Welcome David!

Posted on July 5, 2017

Friends of the Family is excited to welcome a new member to our leadership team, David Almager! David is now the Director of Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP), bringing with him years of expertise and passion for this work. 

David is a veteran in the field of family violence having served as a counselor and program director in three separate state funded Domestic Violence programs. David has worked with both incarcerated and court ordered family violence offenders for over 16 years and was instrumental in the development of the Dallas County Felony Domestic Violence Court Program, specializing in the treatment of high-risk batterers. He has presented at state and local conferences in the area of battering intervention and prevention, high-risk offender treatment, group facilitation, and cultural competency. David holds a master’s degree in counseling/health from West Texas A&M University. 

We are happy to have you David, welcome to the DCFOF Family! 

Learn more about BIPP

Visit our website

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Jennifer's Story

Posted on June 30, 2017

Childcare Assistance Funds Needed 

We have a special request this week for one of our clients. Check out her story below and help if you can! Every dollar makes a difference. 

Support Jennifer

Jennifer (client's name has been changed for confidentiality) came into shelter with her two small boys. Her flight into the Friends of the Family shelter was a frantic and urgent one. The abuse she and her children experienced had been escalating over time, and she was becoming more and more worried about both her and her children's safety. One night, her abuser came home enraged and made the choice to strangle her. Strangulation is one of the biggest red flags we look for to determine if a case is high risk; if a person is willing to temporarily cut off another person's oxygen supply, it is a sign of high risk behavior and that they would be more likely to go even further and cause permanent injury or death. 

Jennifer does not want her two boys to grow up in a home where they are taught that it is okay to abuse women. She has overcome many obstacles and worked very hard to start a new life for herself and her children. She found a job and is finishing up her training and needs help with childcare for the next few weeks to get through her transition to self sufficiency. 

Jennifer is needing assistance with two more weeks of childcare while she finishes up her training. She has already overcome so much, and deserves this chance at a life free from violence and abuse for herself and her children. Childcare assistance is just one more barrier we are able to help Jennifer and her family overcome. 

As many of us know, childcare is one of the highest rising costs for any parent. When you think about victims of domestic violence, 98% of which are financially abused, the cost is increasingly hard to meet. Although this is Jennifer's story the barrier is something that many of our clients face and is a recurring need for the women and children that we serve. 

If you are able, please contribute to our Childcare Assistance Fund, and 100% of those dollars will be put toward our client's childcare needs. Thank you for supporting Jennifer and other mom's like her in their fight against domestic violence. 

Support Jennifer


You can read more about other barriers many victims face in our blog "Defining the Barriers Victims Face"

Domestic violence is never the victim's fault, even if they are currently staying in the relationship. If someone discloses abuse to you, please do two things – first, please don't judge them and make sure they know that the abuse is not their fault (yes, even if they are wanting to stay). Secondly, give them the DCFOF 24-hour crisis line number 800-572-4031

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#FaithForFreedom Kick-Off Success!

Posted on June 28, 2017

Last Thursday we shared laughs, stories, and agency goals with our Faithful Friends at the #FaithForFreedom Kick-Off Social. #FaithForFreedom is an interfaith campaign within the faith community of Denton County to support Denton County Friends of the Family through raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault and raising funds to support our programs.   

View the Photo Album

We started the social with a tour of the agency. It was a really great experience teaching our Faithful Friends more about the comprehensive services and programs (some of which they had not heard about at all!). We were able to give attendees more insight into what life is like for many of our clients. For example, we have multiple avenues for our clients to get little essentials here and there (food pantry where they can come once a week, donations sitting out in the waiting room for them to take, professional clothing, and children's books).  Due to financial abuse (where the abuser does not allow the victim access to money) many victims of domestic violence have a hard time making ends meet. Every penny counts, and these extra donations can go a long way. Unfortunately. about 98% of domestic violence victims are financially abused, which is one of the reasons we are proud to offer all victim services free of charge! 

After the tour, we spoke in more detail about the campaign. 

#FaithForFreedom has 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  

Request the #FaithForFreedom Resources 

At the end of the day, our Faithful Friends were not decided by the amount of dollars that these congregations bring in or the number of item drives they host. Being a Faithful Friend means that they answered the call. They were called- by an agency that some of them had never met before- to help make our community a better place, and they made the choice to come and make a difference with us. Their open minds and willingness to lend a hand set them apart! 

View the Photo Album

Our Faithful Friends:

Bethel Temple Fellowship 
Christ Community Church 
Congregation Kol Ami 
Denton First Seventh-Day Adventist Church 
First United Methodist Church of Denton 
Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church 
Redeemer Church of Denton 
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church 
Trinity Presbyterian Church of Flower Mound 
Valley Creek Church 
Venture Community Church 

Your congregation can become a Faithful Friend too! Join the #FaithForFreedom campaign and add your voice to the chorus of congregations that answered the call. 

