Program Updates:

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

Congratulations to Shelter Agencies for Families in East Texas (SAFE-T), recent winner of the Safeco Community Heroes award! Safeco Insurance agents submitted local hero applications from across the country.  Safeco Insurance then selected 12 heroes based on the applications submitted. Safeco Insurance is providing a $5,000 grant to the charity supported by each of selected heroes. Carol Gresham, Executive Director from SAFE-T, was chosen!  On Dec. 15, based on the results of a public vote, two of these charities were chosen to receive an additional $10,000. Shelter Agencies for Families in East Texas, Inc. also received the additional grant. Congrats Carol and SAFE-T!

Shelter Agencies for Families in East Texas (SAFE-T) is a TCFV Category I Member.  For more information, click here.

Friendship of Women, Brownsville

Friendship of Women in Brownsville opened a new facility.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, December 1. 2011.  The new  building offers much-needed space and allows the staff and volunteers to continue providing legal advocacy and consulting to survivors of family violence. Friendship of Women has provided essential family violence services in Brownsville since 1977.  Congrats to Lillie Champion, the board, staff and volunteers!

Friendship of Women is a TCFV Category I member.  For more information, click here.


TCFV Updates:

A Window Between Worlds Training:
On November 3 and 4, 2011, TCFV hosted A Window Between Worlds (AWBW) training, a unique opportunity offered at no cost to 10 Texas Family Violence Programs. Selected programs demonstrated an interest in creating a vital art program to help survivors and children heal from family violence trauma.  The AWBW is a national project focused on using therapeutic art to assist children work through their trauma and increase their self-esteem. It gives adult survivors a way to re-examine their feelings and develop a stronger sense of self and personal vision.  AWBW provided a portion of the funds, and TCFV provided the remainder. AWBW and TCFV offered both Children’s Leadership Training and Women’s Leadership Trainings.  Isabel Camacho, Coordinator of Residential Services at the New Beginning Center in Garland, participated in the training and had rave reviews. “After the Window Between Worlds Program, I feel more competent and more prepared to do these types of groups.  I feel excited to do my first session with the clients as soon as I arrive to work. It was a great experience and a great learning opportunity.”

The trainings were facilitated by AWBW’s Program Director, Olivia Piacenza.  Since 2004, Olivia has trained more than 650 Children’s Windows and 550 Women’s Windows Leaders and established 100 new programs nationally. Under her leadership, AWBW has developed more than 80 healing art workshops for women and supplementary curricula for families, teens and for family violence Education groups around the country.

For more information go to AWBW’s website.


Approaching the Bench Judicial Summit:

TCFV looks forward to hosting the third annual Approaching the Bench Judicial Summit in June 2012.  As in previous years, TCFV will look to members for topic suggestions and to spread the word regarding this excellent opportunity.  Approaching provides a venue for partners in the judiciary to come to Austin to identify challenges and forge solutions related to our state’s civil and criminal justice system response to family violence.  For more information, contact Tracy Grinstead-Everly at TCFV. 


Legislative Update Related to Stalking

In the 82nd Legislative Session, TCFV was able to accomplish improvements to our state’s existing stalking statute.  Among other important changes, the bill allows juries to hear more about the relationship between the stalker and the stalking victim, which helps the jury to gain a complete picture when deciding the level of reasonable threat the victim felt when stalked.  Because stalking can occur across state and county lines, the law will now allow for prosecutions in any county in which a part of this continuing offense occurred.