Archive for May, 2011

Published by kstonebock on 25 May 2011

29 Killed in Harris County- Highest Death Rate in State

Partner to Protect Conference in Houston Seeks to Reduce the Number of Domestic Violence Deaths in Texas By Bringing Family Violence Programs and Law Enforcement Together

Houston, Texas – December 10, 2010 - The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) & the Houston Police Department today announced the launch of a new statewide law enforcement summit to examine the 111 fatalities of women killed in Texas, including 29 in Harris County in 2009.

“The Summit seeks the creation and fostering of dialogue with and among our state’s family violence programs and law enforcement leadership in order to forge strategies for the future of family violence response in Texas,” said Houston Police Department Executive Assistant Chief Martha Montalvo.

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 documents the deaths of the 111 women killed by an intimate partner in 2009.

“The greatest disservice we can do to the 111 women is to not learn from their deaths. Working side by side with law enforcement from counties that had experienced a fatality, we can challenge ourselves to further dialogue to reduce the number of women killed in violent domestic violence incidents in Texas,” 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.“

The new report lists 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. (29 Deaths)
  • Montgomery County (2 Deaths)
  • Fort Bend County (1 Death)
  • Brazoria County  (1 Death)
  • Galveston County (5 Deaths)

Houston Area Women’s Center CEO Rebecca White, TCFV President Gloria Terry, HPD Executive Assistant Chief Martha Montalvo, a survivor of domestic violence and the Executive Director of The Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Pasadena, Deborah Moseley, will participate in a news conference to discuss the law enforcement summit.

Rina, a domestic violence victim who survived and escaped her abusive relationship will share her story of survival.  ”For several years, I was in an unhealthy and unsafe relationship.  I thought things would change and they only got worse.  I had to leave.  I finally felt safe when I went into shelter and my journey of healing and self-empowerment began,” said Rina. Continue Reading »

Published by kstonebock on 25 May 2011

Texas Council On Family Violence, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault & Texas First Lady Anita Perry Advocate On Behalf Of Victims During Stalking Awareness Month

Amy Clark, Stalking Abuse Survivor Tells Her Story, Advocates for Tougher Laws

Austin, Texas – Jan. 5, 2011– The Texas Council on Family Violence, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and Texas First Lady Anita Perry today encouraged Texans to learn more about stalking, a crime that affects more than 3 million victims a year across the United States. ’Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.’ is this year’s theme to bring awareness to Texans that stalking is a crime.

Amy Clark, a Texas woman who was stalked by an ex-boyfriend, feared for her life after she broke it off with the man.

“He followed me constantly. He showed up at my home where I had three other roommates, he showed up at my work, he hid and waited by my car. I was scared and lived in constant fear for my life,” said Clark.

“Stalking takes many different forms, and for the safety of its victims, it is important to recognize it when it happens,” said Texas First Lady Anita Perry. “The more we know about stalking, the more we’re able to help these victims and help put a stop to this crime in Texas.”

The Texas Council on Family Violence and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault champion two news bills to strengthen the law in Texas to protect victims of stalking. Continue Reading »

Published by kstonebock on 25 May 2011

Hundreds Of Victims’ Rights Advocates March On Capitol To Support Full Funding For Victims Of Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault

A Woman Assaulted on Valentine’s Day 5 Years Ago Today Speaks Out About Her Assault and How Services Saved Her Life- Other Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Also Speak Out at Capitol Rally

Austin, Texas Feb. 14, 2011 The Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and hundreds of victims’ rights advocates from across the state of Texas are rallying at the Texas Capitol to strongly support full funding for family violence programs and rape crisis centers across Texas. Last year, Texas’s 80 rape crisis centers provided free and confidential services to over 21,000 survivors and nearly 80,000 women, children and men found safe sanctuary from violence at domestic violence shelters in 2009.

Hundreds of volunteers from every corner of the state traveled to the Capitol to remember the 111 women who died in domestic violence deaths in 2009, advocate for the more than 100,000 Texans who accessed services last year and remind legislators about the importance of fully funding critical programs for those who have been abused and raped.

Leandra Krueger, a woman who was sexually assaulted by her doctor, five years ago today on Valentine’s Day told the rally, “We must support funding for victims’ of crime. My doctor sexually assaulted me when he put me under heavy sedation during an office visit to have stitches removed. Instead of hiding in some dark alley, he hid in the sanctity of his white coat and boldly assaulted me in a sterile examining room,” she said. “Services that help you recover from a sexual assault are critical to helping you heal.”

