represents the largest number of related victims since 2011.

Every year more than 100 women are killed in domestic violence homicides in Texas.   This year’s numbers are a reduction from the deaths in 2015 when the Texas Council reported the highest number of deaths in Texas since the Council began releasing its’ report.

But, this year’s report shows Bexar County increased the number of homicides from last year from 9 to 11. In 2014, there were 5 homicides in Bexar County.   Bexar joins Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties in North Texas as four of the top five counties with the highest number of homicides in the state.  Harris County in Houston continues to have the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the state of Texas.

Intimate partner homicides end the lives of women who have roles as loving mothers, caring family members, and engaged community members. The women whose deaths are detailed here represent lives that left indelible marks on those around them. Many of them are remembered for the strong bonds they formed in their families and with their friends and for offering those around them kindness, compassion, encouragement and smiles that brightened rooms. Family members often described these women as the glue that held people together’ and ‘willing to do anything for anyone’. They took pride in their roles as mothers and in the work that they did as students and in their careers. TCFV joins their families, friends and communities in mourning their loss.

146 women were killed in Texas in 2016.

158 women were killed in Texas in 2015, the deadliest year for women in Texas.   132 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2014.  119 women were killed in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  

Other Key Stats from the report:

  • Counties with the most fatalities are: Harris (28), Dallas (13), Tarrant (13), Bexar (11), Collin (6)
  • Tarrant, Bexar, Collin each experienced increases from 2015; Harris is down from 34, and Dallas remains the same as last year.
  • 40% of women killed in 2016 had ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm to murder their female partner.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Women between the ages of 20-39 represent over half of the total number of victims
  • Youngest Victim: 15
  • Oldest Victim: 92

Marta Palez, Chief Executive Officer of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc.

The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, Amy Zuniga, a domestic violence survivor, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar San Antonio Police Department Asst. Chief James Flavin, Willie Ng – Chief Investigator w/ the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s Office joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry to unveil the annual report titled: Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

“146 innocent lives were lost and families were forever changed in senseless domestic violence murders in Texas.  11 lives were lost in Bexar County.  We are immensely saddened by the tragic loss of life and we remember the families of those who lost loved ones and we especially want to remember the 146 families who lost a loved one this year.   When a tragic loss like this happens, it reminds all of us, how dangerous domestic violence can be to a family and a community and how much more work there is to be accomplished to ensure victims find help and safety before it’s too late,” 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. “

The release of the 2016 Honoring Victims Report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is in October.  Domestic violence all too often ends with tragic results.  

“During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we focus on three important elements of ending violence – supporting survivors, holding abusers accountable and perhaps, most important, preventing the violence before it begins by challenging the underlying attitudes and beliefs that feed violent behavior.  We are proud to partner with other agencies and organizations locally and across the state that share our commitment to ending violence on all three fronts. Together we strive to make violence a part of our past and we redouble our efforts to educate the public and try to prevent domestic violence fatalities in the future,” said Chief Executive Officer Marta Palez of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc., The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.

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.

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://www.tcfv.org/

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016

For Immediate Release

Honoring Texas Victims: 146 Women Killed in Texas in 2016 –– Collin, Dallas and Tarrant County have the Highest Number of Homicides in the State of Texas

Plano, Texas – October 13, 2017 – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today released a new report that shows 146 women were killed in domestic violence murders in Texas by their husband, ex-husband, intimate partner, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend.  Fatalities occurred in 55 Texas counties.  24 family members and friends were also killed (this includes 13 children); 4 family members and friends were injured during the incidents.

This represents the largest number of related victims since 2011.

Every year more than 100 women are killed in domestic violence homicides in Texas.   This year’s numbers are a reduction from the deaths in 2015 when the Texas Council reported the highest number of deaths in Texas since the Council began releasing its’ report.

But, this year’s report shows Collin County doubled the number of homicides from last year from 3 to 6 and Collin, Dallas and Tarrant Counties in North Texas are three of the top five counties with the highest number of homicides in the state.  Bexar County in San Antonio is also in the top five.  Harris County in Houston continues to have the highest number of domestic violence homicides in the state of Texas.