Join the #FaithForFreedom Campaign

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Defining The Barriers Victims Face

Posted on June 22, 2017

From the outside looking in, the solution to escaping domestic violence can appear to be so simple. If you're not feeling safe and happy, then just leave, right? 

Wrong. Every story of domestic violence is different, but they have an important thing in common: it is never that simple. There are many barriers that victims face should they try to leave the relationship that may not be obvious to the people outside of the relationship. We will explore a few of those barriers in this blog, and we want to make sure that if you take anything from this at all, take this: 

Domestic violence is never the victim's fault, even if they are currently staying in the relationship. If someone discloses abuse to you, please do two things – first, please don't judge them and make sure they know that the abuse is not their fault (yes, even if they are wanting to stay). Secondly, give them the DCFOF 24-hour crisis line number 800-572-4031. Please do not tell them that they have to leave immediately or try to take control of the situation in any way, doing so may put them in more danger than you realize.

What are some of the barriers that victims face when they try to leave?  


(Note- this is not a comprehensive list. More barriers than this exist.) 

  1. Immediate Danger 

The most dangerous time in an abusive relationship is when the victim is attempting to leave. In fact, more than 75%* of victims killed by their abusive partners are killed as they are trying to leave or shortly after they have ended the relationship. The danger that goes along with attempting to leave is very real, and victims know it.

  1. Financial Abuse 

About 99%** of victims of domestic violence are financially abused. This means that the abuser has kept the victim from being able to maintain financial resources to survive on their own. Some examples could be:  not allowing the victim to hold a job, not allowing them access to a bank account, or intentionally ruining their credit (so they could not qualify for a loan or housing without the abuser). If the victim feels that they will not be able to financially support themselves and their children on their own, that can feel paralyzing and make it difficult to leave.

  1. Isolation 

If a victim is thinking about leaving the relationship, one of the first things to think about is where they will go. Abusers spend a lot of energy keeping the victim isolated from their friends and families with the intention of making them feel like they have no one else to turn to but the abuser. Abusers will not allow the victims to call friends and family, not let them out of the house to see them, and/or intentionally cause arguments and rifts between the victim and their support systems. The victim may feel like the support system they once had does not want to hear from them anymore and have a very hard time reaching out to anyone.

  1. Fear of Custody Battles 

A big reason that some victims choose to stay in an abusive relationship is fear of what will happen to their children if they leave. If there is no documentation of the abuse, then it can feel like one partner's word against the other and losing custody of your children to your abuser is a huge risk to take. When this fear is combined with other barriers, one can start to see the whole picture:  If someone has been financially abused, they may not get a good paying job right away, which means they could be living in a small apartment or shelter. It will be hard to make ends meet, which means they may not be able to buy their kids everything that they need. Due to the constant abuse they have suffered, they may have emotional trauma to work through and may not always seem emotionally stable. When this is compared to the abuser, who has the house, money, stable job, and everything else, who do you think would have a better chance at getting custody of the kids?  As unhealthy as the home may be, that may feel easier to deal with than the thought of losing your children. 

  1. Gaslighting 

Gaslighting, or "crazy-making," is a form of emotional abuse which literally makes the victim feel like they are mentally/emotionally unstable. It could start with something small, such as hiding a book that the victim is reading or moving a lamp to the other side of the room, and then making the victim out to be forgetful or wrong when they notice these types of changes. Batterers will tell victims that the lamp was always there, or that they never touched the book, and act like the victim is foolish for thinking otherwise. After a while of this, the victim literally starts to doubt their own sanity. It starts to feel like they are losing their mind and can't trust your own instincts about anything. The world feels unsteady and difficult to navigate. So when someone does not trust their own sanity, can they trust that the abuse they thought they were experiencing is real? Or were they just remembering it wrong, like with everything else?

  1. Love 

Break-ups are hard for anyone, no matter how dysfunctional the relationship. No matter how unhealthy the relationship became, at some point, they did love this person. It is even harder if they are married to the abuser and/or have children with them. No one wants to get a divorce or end a relationship that once made them happy, and that decision can be a very difficult one to make even when abuse is present. 

Do any of these things sound familiar?

If you or someone you know needs help, call our 24 hour crisis line at: 

940.382.7273 

or 

800.572.4031 


*Domestic Abuse Shelter 

**Purple Purse Foundation

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Recent Job Postings

Posted on June 20, 2017

We've have two positions that have recently been posted:

  • Bookkeeper 
  • Facitilies & Maintenance Specialist, Part-Time 

Read more about each position in the sections below. To apply submit your resume in person at our Outreach Office or via email

Denton County Friends of the Family 
4845 I-35E
Corinth, TX 76210

Email:  mecret@dcfof.org


Job Title: Bookkeeper

Position Description:

We are looking for a reliable and dedicated individual to join our Administrative Team. The ideal candidate will have experience in financial transactions, posting transactions, and ensuring compliance in legal requirements with strong attention to detail.

