Archive for February, 2012

Published by kstonebock on 24 Feb 2012

TEXAS COUNCIL ON FAMILY VIOLENCE AND TEXAS ASSOCIATION AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT SALUTE TEXAS REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS FOR SUPPORTING THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

CHAIRMAN OF THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE LAMAR SMITH AND CONGRESSMAN TED POE HIGHLIGHT SUCCESSES OF THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT IN TEXAS AND SUPPORT VAWA REAUTHORIZATION

Austin, Texas – February 22, 2012– The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) today jointly recognize Chairman Lamar Smith’s and Congressman Ted Poe’s support for reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

On February 16, the United States House Judiciary Committee conducted an oversight hearing of the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW).  The Committee invited testimony from OVW Director Susan Carbon, who answered the Committee’s questions regarding OVW’s administration of VAWA.  In their remarks at the hearing, both Chairman Smith and Congressman Poe highlighted the strong successes of VAWA.

Chairman Smith noted his continuing strong support of VAWA since initial passage in 1994, and he further declared, “It is essential that programs like these are in place to protect victims not just from physical bruises but from the emotional and mental scars as well.  Funding through VAWA has helped women escape abuse and rebuild their lives.”

Congressman Poe reflected on his experience as a long time judge in Harris County: “I remember when domestic violence was treated by law enforcement as a family problem, not as social health issue or a crime.  I am glad we have moved away from that concept.  We’re not talking about statistics here, we’re talking about real people that are hurt by others who claim they love these people.”

VAWA represents a core federal response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. TCFV and TAASA salute Chairman Smith’s and Congressman’s Poe leadership in the Judiciary Committee and look to them to foster a swift reauthorization of VAWA.

VAWA represents our federal government’s coordinated community response to sexual assault and family violence services.  Rape crisis centers, family violence centers, law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts all form a part of this response.

“Texas enjoys excellent representation in Congress and particularly on the Judiciary Committee.  We appreciate that Chairman Smith and Congressman Poe are working in a bi-partisan manner to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women’s Act.  VAWA enhances all parts of our state’s coordinated community response, from victim services to law enforcement to prosecutors and courts,” said Gloria A. Terry, President of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “The bottom line: VAWA has saved lives for over a decade,” said Terry.

According to Annette Burrhus-Clay, Executive Director of TAASA “VAWA prioritizes serving the over 2 million Texans who have been victims of sexual assault.  Without VAWA, rape crisis centers in Texas would lose their effectiveness and some would close their doors, leaving victims without services and justice.  The sooner Congress reauthorizes this landmark legislation with its key elements and adequate funding levels intact, the better Texans will be for it,” said Burrhus-Clay.

Last year, Texas received over $8.8 million as a result of VAWA.  Rape crisis centers used VAWA and other funding to serve victims by answering nearly 34,000 sexual assault hotline calls to Texas rape crisis centers and serving more than 15,000 sexual assault victims through support groups.  More than 80,000 victims of domestic violence including: women, children and men found safety and services at family violence centers.

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The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation.  TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.  www.tcfv.org

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) is the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. A non-profit educational and advocacy organization based in Austin, TAASA member agencies comprise a statewide network of more than 80 crisis centers that serve rural as well as metropolitan areas. Founded in 1982, the agency has a strong record of success in community education, legal services, youth outreach, law enforcement training, legislative advocacy, and curricula and materials development.  Additional information about TAASA can be found at www.taasa.org

Published by cdrochelman on 16 Feb 2012

Dear Members: January 2012

Dear Members,

Stalking Awareness Month is upon us, and I want to take a moment to thank you and your volunteers for all you do to educate Texans about this serious issue.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, I know that stalking is the number one predictor of subsequent violence against a victim.  With the help of the Texas Council on Family Violence, this year I authored and the Legislature passed legislation strengthening our state’s stalking laws.  It clarifies that stalking includes behaviors against a victim’s current dating partner and gives victims the right to offer crucial testimony in court.

We need to work together to empower victims of stalking.  Law enforcement agencies, our court system, and individuals must understand that this issue is not limited to the stories we read about celebrity stalkers.  For victims, it is so much more.  Nearly one-third of female murder victims were first stalked by their killers.  More than 40 percent of victims report that their stalking was preceded by acts of domestic violence.  Perpetrators of this crime use ruthless tactics to keep their victims in fear.