Intimate partner homicides end the lives of women who have roles as loving mothers, caring family members, and engaged community members. The women whose deaths are detailed here represent lives that left indelible marks on those around them. Many of them are remembered for the strong bonds they formed in their families and with their friends and for offering those around them kindness, compassion, encouragement

and smiles that brightened rooms. Family members often described these women as the glue that held people together’ and ‘willing to do anything for anyone’. They took pride in their roles as mothers and in the work that they did as students and in their careers. TCFV joins their families, friends and communities in mourning their loss.

146 women were killed in Texas in 2016.

158 women were killed in Texas in 2015, the deadliest year for women in Texas.   

132 women were killed in domestic violence murders in 2014.  119 women were killed in 2013.  114 women were killed in 2012.  102 women were killed in 2011.  

Other Key Stats from the report:

  • Counties with the most fatalities are: Harris (28), Dallas (13), Tarrant (13), Bexar (11), Collin (6)
  • Tarrant, Bexar, Collin each experienced increases from 2015; Harris is down from 34, and Dallas remains the same as last year.
  • 40% of women killed in 2016 had ended the relationship or were in the process of leaving when they were murdered.
  • 68% of perpetrators used a firearm to murder their female partner.
  • 77% of perpetrators killed their partners in a home.
  • Women between the ages of 20-39 represent over half of the total number of victims
  • Youngest Victim: 15
  • Oldest Victim: 92

In 2016, Hope’s Door helped victims of domestic violence and their children by:

Last year we answered 5011 calls to our hotline, provided up to 90 days of emergency shelter for 758 individuals, placed 26 families in community supported housing, and continued outreach services, including counseling, parenting skills, and financial education for 1,807 adults and children.

Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center in Plano and TCFV Board member joined Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry to unveil the annual report titled: Honoring Texas Victims: Family Violence Fatalities.”

“146 innocent lives were lost and families were forever changed in senseless domestic violence murders in Texas.  6 lives were lost in Collin County. While, the recent horrific mass killing in Plano is not reflected in this report.  The homicides will be in next year’s report, we are immensely saddened by the tragic loss of life and we remember the families of those who lost loved ones and we especially want to remember the 146 families who lost a loved one this year.   When a tragic loss like this happens, it reminds all of us, how dangerous domestic violence can be to a family and a community and how much more work there is to be accomplished to ensure victims find help and safety before it’s too late,” 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. “

The release of the 2016 Honoring Victims Report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is in October.  Domestic violence all too often ends with tragic results.  

“During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we focus on three important elements of ending violence – supporting survivors, holding abusers accountable and perhaps, most important, preventing the violence before it begins by challenging the underlying attitudes and beliefs that feed violent behavior.  We are proud to partner with other agencies and organizations locally and across the state that share our commitment to ending violence on all three fronts. Together we strive to make violence a part of our past and we redouble our efforts given the recent mass murder to learn lessons, educate the public and try to prevent domestic violence fatalities in the future,” said Jim Malatich, Chief Executive Officer of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center in Plano and TCFV Board member.

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.

List of Women Killed in Collin County:

Karen Bigham, 49 McKinney

06/20/16

Kelley Bigham, 50, shot and killed his wife Karen in her home office. Bigham then shot and killed Karen’s twin sister, Kathy Boobar, 50. Karen had separated from Bigham six months prior to the murder and filed for divorce. A few days before Bigham killed Karen, he came to her home and threatened her with a gun. The day of the murder, Karen asked her daughter and sister to be at the home with her while Bigham picked up some of his belongings. Bigham threatened their daughter with a gun and told her to leave the house with her son. As she fled, she called the police. Authorities arrested Bigham in a nearby county and charged him with capital murder; he received a sentence of life in prison. Karen is survived by her adult son and two adult daughters.

Kayley Winburn, 20 McKinney

10/30/16

Jordan Sullivan, 21, shot and killed his wife Kayley in their home. Authorities arrested Sullivan and charged him with murder. The couple had married a few months prior to the murder. Sullivan is awaiting trial for murder.

