Help Us Make It Even S'More Fun

Posted on May 24, 2017

The Friends of the Family emergency shelter has been up and running since 1980, and last year provided 7,801 days of shelter to victims of sexual and domestic violence. The shelter houses 32 women and children at a time and is at capacity 11 months out of the year. We see women and children come through our doors from all walks of life, each one having their own unique story that brought them there.  

With a house full of kids at the shelter there is never a dull moment! Summer is our busiest time of year by far. Many times we see that mothers will wait until summer to leave their abuser to prevent their kids from being uprooted during the school year. We recognize that living in a home full of 30+ people can be stressful for the family so working to have some fun along the way is where our shelter staff rocks!  

Our new Shelter Director, Stephanie Aguilar, and her team had a fun idea to kick off the summer fun at shelter with The Schools Out Camp Out

Our camp out event will be June 1st at our shelter, we will play fun games, have yummy snacks, of course make s'mores, and moms and kids will camp out to celebrate the start of summer! We are still looking for donations and volunteers for the event.  

You can help make it even "s'more" fun. Here's how:  

  1. Help Us Gather The Supplies- Check out the Amazon Smile Wishlist   (drop off any supplies to the Outreach Office- grab the address here)

  2. Volunteer At The Shelter for The Schools Out Camp Out- RSVP to volunteer here  (login to your volunteer portal and select the children's program volunteer opportunity)

Thank you for helping us kick off the summer with this fun event!  

P.S. You must be an active volunteer to help at shelter, but if you are not you can always help us gather supplies or share any other fun game ideas! 

Shelter Volunteer Requirements:  

Volunteers must already have completed the application process and received back their Child Abuse Registry Check results from the State to volunteer at Schools Out Camp Out. It can take up to 6 weeks to get the results back from the State government for the Child Abuse Registry.  

If you want to get started with your volunteer application for future opportunities go HERE

Not sure of your volunteer status? Request an update HERE

Need help?  

24-Hour crisis line: 940-382-7273 or 800-572-4031 

Outreach Office: 940-387-5131 

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Faith for Freedom

Posted on May 17, 2017

1 in 4 women in our community will be victims of domestic violence in their lives, and their freedom will be taken away. They will be held like prisoners in their own homes, while their abuser exerts control over their work schedule, their bank account, cuts them off from friends and family, while inflicting physical and emotional pain. Reaching these victims can be hard because their abuser has kept them so isolated. #FaithForFreedom is a campaign that we started last year in partnership with faith congregations all across Denton County with three goals: 

  1. To raise awareness of domestic violence in congregations across the county, and make our services known to any potential victims  

  2. To raise funds for the clients that we serve through special offerings in those congregations 

  3. To build a relationship of trust between the faith communities and our agency in order to know how to connect clients with a congregation of their faith and access to community resources  

Faith for Freedom Impact: 

Our “Faithful Friends” will be hosting special offerings to support the courageous women that have reached out for help. Using materials provided by DCFOF, our partner congregations will spread the word about the prevalence of domestic violence and give lifesaving information to any potential victims in the congregation. The funds raised through special offerings in those congregations will support the services provided to victims for free at DCFOF (such as emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, play therapy, a food pantry, and a career resource center). Your partnership in #FaithForFreedom provides the gift of safety, hope, healing, justice and prevention in the fight for freedom that our clients endure every day. 

How it works: 

  1. Attend the Faith for Freedom Kick-Off Social! RSVP HERE and JOIN THE FACEBOOK EVENT. At the social we will discuss the campaign in detail and give you all the materials you need to be a part of the campaign. Bring your questions!  

  1. Sign your congregation up for the #FaithForFreedom campaign through the DCFOF website

  2. Spread the word about domestic violence during selected worship services (using materials provided by DCFOF) 

  3. Host special offerings to benefit victims served by Friends of the Family  

  4. Follow the campaign by liking our Facebook page

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Happy Mother's Day!

Posted on May 12, 2017


We will come in contact with many people throughout our lives, but few will be as special and as important as our mothers. From our first breath mom was there to guide us through life with love and care. The mothers that we serve have gone to extreme lengths to protect their children and make them feel safe, even when their own safety is at risk. Thank you for your ongoing support.  

Make a donation in honor of Mother's Day by clicking the link below! You can make the donation in honor of a mother in your life and download a cute card to give her this Sunday!

Support Our Moms

In honor of Mother's Day a few of the staff shared some of their favorite Mother's Day quotes, check it out:  

"There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one"  

"That which does not kill you makes you stronger." 

“It takes a village to raise a child” 

"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?" 

"When you ask me what I want for Mother's Day, I say "nothing". Because you've already been giving me my gift all year. I want you." 

"A mother understands what a child does not say." 

In honor of Mother's Day, please consider supporting the mothers that we serve. They have been put in unimaginable situations, and are working hard to create a wonderful and safe life for themselves and their children. Don't forget that you can make your donation in honor of a fabulous mother in your life, and download a card to give her this Sunday! 

Support Our Moms

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Friends of the Badge

Posted on May 10, 2017

The Friends of the Badge Luncheon was an event to honor and thank local law enforcement, justice officials, and the District Attorney's office for everything that they do on a daily basis to protect and serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Taking place on National Superhero Day, the luncheon was packed with the truest superheroes there are: the men and women who spend every day making our world a safer place. From local police department chiefs, to prosecutors at the District Attorney's office, to judges presiding over local district courts, the turnout was a spectacular array of people who have changed our clients' lives forever. 

