Domestic Violence News, Information and Facts
Texas Congress is gearing up for the 82nd Legislative Session. We know this session will be in the shadow of an $18 billion dollar shortfall. Speaker Joe Straus is loud and clear: No taxes to fix budget problems. Family Abuse Center hopes that Austin is in touch with the needs of domestic violence survivors, but in today's budget-cutting environment, we cannot take that for granted. WHAT THIS MEAN FOR FAC:
Over 60% of FAC's budget comes from government funding. Should FAC lose this funding, nearly 300 children, women and men in the central Texas area would not be served. FAC staff would be reduced, crippling our ability to serve survivors in the area, especially those in the rural counties. Family Abuse Center is the only domestic violence agency
that serves the Heart of Texas region and Navarro County. If FAC loses funding, there is no one to pick up the slack in these counties.
The session starts in January, but the Family Abuse Center cannot wait. We are building our support base now, before session woes eclipse our issue - Full Funding for Domestic Violence Programs.WHAT FAMILY VIOLENCE SURVIVORS NEED FROM YOU:
Family Abuse Center is doing everything we can to encourage full funding, but we cannot do it without the support of our community. There are many things you can do, without even getting off your couch.If you have 2 minutes to spare for domestic violence:
1. Paste this letter into an email and send it to your legislator. Click here.
2. Post a Facebook status, a tweet or send a text. Something like, "TX looking to make major cuts. Make sure domestic violence isn't on the chopping block!" The more people know, the better! If you can spare 5 minutes to support family violence survivors:
1. Find your legislators on Facebook or Twitter. Lots of them have these pages to give their constituents access to them. Let's use it! Post something on their wall, tag them in a tweet or status post; let them know this issue is important. While you're at it, follow FAC's pages!
2. Join the Texas Council on Family Violence. All member dues go to help support the policy team's work to increase funding and laws for survivors of domestic violence.
3. Call your legislator (see contact info at bottom). A great starting point is, "1 in 4 Texas women are victims of domestic violence; we cannot afford to cut services for our wives, daughters and sisters. Please vote for full funding for family violence programs funding in the next session."
Other facts you could use, all found on the Texas Council on Family Violence website, include:
- In 2008, 136 Texas women were killed by their partner (13+% increase from 2006)
- Over 193,000 family violence incidents occurred last year in Texas (7+% increase from 2006)
- In 2008, Texas shelters already had to turn away 1 in 5 adults seeking shelter.
Will these number increase with fewer survivors? Let's not find out! Full funding, please!
4. Write a letter detailing your experience with the Family Abuse Center or how family violence has touched your life. Send it to your legislator. If a legislator receives about 10 letters, it's enough to start paying attention. Get nine of your friends to send one too! If one hour of your life can be used to save domestic violence funding:
Visit your legislator's local office. They're in the area campaigning and preparing for the session. Tell them how important it is to continue funding, that violence affects all aspects of Texas life. When violence goes up, we see increased child abuse, unpaid emergency room visits and sick days - lost productivity, and law enforcement go on more dangerous calls, including more homicides. Keep programs fully funded to lessen the risk of deadlier, costiler future incidents.When talking with or writing to a legislator, thank them for their time and support in the past. See your legislator's family violence voting record below.Every little bit helps! It only takes about 50 emails, 10 snail-mail letters, 5 phone calls or 1, yes ONE, office visit to persuade the legislator. Your act may make all the difference!Do your research, have statistics on hand to back you up. Go to www.tcfv.org to learn more.You may meet with a staff person instead of the legislator. That is okay! Staffers can pass on concerns, have more time to listen and might be less intimidating than the actual legislator.
To find your legislator Click here.
For a list of domestic violence laws passed in the 81st Session Click here.
For a list of your local officials, Click here.
Family Abuse Center is lucky to have supportative representation in Austin. Let's be sure to thank them for what they've done in the past and remind them that we can't give up just yet, we have to be mindful of the needs of family violence survivors.