Karen Ann Rolston, 33 Melissa

08/09/16

John Gaynor, 41, shot and killed his girlfriend Karen in their home. Gaynor then shot and killed himself. Officers discovered their bodies when they responded to a welfare check.

Noshin Chambers, 41 Plano

03/17/16

Gardner Chambers, 45, shot his wife Noshin in their home. Chambers then shot and killed himself. Noshin’s children were in the home at the time of the murder; her 17-year-old son called police while the younger children fled to a neighbor’s home to get help. Emergency responders transported Noshin to a hospital where she later died. Noshin had feared for her safety and had filed for divorce prior to her death. The couple had a pending court hearing the week of the murder. Noshin is survived by two sons and one daughter.

Jennifer Spears, 43 Plano

05/29/16

Kenneth Amyx, 45, stabbed and killed his girlfriend Jennifer in her apartment. Amyx posted photos of Jennifer’s body on social media. After calling his father to admit to committing the crime, Amyx attempted to kill himself. Police found Amyx with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities arrested Amyx and charged him with murder. Amyx confessed to killing Jennifer and received a sentence of life in prison.

Jessie Bardwell, 27 Richardson 

05/09/16

Jason Lowe, 27, assaulted and killed his girlfriend Jessie in their home. He then buried her body in Farmersville. After not hearing from Jessie for more than two weeks, Jessie’s family drove to Texas to file a missing person report. Law enforcement conducted two welfare checks and began an investigation into her disappearance. Officers arrested Lowe on a drug possession charge and while searching his property found evidence of Jessie’s murder. Authorities charged him with murder. Officers located Jessie’s body ten days after Lowe’s arrest. Lowe has a history of family violence. A jury convicted Lowe of Jessie’s murder in September 2017 and a judge approved an agreed-upon sentence of 50 years in prison.

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The mission of Hope’s Door New Beginning Center (HDNBC) is to offer intervention and prevention services to individuals and families affected by intimate partner and family violence and to provide education programs that enhance the community’s capacity to respond. HDNBC serves individuals from all over North Texas.  HDNBC’s services include individual counseling (for both adults and children), support group therapy, emergency shelter, rapid rehousing (formally transitional housing), legal advocacy, community education, and battering prevention programs. For more information, visit www.hdnbc.org , www.facebook.com/hopesdoor , www.twitter.com/hopesdoorinc , or www.instagram.com/hopesdoor.

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://www.tcfv.org/

TCFV Names Members to the Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

Austin, Texas – July  11, 2017– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) names two new at- large board members:  Shirley Cox, Senior Vice President for Frost Bank and Danielle Agee, General Counsel – South Central Market, Verizon Wireless.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence takes great care and diligence in identifying key leaders in Texas to strengthen our collective responsive and prevention of domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “We are thrilled to have two experienced leaders from the business sector  join us on the board to bring their experience and passion to help victims of domestic violence and lead our strategic decision in Texas.”

Board Members:

Shirly Cox is the Senior Vice President and North Texas/Houston Sales Manager for the public finance team for the Dallas, Fort Worth, Permian Basin and Houston regions for Frost Bank has been elected as an at-large member to the Texas Council on Family Violence Board of Directors.  Shirly has more than 25 years of banking experience, Shirley and her team work with non-profits and public entities to provide depository, lending and treasury services to our clients.  Her banking career began in 1988 at a national bank prior to joining Overton Bankshares now a part of Frost National Bank in 1993.  She served in a variety of positions on the commercial lending side and immediately prior to her current role served as Market President and Sales Manager for the Arlington/Mansfield area for 11 years.

Shirley holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Finance major from Texas A&M University.  Community service has been an important part of her life. She currently serves as a member of the University of Texas at Arlington, College of Business Administration Advisory Council and is on the facilities committee at the YMCA of Arlington.  Her past involvement consisted of the following: board member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, the Foundation board of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, board member of the YMCA of Arlington, chair of the board of directors of the Prevent Blindness Texas-Fort Worth chapter, chair of the board for The Women’s Shelter, president of the South Arlington Rotary Club and was a Junior Achievement volunteer.  She is a past member of the Arlington South Rotary Club, and also an honorary initiate into Delta Delta Delta Fraternity.  In 2013, Shirley was one of the honorees of the SafeHaven’s Legacy of Women Luncheon.