One of those clients is Rachelle Pinkerton, a survivor of domestic violence and former client of Denton County Friends of the Family.  

"One police officer made a difference in my story", says Rachelle. "On the night of his [her ex-husband's] last vicious assault, the time that Officer Stevenson took to help me impacted my entire life...I was trying everything I could to get safe and keep my daughter safe and I didn't know how to do that. I was terrified of calling the police because I didn't know what kind of retribution would be waiting for me at home if there was no cause to arrest him. I felt paralyzed. When Officer Stevenson arrived that night she wasn't being mechanical. She took the time to help me understand what my options were, and made me feel like I had someone in my corner for the first time." 

Dale Hansen, weeknight sports anchor of WFAA-TV and host of Dale Hansen's Sports Special on Sundays at 10:20 pm served as the keynote speaker at the luncheon. Once named TV Personality of the Year, Dale earned that title twice over at the Friends of the Badge Luncheon, keeping our guests laughing and enjoying themselves. Dale has a way of story-telling that gets any crowd inspired, especially as he recounted his own experience with domestic violence as a child. 

When he was a young boy his father punched his mother and broke her nose. His father was a very large and strong man that he had looked up to, and that inspired admiration in a lot of other people. Dale said, during his keynote at Friends of the Badge, that this experience changed the way he looked at his father forever. "Never has such a strong, big man looked so small in the eyes of a young boy".  

There were no domestic violence shelters when Dale was a child, and domestic violence was not something that was discussed in public. A bright light has shined on the issue of domestic violence and sexual assault since then. Batterers are being held accountable more and more, and victims have access to more resources than ever before. That is all because of the collaboration between agencies like Friends of the Family and local law enforcement! 

At Friends of the Family we see stories like Rachelle's and Dale's every day. The collaboration between law enforcement, the justice system, and our agency is absolutely crucial for our clients. We were honored to be able to present awards to the awesome people below! 

  •  Super Partner- Little Elm Police Department 
  •  Superhero Advocate - Charley Smith 
  •  Heroic Partner - ADA Caitlin Milmo 
  •  Infinity and Beyond – Family Services Division, Denton Police Department 
  •  Community Crusader- Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell 
  •  Mental Health Partner- Sergeant Cari Coker, Denton County Sheriff's Office 
  •  Community Defender- City of Corinth Police Department 
  •  Avenger of Safety- Sergeant Ramona Rosborough, UNT Police Department 
  •  Guardian of Justice- The Honorable Jonathan Bailey, 431st District Court 

A word from our Congressman about the Friends of the Badge luncheon:

Thank you from Friends of the Family!

Thank you to our sponsors! 

Julian, Crowder, & Shuster 

Congressman Michael Burgess, MD 

Village Designs and Remodeling 

Texas Health Behavioral Hospital 

Larry and Ann Tubbs 

Image Center 

Want to get updates about this event next year? Sign up below  

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Posted on May 4, 2017
The Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) at Denton County Friends of the Family is one of the best, and not purposefully kept, secrets of our agency.  The majority of clients served at DCFOF are victims and children, but BIPP clients are those who’ve chosen to use violence (be that physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual) to hurt their partners.  What we know is: abuse is a choice, 100% of the time. Each choice we make is a unique decision and at any point we are completely capable of making better ones. 
We have BIPP groups available to both men and women in our community who need help learning to make better decisions about how to treat their families, specifically intimate partners. About 98% of clients in our BIPP are court-ordered to be here as part of their probation or parole. During the 30 week psycho-educational program, perpetrators of domestic violence discuss topics nine topics: accountability, respect, sexual respect, parenting, communication, trust, non-violence, partnership, and non-threatening behavior. 
"I have had so many clients over the years who thought abusive behavior was normal," says Hillarye Hightower, Director of BIPP and Community Education. “They've shared that their fathers or uncles were abusive, their friends' fathers, and so many other men in their lives set that example for them.  We know domestic violence is a learned behavior.  There are times when it can feel difficult to work with those who choose to use violence, but I believe in the power of change, and education is what really changes the future for our community." 
Many folks who choose abusive behavior believe that they need anger management treatment instead of BIPP. Although anger management is a great tool for some people, it is not the tool most helpful for abusers. Statistics tell us that battering/abuse are not about anger but instead are about one person believing it is their right to maintain power and control over an intimate partner (or former intimate partner).  If a person does not abuse their coworkers, parents, or strangers, but does hurt their partner, that does not lend itself toward an anger management problem but a domestic violence problem.  If someone does not say/do violent or abusive things to other people, but does them to a partner, then they ARE capable of controlling their anger, and are CHOOSING not to when it comes to their partner. It is very important to take responsibility for those choices and work to change them. 
Every day is a new opportunity to improve oneself and one's relationship. No matter what has happened in the past, people are capable of change. 
Do you hurt your partner, or does someone you know hurt their partner?  Would you like help changing that behavior? Call 940-387-5131 and ask to sign up for or for more information about our BIPP program. 
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Typical warning signs of abuse

1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence

404 clients were provided legal counsel in 2016