“We are here speaking out to help keep Texans safe,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “These services are absolutely critical for the safety of women and children. Consider that on one day in 2009, Texas family violence programs served over 5,000 victims,” said Terry. Continue Reading »

Published by kstonebock on 25 May 2011

Thousands of Purple Postcards From Victims’ Rights Advocates Are Delivered to Legislators at the Capitol Today to Support Full Funding For Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Survivor Speaks Out About How a Shelter Saved Her Life

Austin, Texas – March 14, 2011– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) is teaming up with legislators, law enforcement, judges, family violence services advocates, domestic violence survivors and regular Texans to send a message of support for full funding for family violence services.

Renee Johnson, a survivor of domestic violence, says when her husband took a knife, scalped the top of her head and would not let her go to the doctor, she was finally able to flee to a domestic violence shelter and they helped save her life. “If it wasn’t for domestic violence shelters in Texas, I would not be in my apartment today and I would probably be dead,” said Johnson.

Johnson had to flee to several shelters across Texas to escape the husband she divorced after he held her hostage and took her to Michigan. She managed to make her way back to Texas and several shelters from Arlington to Ft. Worth to San Antonio that helped keep her safe.

Over the past several months, TCFV collected thousands of purple postcards from state domestic violence programs, survivors of domestic violence and voters. The postcards will now be delivered to legislators in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives to show how important full funding is for family violence programs. Advocates, allies and survivors of family violence use the color purple to symbolize their work to end violence within families.

Continue Reading »

Published by kstonebock on 25 May 2011

Crime Victims’ Rights Candle Lighting Ceremony Honoring Victims’ Of Crime In Central Texas

CONTACT: Angela Hale 512-289-2995 angela@redmediagroup.com
Austin, Texas—April 14, 2011—Tonight, Texans are gathering for a candle lighting ceremony to honor victims of crime as a part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The ceremony is a way to provide communities across the United States with a unique opportunity to contribute to reshaping the future for victims of crime—by raising awareness about crime-victim issues, by identifying and reaching out to victims who need our help, and by thinking anew about how to help individuals and communities harmed by crime.

This annual observance emceed by Texas Council on Family Violence President, Gloria A. Terry, also reminds us that, by honoring the past, we stand on the shoulders of those who led our nation’s struggle to secure basic rights, protections, and services for crime victims.

Many victims of crime will gather at the ceremony tonight to remember their loved ones and bring awareness to the victims of child abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, drunken driving and a host of other crimes perpetrated on victims.

There are victims of crime every second of every day through out our nation and here in our home state of Texas.
• Victim of murder every 6 hours and 19 minutes in Texas
• A child is reported abused or neglected every 8.5 minutes in Texas
• Victim of sexual assault every hour
• Victim of dating abuse every hour in Texas
• Victim of theft every 14 minutes in Texas
• Victim of domestic violence every 36 minutes in Texas
• Victim of alcohol related crash every 40 minutes in Texas
• Victim of home burglary every two minutes in Texas
• Victim of identity theft every 5 minutes in Texas
• Elderly person is victimized every 11 minutes in Texas

We must work to ensure victims’ rights are always enforced. That is why we need to recall the ideals that inspired the decades-long struggle of the victims’ rights movement and challenge all Americans to honor victims’ rights. Laura Dean Mooney, President of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving will be the keynote speaker.

The Texas observance of Crime Victims’ Rights Week is being organized by the Austin area victim service agencies coalition in cooperation with the Texas Victim Service Association (TVSA). The kickoff event is Thursday night 7 at the Town Lake Ballroom at the Radisson Hotel in Austin, Texas.

The Texas Council on Family Violence Board of Directors will also honor the 83 staff and volunteers statewide who have dedicated 20 years or more to ending family violence and keeping families safe across Texas. Representing the 83 pioneers in the domestic violence movement are:

• Elva Gonzalez who has served 32 years at the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center
• Gail Rice who has served 30 years in Austin at the Center For Battered Women/SafePlace
• Melinda Cantu who has provided 21 years to SafePlace in Austin

The Texas Council on Family Violence National Crime Victims’ Rights Winners will be honored at a luncheon Friday afternoon at Holiday Inn-Town Lake from 12-1:30 p.m.

The following organizations will be participating in the kickoff event.
Office of Governor
Office of the Attorney General
Texas Association Against Sexual Assault
People Against Violent Crimes
Texas Advocacy Project
MADD Texas State
Texas CASA
Texas Council on Family Violence
VICARS
Travis County District Attorney’s Office
For the Love of Christi
TDCJ Victim Services Division
Texas Victim Services Association
Texas Department of Public Safety
Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
United Way Killeen
Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue
Texas District & County Attorneys Association
Texas Lawyers Care
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas
Texas Access to Justice Foundation
Travis County Sheriff’s Office
Texas Legal Services Center
The Ortralla LuWone Mosely Foundation
Stephanie Frogge/Garden Charms
Texas Sheriffs Association

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