Danielle Agee is the General Counsel for Verizon- At Large Board Member for the Texas Council on Family Violence

Agree is the General Counsel for the twelve-state South Central Market including Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, southwestern Alabama, northwestern Florida, southern Nevada, western Tennessee, and southern Utah. 

In this role, she provides legal guidance to the Market President, the Vice President-Retail Sales and wireless field operations teams on various matters including wireless siting, dispute resolution, sales and marketing practices, and customer relations.  She also works closely with the Government Affairs and Regulatory teams in advancing public policy strategies for the Market.  She has held several positions in the legal department during her 17-year tenure at Verizon.

Danielle earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.  She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Within Verizon, Danielle serves on the Legal Department’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and is the Executive Sponsor for the local CITE chapter, Verizon’s employee resource group for African-American employees. In the community, Danielle is part of the leadership advisory group for the University of Dallas’ Women in Business initiative, and is an active member of her church.  Danielle lives in Frisco, TX with her husband and two children.

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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://www.tcfv.org/

Texas Council on Family Violence Honors Four Outstanding Texas Leaders and Fathers for Father’s Day

For Immediate Release

 

Austin, Texas – June 16, 2016– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) celebrates fathers who devote their lives to building safer communities for their kids and by doing so, impact future generations to come.  These dads lead by example, inspiring us all to envision a Texas free of violence – and strive tirelessly to accomplish this goal.  They are remarkable leaders in their professional lives, and remarkable fathers at home.

“Father’s Day is a very important day in the lives of children here in Texas and across the world.  It is a day of celebration to recognize the dedication and unconditional love fathers give to raise their children and help them become confident adults,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life.  He’s a pillar of strength and support and he leads by example. We thank these wonderful dads and Texas leaders this Father’s Day.”

Thank you to these dads and happy Father’s Day!

This Father’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Representative Abel Herrero, Robstown, TX
  • Coach Josh Ragsdale, South Garland High School, Garland, TX
  • Judge Tano Tijerina, County Judge of Webb County, Laredo, TX
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner, Houston, TX

 

Representative Abel Herrero has dedicated his career to serving the Robstown-area for more than 17 years, first as city council member, and then as state representative.  As chair of the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence, Rep. Herrero has been an energetic ally in promoting laws that help domestic violence survivors. Last session, he successfully stewarded a law to allow juries to hear more information about an abuser’s past violence – a transformational improvement for victims seeking justice. “As these survivors take brave steps towards breaking the cycle of violence, I am proud to have played even a small part in providing a hopeful path forward,” said Rep. Herrero.

Representative Herrero is a father to five: Annalisa – 17, Andrea – 12, Abel Jr. -10, Alexia – 8, and Aliana – 6. “Cherish every moment with your children because time will not stand still, but most of all, because they are your greatest blessings.”

 

Coach Josh Ragsdale, South Garland High School, Garland, TX- On Coach Ragsdale’s team, respect for women is the standard. Every student on his football team pledges to help stop domestic violence. It’s part of Coach Ragsdale’s Domestic Violence Awareness Project, an effort he has lead for the last three years. The project has been a major success, spurring universities to create programs to teach about dating and sexual violence and encourage their own teams to “take the pledge.” More recently, Coach Ragsdale has joined TCFV’s Coaches’ Leadership Crew to help expand teen dating violence programs to more sports programs.

Coach Ragsdale is a father of three: Natalie – 12, Valerie – 12 and Ryan – 1. His parenting philosophy? “Don’t be afraid to use the words ‘I love you.’ I regularly tell my wife how much I love her in front of my children and hug and kiss on her. I want them to see me treat her like the queen that she deserves to be treated like. In turn, I want my girls to expect to be treated the same way and be respected for the wonderful ladies that they are. I also want my son to ‘want to be like daddy.’  I want him to grow up with a servant’s heart and a man who fully respects women.”

