Join Us in Remembering Victims of Domestic Violence During October ” Domestic Violence Awareness Month” with a Special Showing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a Documentary Focused on the Tragic Death of a Domestic Violence Victim

Austin, Texas – September 29, 2010 - The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), KLRU-TV, Austin PBS and Verizon are teaming up today to launch Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a special screening of the documentary “Telling Amy’s Story” at the Bob Bullock Spirit Theatre.  Texas First Lady Anita Perry will be the keynote speaker.

“Telling Amy’s Story”, hosted by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of NBC-TV’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and told by Detective Deirdri Fishel, presents an emotional story about America’s pervasive and largely unreported epidemic-domestic violence.

Amy was shot in the head at point blank range by her husband while her parents and children waited in the car outside in the drive way as she was picking up her belongings and leaving the violent relationship. Amy was a Verizon Wireless employee. The Verizon Foundation is a sponsor of this documentary.

“Domestic violence impacts every segment of our community: a scared child cannot learn, the business community is impacted with lost wages, sick leave, absenteeism, and lost productivity, and from a health perspective – partner violence impacts 8

out of 10 leading health indicators,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s President.  “In the past 30+ years, Texas has made significant progress in creating safe havens, gaining greater legal protections and establishing remarkable transitional services.  However, family violence persists.  We must continue to examine and strengthen strategies that build on these key foundational services.“

In a new report released today 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, 111 women were killed by an intimate partner in 2009.

The new report list names of those victims and gives brief accounts of their deaths.

  • In 2009, 27 cases occurred where one or more children witnessed the death of their mother. The youngest child to be present was a 9-month-old baby in a bassinet.
  • 38% of women were killed in a murder-suicide.
  • 110 children are now without a mother or orphaned.
  • The victim’s ages ranged from age 13 to 83. The majority of victims were between 20 and 40 years of age.
  • Three counties with large urban cities had the highest number of women killed: Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, had the highest number of deaths. (21 Deaths)
  • Dallas County, which includes the city of Dallas (10 Deaths)
  • Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio (10 Deaths)
  • Travis County, which includes the city of Austin (1 Death)
  • 10/26/2009 | Austin
    Rita Granados, 29

    Victor Colombo, 30, shot his estranged girlfriend Rita to death before killing himself.

“Raising awareness of domestic violence and aiding in its prevention is a key issue for Verizon,” said Carl E. Erhart, Verizon Central Region President. “Verizon is proud to partner with the Texas Council on Family Violence and the National Domestic Violence Hotline to bring this important story and its lessons to a wider audience and to hopefully save lives.”

During the Special Texas unveiling of Amy’s story, Texas domestic violence advocates will also showcase innovative solutions that each community in Texas can implement to decrease the horrifying statistics.

One new innovative project launched by a Texas District Attorney is called the “24 Hour Project.”  Typically, it could take 6 months after an incident for the DA’S office to make contact with the victim. By that time, the defendant has bonded out of jail, may still be living in the house and it is more difficult to document the evidence and prosecute the case.

Under this new program within 24 hours of a domestic violence incident, investigators from the DA’s office reach out to the victim, make sure they are safe, take photographs of the abuse, gather the 911 evidence tape and interview the victim at the time she believed her life was in jeopardy.

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Texas Council on Family Violence is a statewide organization representing a network of domestic violence programs that provide direct services to victims and their families, and serves as the voice of victims at the state level while working with local communities to create strategies

The Verizon Foundation in the past three years has awarded more than $15 million to nonprofit organizations that assist domestic violence survivors.

Through the Verizon Wireless HopeLine® program more than 7 million no-longer-used wireless phones have been collected and recycled or refurbished to support domestic violence survivors, generating $8 million that has been given to local agencies since 2001.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 93 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 217,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About KLRU-TV, Austin PBS

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, reflects, celebrates and inspires Central Texas through creative excellence, community engagement and lifelong learning. In addition to providing locally produced and quality national television programming, KLRU is also a non-profit organization helping to build a stronger community through educational workshops, community engagement projects and public events. Known as the producing station of the longest running live music television show Austin City Limits, KLRU has also worked on several other national productions including the documentaries Tattooed Under Fire and Citizen Architect. Get more information about KLRU at klru.org.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Angela Hale
512.289-2995
angela@redmediagroup.com