The Legislature unanimously passed the stalking law, sending a powerful message that this crime will not be tolerated in our state.  The Texas Council on Family Violence played a key role in that victory, and I am grateful for your partnership!

Very truly yours,

Senator Jane Nelson

Published by cdrochelman on 03 Feb 2012

To Our Members- February 2012

Published by abuentello on 03 Feb 2012

2012 Executive Directors’ Confernce Certificate

2012 Executive Directors’ Conference Certificate

Published by cdrochelman on 03 Feb 2012

Program Updates- February 2012

Program Updates:

In this issue, we introduce two new executive directors, highlight a teen dating violence foundation, the TCFV African American Caucus and some upcoming prevention opportunities.  We’ve also included resources for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month and for ending family violence in the African American Community.

 

Brighter Tomorrows, Grand Prairie, TX

New Executive Director: Diana Franzetti

On October 1, 2011, Brighter Tomorrows in Grand Prairie welcomed new Executive Director Diana Franzetti.  The 22-year-old program serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Dallas County, Franzetti comes from a lengthy background in nonprofit management.  A native of Austin, she now lives in the Metroplex with her children and grandchildren and says she loves living there.

“I am very proud to be a part of the Brighter Tomorrows team as I have already seen successes from the work we are all doing daily, and I know that we are making a difference in many lives. Deterring our youth from becoming either a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence affects everyone in society, whether they realize it or not.  A very wise person told me that we are on the pathway these victims are traveling, and we are here to help them in this portion of their journey.  Empowering them to have a safer and stronger life will help us all have a safer and stronger community.”

Brighter Tomorrows is a TCFV Family Violence Program Member.  For more information about the program, click here.

Abigail’s Arms, Gainesville, TX

New Executive Director: Kim Cook

Kim Cook is the new Executive Director at Abigail’s Arms in Gainesville.   Cook previously worked for Family Gateway, Inc. in Dallas, serving homeless families with children.  Prior to that, she worked for the Family Place, also in Dallas, serving victims of domestic violence.

“The Family Place has been a long-standing DV agency in the community that afforded me the training and opportunity to grow in the field of victim’s services.  Under the great vision and leadership of Paige Flink, and others like her, my professional career was developed and strengthened.”

Currently, Abigail’s Arms is embarking on the project of building a 24-hour emergency shelter that will house victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes. They broke ground in December of 2011 and anticipate the completion of the project by fall, 2012.  The facility will be the only emergency residential program in Cooke County.

“Although challenging, transitioning from an urban/metropolis to a rural area is very rewarding.  The citizens of Cooke County have been extremely supportive to the shelter project as well as to me coming aboard as the agency’s new executive director. I am pleased to be a part of such a giving community that expresses such compassion and is empathetic to the needs of their victims.”

Abigail’s Arms is a TCFV Emerging Family Violence Program Member.  For more information about the program, click here.

Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation, Austin, TX

“Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Building Healthy Relationships”

The Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation’s mission is to empower teens to choose healthy relationships through education, advocacy and support. To that end, they developed a model prevention and awareness curriculum, “Preventing Teen Dating Violence and Building Healthy Relationships”, available to all public schools across Texas.  The Foundation enables teens to become survivors of, and advocates for, the prevention of teen dating violence, and to mobilize the community through social, political and legal action.

The Ortralla LuWone Mosley Foundation is a 501 3(C) nonprofit founded in 2005 to prevent teen dating violence throughout Texas.  On March 28, 2003, Carolyn Mosley’s life was changed forever when her 15-year-old daughter, Trella, was brutally stabbed by her former boyfriend. Carolyn’s grief was channeled into the creation of the Foundation to become a vehicle to help save other teens and their families from experiencing the unimaginable pain that she had lived through.

The Foundation is planning its second annual LOVE TRELLA (Leaders of Valor Embrace Teaching Respect Encouraging Listening Love Always) Gala on February 25, 2012. At the Gala, they will honor Leaders of Valor in their community: Sheriff Greg Hamilton and Chief Art Acevedo, both staunch advocates of victim’s rights.  They are now securing individual, business and corporate sponsorships for this special event. For more information, click here.

Carolyn Mosley is a TCFV Friend member.  For more information about her organization, click here.

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