Texas Council on Family Violence Holds Economic Justice Summit to Showcase El Paso & Teach Economic Empowerment Solutions Statewide 

El Paso, Texas – June 26, 2014 - The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today launched the Economic Justice Summit in El Paso showcasing positive examples of how new groundbreaking community partnerships of work force centers, domestic violence shelters, community colleges and corporate partners can work together to help victims of domestic violence strengthen their economic security and live a life free of domestic violence. 

“Economic stability is the critical underpinning domestic violence survivors need to be safe, healthy and thrive,” said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO. “I am proud to return home to El Paso and lead a discussion with experts from across the nation in the community that has been a national leader in helping victims achieve long term economic stability.”      
  

El Paso is one of the first cities in the nation where the local workforce development board-Workforce Solutions Upper Rio Grande and the local shelter-Center Against Family Violence join forces to help women get started on the job search while in emergency shelter. 

The Center Against Family Violence and its’ partnership with El Paso Community College and the Upper Rio Grande Work Commission over the last 18 months have helped 40 domestic violence survivors get their GED in special on-site classes at the shelter. This is one of many new innovative ways domestic violence advocates are working to help the economic stability of victims of domestic violence. 

 “We are constantly working to improve the services we provide to victims of domestic violence to help them get back on their feet again after leaving a violent relationship and education is the first step to economic self-sufficiency,” said Stephanie Karr, Executive Director of the Center Against Family Violence.  “The Center Against Family Violence is honored to be a partner with the Texas Council on Family Violence once again for this year’s Economic Justice Summit.  Each day we have survivors of domestic or sexual violence come to us seeking safety, guidance encouragement and hope.  We know that a person’s economic self-sufficiency is key to their ability to live a violence-free life. Through our Family Resource Center and Emergency Shelter, we offer a variety of programs and services that help create the change needed for healthier and safer lives. “ 

Monica Delgado left her husband and ended a violent relationship to protect herself and her children.   After her husband moved out, he returned to stalk her at her home and she fled to her parent’s house, where he continued to stalk her and make her feel unsafe.  She sought refuge at the El Paso Center Against Family Violence and began the steps to rebuild her life free of domestic violence.  “They were my whole support network.  They helped me get a restraining order, a divorce and encouraged me to continue to pursue my education.  I want anyone who is in my situation to know that no matter how scared you are- doing nothing enables the perpetrator to keep abusing you. There is something you can do to change the situation,” said Monica Delgado, a domestic violence survivor.” 

Monica obtained her P.H.D and now is Dr. Monica Delgado, Chemistry Lecturer at El Paso Community College.   

“We see the need for economic self sufficiency every day as we work domestic violence cases as part of the 24-hour domestic violence program,” said Jaime Esparza, El Paso District Attorney.  “At the District Attorney’s Office we fight to ensure the safety of victims, but we see up close the need for other resources and the center does a great job helping victims with job readiness skills and support services that can lead to employment and financial independence.” 

The 2014 Summit will emphasize both economic stability and health promotion, recognizing the deep connections between women’s health and issues stemming from the violence and the long-term well-being and safety of survivors and their children.  TCFV is leading the charge to help survivors of domestic violence by helping them beyond their stay in the shelter and creating long-term solutions to achieve economic freedom. 

Jill Davies, author of Safety Planning with Battered Women and the recently published Second Edition: Domestic Violence Advocacy: Complex Lives/Difficult Choices, will kick-off the Summit.   Breakout sessions will provide information specific to housing and consumer law as well as the health impacts of intimate partner violence and strategies to enhance survivors’ access to health care coverage and preventive health services. Participants will gain concrete tools and information to provide holistic survivor-centered advocacy. 

TCFV is able to host Texas Family Violence Program advocates, leaders, and community partners from across the state for an El Paso Summit on innovative economic empowerment advocacy TCFV because of the generous support of our corporate sponsors Walmart and Allstate who are focused on helping women generate income and build economic stability.