 

For Judge Tano Tijerina, service to his community is a family value. The Webb County native and former professional baseball player comes from a family of civil servants. Perhaps that history contributed to his desire to go above and beyond the job of judge to become a moral leader in his community. Last year, Judge Tijerina launched the Be A Man and Stand Up Campaign, calling on Texas men to be active participants in the movement to end violence against women in Texas.

Judge Tijerina is a father of four: Bonnie Jean – 19, Cayetano Isaac – 16, Christopher Alfonso – 11, and Keith Alexander – 11. When it comes to parenting, he says: “Allow your kids to be their own persona with guidance and love, and the rest is just details.”

 

Mayor Sylvester Turner has consistently and enthusiastically raised the profile of domestic violence services in Houston during his tenure as Mayor. He has also been an active leader in promoting Texas values of respect for diversity and tolerance. Prior to his work as mayor, he spent 27 years representing Houstonians in the Texas House, where he served on the budget committee and helped secure full funding for family violence programs.

Mayor Turner is a proud father to daughter Ashley. Ashley is continuing the family tradition of public service in the healthcare field. Some of the best advice he has received? “When times were rough, [my mother] told us that tomorrow would be better than today. Today, it is evident that what my mom said is very true.”

 

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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://www.tcfv.org/

Texas Council on Family Violence Celebrates and Honors Five Fabulous  Women Leaders from Across Texas This Mother’s Day

Austin, TX (May 9, 2017)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is celebrating all the wonderful Texas moms who are making a difference in the lives of Texans.

TCFV praises the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women created remarkable services and policies, and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.

“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas. The mother’s we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder.  We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Annette Burrhus-Clay, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault – Austin, TX

Annette Burrhus-Clay has given selflessly of her time, talents and treasures to ameliorate violence against women. Her commitment is evidenced by her remarkable 21-year tenure at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. Annette is a fierce activist to the core, and her work influences state and national practice and policy. While her heart belongs to her four adult children, the center of her universe are her six grandchildren: Brayden, Anaya, Beau, Camille, Ami and two-week-old Norah.

“Kids taught me that I’m more capable than I thought and had a greater capacity for love than I imagined. Grandkids have taught me to let go of the unimportant things that keep us distracted or angry.”

Connie Gray, Focusing Families – Hempstead, TX

Connie Gray wears many hats at Focusing Families – children’s counselor, prevention director, and even mom! Connie’s adult daughter, Nicole, works alongside her at the agency, inspired by her mom’s passion. Together, they work in schools to change the culture and equip young people with the tools they need to empower themselves and build connections within their communities.

Connie is a steadfast advocate for young people. As a mom of three, her kids inspire her as much as she’s inspired them. “They taught me to believe the impossible and dream big.”

Rosa Hopkins, Women’s Center of East Texas – Longview, TX

Rosa Hopkins is the BIPP Coordinator at the Women’s Center of East Texas, where she works to hold batterers accountable and teach them the fundamentals of leading healthy, nonviolent relationships. She started working with offenders as an independent BIPP counselor because she saw the need in her community.

Rosa is well-respected in the community as a gifted and committed facilitator. Working with offenders isn’t always easy, but Rosa is driven by her compassion. Her own background – she is a survivor of domestic violence now happily married and the mother of two sons – fuels her empathy and ability to build connections in her work. “They’re human beings – I’m here to be an example of what kindness looks like, what human compassionate looks like.”

Toni Johnson-Simpson, Denton County Friends of the Family – Denton, TX

Toni Johnson-Simpson’s journey towards executive leader of the Denton County Friends of the Family started as an altruistic 21-year-old college student. Her passion has never flagged since. Toni expects more from her community in regard to victim compassion, batterer accountability and access to services because she knows that all children deserve it. And while her professional accomplishments are impressive, her personal ones monumental. Toni is a mom to three: daughter Ebonie and twins Justin and Jaydah. Toni credits her children for teaching her to love and to take time to enjoy life. When things get difficult she embraces wise words from Jaydah: “I’m going to celebrate how much I DID get done because I am still fabulous.” Yes, Toni – you are.