Potential Job Duties:

  • Maintain system to account for financial transactions by maintaining a chart of accounts, defining bookkeeping policies and procedures.
  • Balance general ledger by preparing a trial balance and reconciling entries.
  • Prepares financial reports by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing account information and trends.
  • Verify bank deposits and reconcile accounts.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or related field (preferred)
  • Experience in administration, data entry skills and account.


Job Title: Facilities & Maintenance Specialist Part-Time

Must be available to work evenings and weekends.

Position Description:

We are looking for a hardworking problem-solver to provide maintenance for all of our Agency facilities. The ideal candidate will have some experience in maintenance and strong attention to detail.
 

Hourly Rate: $12/hr

Qualifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license and good driving record
  • Over the age of 23
  • Demonstrated ability to perform routine maintenance of household and office facilities
  • Willing to train.


To apply submit resume in person at our Outreach Office or through email to:

Denton County Friends of the Family 
4845 I-35E
Corinth, TX 76210

Email:  mecret@dcfof.org

*Denton County Friends of the Family, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

**Both positions above are Grant funded and will continue only if sufficient grant or external funds are provided.

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Childhood Exposure to Violence

Posted on June 15, 2017

Children's Program Overview

"The majority of our kids — more than 60 percent – have been exposed to crime, abuse, and violence within the past year — many in their own homes. Ten percent of children in the United States have suffered some form of abuse or neglect; one in sixteen has been victimized sexually….The problem of children’s exposure to violence is an urgent one, one we can’t afford to ignore."

-Former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder

The fact that you're reading this shows that you are making the choice to not ignore the impact that violence can have on children in our community. 1 in 4 women are victims of violence and their children are impacted whether they experience the violence directly or through exposure. At Friends of the Family we work to provide comprehensive services for women and children who are victims of sexual and domestic violence. In 2016, we provided 2,728 counseling services to children and adolescents who had been impacted by violence right here in our community. In March alone of this year our children's program expert staff provided therapy services to 132 children. Clients can access all of the services offered by the children's program at no cost. If you or someone you know needs help reach out. 

How To Get Help

The Problem

15.5 million children a year are exposed to domestic violence. That would be 40,000 children exposed to violence in their homes in Denton County in the year 2015. This type of crime is pervasive, and can make a lasting impact on not only the victim, but everyone that they know. For all of the people out there who have been impacted, please know that you are not alone. Together we will work to prevent violence through education, and our community's access to comprehensive services (like those at Friends of the Family) can make all the difference!

What Do Children Learn When Exposed to Violence? 

  • The world is unstable and unsafe
  • Violence is the best way to resolve conflicts, assert one's view, get one's way
  • Violence is a way to release stress and tension 
  • I have to be in control to be ok
  • "It is my fault my parents fight"
  • People sometimes deserve to be hit 
  • Violence is an inherent part of a loving relationship 

In 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder launched the groundbreaking Defending Childhood Initiative to address a national crisis. They belive that "although the prevalence of children’s exposure to violence is overwhelming, there is clear evidence that simple solutions can help children to heal and thrive. We all have a role to play in preventing violence in our communities and supporting children who have been exposed to violence. Knowing the facts about children’s exposure to violence, as well as the factors that promote resilience, is the first step to changing the course for children in our communities." At Friends of the Family we work to provide just these type of solutions for children here in Denton County. 

What Does Our Children's Program Offer? 

  • Parent orientation is designed to introduce parents to our counseling program and to provide them with therapeutic skills to aid in managing trauma responses in their children.
  • Child-parent relationship training classes work to enhance relationships and increase attachment between caregivers and their children. 
  • Play therapy for children ages 3-10 
  • Activity therapy for ages 3-17 
  • Several groups for males ages 11 and 12, 13 and 14 and 15-17
  • Several groups for females ages 11 and 12, 13 and 14, 15-17 

What Is Play Therapy? 

At Friends of the Family we integrate different play therapy interventions based on the needs of each child. Our primary goal is to create a warm and safe environment where a child can learn to understand the wonderful things about themselves, come to believe there are safe places in the world, and some people will love you just the way you are and can be trusted. The University of North Texas' Center for Play Therapy, describes play therapy like this: "Play therapy is to children what counseling is to adults. Play therapy utilizes play, children's natural medium of expression, to help them express their feelings more easily through toys instead of words."

Association for Play Therapy (APT) defines play therapy as "the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development." 

Our play therapy programs start as early as age 3 and services are provided at no cost to the family. Any family who has been impacted by sexual or domestic violence is eligible for servies at our agency including our play therapy program.

How To Get Help

Ready To Make An Impact?

Donate 

Every $65 provides an hour of play therapy for a child who has been impacted by sexual or domestic violence. 

Volunteer 

Ready to get to work. Come volunteer with our Children's Program.

Advocate 

Get educated. Learn more about the impact of sexual and domestic violence in our community. 

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<c>Typical warning signs of abuse</c> - Preview

Typical warning signs of abuse

1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence - Preview

1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence

4,405 adults and children received 94,065 services in 2019 - Preview

4,405 adults and children received 94,065 services in 2019