Rosie Martinez- Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office

Rosie Martinez has dedicated her career of over 16 years to victim services and currently serves as the Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office. Victims’ services has been more than a career for Rosie; she calls it her “passion and lifetime mission,” and it shows in her leadership throughout the community. Rosie volunteers on the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, Rio Grande Valley Human Trafficking Coalition, Child Fatality Review Team, Citizen’s Review Team of DFPS, and the Hidalgo County Truancy Policy Committee.   A mom to five and grandmother of three, Rosie says her kids drive her work. “The sense of accomplishment that comes from hearing your children tell you that you are their inspiration, their role model, that they are proud of you and that they want to be like you is the best feeling in life.”

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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://www.tcfv.org/

Texas Council on Family Violence Names Members to the Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE NAMES MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Austin, Texas – February 28, 2017– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) names board members: Sherri Kendall, CEO of AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) in Houston; Jim Malatich, CEO of a recent merger of two domestic violence programs Hope’s Door in Collin County and New Beginning in Garland; Jeff Allar, Sr. Vice President of Human Resources for the VGL Group; Laura L. Squiers, Deputy Executive Director is the Deputy Executive Director of the T.L.L. Temple Foundation.   Several Board Members were also reappointed to serve a second three-year term beginning January 2017:  Jamie Esparza, District Attorney, El Paso; Dr. Janet Denise Lawson of Austin, former medical consultant for the Texas Department of State Health Services and Crayton Webb, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility for Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, Texas.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence takes great care and diligence in identifying key leaders in Texas to strengthen our collective responsive and prevention of domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “It is imperative to have experienced, critical thinkers who understand the needs of survivors and the systems that support them, while simultaneously elevating TCFV’s acumen and credibility.” Read more

Statement on Recent ICE Activities Regarding Family Victims in El Paso

The Texas Council on Family Violence, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence and the below-listed El Paso area elected officials stand together in recognizing that:

  • Texas family violence centers served over 72,000 victims last year alone.
  • 158 women were killed by their male intimate partner in 2015. 
  • 39% of all who sought services were turned away due to lack of space and resources. 

Realizing these needs and the DEADLY reality of family violence, we join together to call on all policy makers in El Paso and Texas overall to hold tight to three fundamental core values for family violence victims:

  • Victims of family violence have the right to protection using the civil and criminal justice system.
  • ALL family violence victims and the communities in which they live deserve safety from harm.  This makes our communities safer.
  • Vital to this safety, family violence victims must have unfettered access to law enforcement and the courthouse.

Gloria Terry, TCFV
Stephanie Karr, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence
Jo Anne Bernal, El Paso County Attorney
Jaime Esparza, 34th Judicial District Attorney, TCFV Board Member
Congressman Beto O’Rourke
Senator Jose Rodriguez
County Judge Veronica Escobar
Representative Joe Pickett
Representative Joe Moody
Representative Mary Gonzalez
Representative Cesar Blanco
Representative Evelina Ortega

Young Hearts Matter Day of Action!

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Young Hearts Matter Day of Action!

February 1, 2017

Texas Capitol – South Steps
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
2:00 PM

Young activists from across the state are invited to join the Texas Advocacy Project and TCFV’s Young Hearts Matter Leadership Board on the south steps of the Capitol for a press conference kicking off National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month followed by an invitation to visit their legislators.

Questions? Contact Jessica Moreno for more information. 

Hosted by:  

TAP-Logo TCFV_Logo

Spotlight on a Young Leader

“I wasn’t a typical high school,” says Jimmy James, a quiet young man whose life changed by joining Houston Police Department’s Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC).

“When I met Jimmy, he couldn’t open his mouth. Now he won’t shut it!” jokes his mentor Rhonda Collins Byrd.

Recognizing that teens are overlooked, the chief of police convened YPAC where participants conduct service projects, facilitate Teen Court, and train peers and adults on dating violence and suicide prevention. The program has increased understanding and dialogue between HPD and area youth. Read more

TCFV Honors Five Outstanding Texas Leaders and Fathers for Father’s Day

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FIVE OUTSTANDING TEXAS LEADERS AND FATHERS FOR FATHER’S DAY

Austin, Texas – June 16, 2016– This Father’s Day, The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) celebrates fathers who devote their lives to building safer communities for their kids and by doing so, impact future generations to come.  These dads lead by example, inspiring us all to envision a Texas free of violence – and strive tirelessly to accomplish this goal.  They are remarkable leaders in their professional lives, and remarkable fathers at home.

“Father’s Day is a very important day in the lives of children here in Texas and across the world.  It is a day of celebration to recognize the dedication and unconditional love fathers give to raise their children and help them become confident adults,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.  “A good father makes all the difference in a child’s life.  He’s a pillar of strength and support and he leads by example. We thank these wonderful dads and Texas leaders this Father’s Day.”

This Father’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen
  • Judge Roberto Cañas, Dallas County Criminal Court #10
  • J. Staley Heatly, District Attorney of the 46th Judicial District Wilbarger, Hardeman and Foard counties
  • David Scott, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Public Administration, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Coach Joe Frank MartinezHead Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator at Travis High School

Read more

TCFV Honors Four Mothers who Empower Women

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: ANGELA HALE, 512.289.2995, angela@redmediagroup.com

THE TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE HONORS FOUR MOTHERS WHO EMPOWER WOMEN

Austin, Texas – May 7, 2016–On Mother’s Day, TCFV acknowledges the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women create remarkable services and policies and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.

This Mother’s Day TCFV recognizes:

  • Jennifer King, Region 3 Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Maricarmen Garza, Victim Rights Group Coordinator & Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
  • State Senator Jane Nelson
  • Marta Pelaez, CEO, Family Violence Prevention Services

Read more

A Grayson County Mother Who Lost Her Daughter and Unborn Granddaughter to Domestic Violence Speaks Out this Mother’s Day

For Immediate Release

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Risdon, 214-226-6741, susan@redmediagroup.com

A Grayson County Mother Who Lost Her Daughter and Unborn Granddaughter to Domestic Violence Speaks Out this Mother’s Day

Texas Council on Family Violence, Grayson Crisis Center, Grayson County District Attorney, Denison Police Chief & a Mother of a Domestic Violence Victim Team Up to Raise Awareness in the Wake of Recent Domestic Violence Murders- Including a Multiple Domestic Violence Homicide Where the Husband Killed his Wife and the Entire Family

Sherman, TX (May 3, 2016)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is partnering with the Grayson Crisis Center, law enforcement, the Grayson County District Attorney and city leaders to raise awareness about domestic violence and remember all of the mothers out there who were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends and who are not with us to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas.  The mothers we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder.  We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Tara Woodlee lost her daughter Ashleigh Lindsey of Denison and her unborn grandchild to domestic violence.  They were murdered by her ex-boyfriend despite the fact that she moved multiple times and was attempting to come to the Grayson Crisis Center for help days before she was killed.

“I will never forget my daughter’s beautiful face, it was forever ruined.  Her face was distorted from the massive swelling, her eyes black and blue.  Speckles of blood spot like blisters all over her face.  Ashleigh’s right hand was so burnt from trying to block the last shot that it was burned clear down to her elbow.  The nurses had to brown bag that hand for evidence.  At one point she went Code Blue, and I had to make the painful decision to have her revived.  Her dad was with me in the room as they brought Ashleigh back.  I made that choice hoping our little Patience could survive.  We waited, and then the doctors came in and said, Ashleigh would never recover and there was nothing they could do to save her.  We also waited for an OB/GYN Specialist hoping our precious Ashleigh could be kept on machines long enough to give our unborn granddaughter, Patience Lynn a chance at life.  The sonogram revealed her tiny baby heart was failing.  Once I knew Patience was truly gone, I was left alone with my daughter,” said Tara Woodlee. http://www.ashleighspatienceproject.com/index.html

Read more