Accountability Through Advocacy

Posted on September 23, 2019

Join us, October 24th, for our Second Annual BIPP Conference, Accountability Through Advocacy. 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM | Denton Public Training Center | 719 East Hickory St

This conference is designed to provide a comprehensive training opportunity for practitioners in the North Texas Region and enhance their professional knowledge of domestic violence, victim safety, and batterer accountability. The conference is also an avenue for attendees to receive Continuing Education Credits through their respective disciplines. Geared specifically towards both beginners and advanced practitioners in the BIPP field, law enforcement, probation, parole, legal, professional counseling, social work, child protective services, health providers and other social services, this will be a conference you will not want to miss. 

This year's keynote speaker is  Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph. D., who is an international and national leader in the fields of sexual violence, child abuse, violence against women, and the author of Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship.  

If you would like to attend the event, you can pre-register below. 


Questions? You can e-mail David for more information.

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How To Give Your #OOTD Purpose

Posted on August 6, 2019

Upscale Resale is more than just a thrift store. Here, clients and their families have the opportunity to shop for both personal and household needs. The store is also open to the community where you can find fantastic deals on exceptional clothing items, shoes, furniture, books, and more! Proceeds from the thrift store benefit our agency's extensive and comprehensive services making Upscale Resale your new go-to place. Check out these three looks below to see how you can recreate them with pieces found from our thrift store

For the 9 to 5

As a college intern, I need to look professional while adhering to a tight budget. This outfit is a great business look, that is light and comfortable for summer. The top goes well with a nice pair of jeans for casual Fridays, and the pants are lightweight and look great with a tucked-in solid t-shirt. These comfortable, navy heels dress up any outfit, and I can add a blazer if needed. Pair with a statement necklace to complete this look. 

Total Cost of Outfit: $11.00

For Casual Coffee

When I'm not at my internship, I'm often out for coffee with friends or walking around the square, and this outfit is great for that. The linen top can be worn buttoned down and tucked in, or tied in the front in a knot for a more nautical look. (Those navy heels work great in dressing up this outfit, or some nude sandals tie it all together as well!)
Shirt Cost: $3.75

For A Night Out

Sometimes it can be a toss-up between Pizza Snob or LSA Burger, but regardless of venue, this dress has been my favorite date-night outfit of the summer. I can dress it up with oxford style heels, or I can dress it down with some sandals and a ponytail. 'It's also great for layering with a cardigan for the office, or even leggings and ankle boots for fall. The Giving Key necklace is one of my favorite finds from Upscale Resale as well. These necklaces usually cost $45.00, but the thrift store sells all necklaces and bracelets for $3.50 each. It was a steal for me to find!

Dress: $6.00

Necklace: $3.50

Shoes: $4.00

When you buy from Upscale Resale — you're giving back to the community

 If you’re shopping for the upcoming school year on a budget, need affordable business clothing, or you’re looking for your next great crafting project Upscale Resale provides all of this and gives back to Friends of The Family and your Denton Community. It's incredibly affordable, deeply impactful, and my favorite place to go thrifting. All in all, the Upscale Resale is just another reason to love Denton County Friends of the Family and the work that they do for our community.

Written By: Reighley Baugh, DCFOF Volunteer Committee Member

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Dear Men: Enough is Enough

Posted on July 30, 2019

The article was written by Mark McDaniel, a long-time supporter of Denton County Friends of the Family and owner of Catering by Chef Mark. 

I just finished a weekend volunteering for Denton County Friends of the Family, and I have to say, I’m alarmed.  

I’m alarmed by the number of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault there are in our community, but I’m in awe of their strength.

I’m alarmed at the frequency with which intimate partner violence occurs, but I’m in awe of the community of women who rally behind this cause.

Above all, I’m disturbed by the numbers.

Where is the outrage? 

Statistically, 1 in 4 women will become a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, and 2 in 5 Texas women have been victims of sexual assault. To make matters worse, 19% of all domestic violence involves a weapon, and if there’s a gun in the house when domestic assault happens, the chance of homicide goes up by 500%. 
For crimes this prevalent, there should be outrage. But, there’s no national moment of silence for victims of intimate partner violence —no flags have flown at half-mast. Most people probably can’t tell you what the Domestic Violence Awareness ribbon color is (it’s purple, by the way). On the contrary, men in our society are more concerned with not severely impacting the lives of other young men (see, Brock Turner), or whether their favorite artist will put out another album (see, R. Kelly), or if they’ll still be able to serve in the highest offices of our nation (take your pick). We’re more concerned with the reputation of men than the livelihood of the people they’re abusing, and enough is enough. 

The numbers don’t lie

Every minute, 20 more people are physically abused by an intimate partner, equating to roughly 10 million women and men each year. So, to the men reading this: what are you doing to help do your part to end domestic violence? How are you creating awareness in your community, neighborhood, and even in your home? Because as sad as it is, we still live in a man’s world. We’ve never had a female president, and out of every Fortune 500 company, only 24 CEOs are women. We need to show the women in our lives that we care about them, regardless of their connection to us.

We need you to get involved

Fortunately, Denton County Friends of the Family makes it easy for everyday citizens to do the work. For men, specifically, there are several ways to get involved that leave a tremendous ripple effect in the lives of Clients the organization serves. Check out a few examples below:

  • Volunteer at the shelter: When children see men treating women properly, or interacting with them in a non-threatening way, you’re helping them to understand non-violent behavior. 
  • Be an ally: Avoid locker room talk and actively take a stand against men casually making jokes about marginalized groups of people; whether that’s in the office, at the bar, or in your home. If you see something, say something and don’t sweep it under the rug. 
  • Advocate for education at work: The Prevention, Education, and Awareness Program (PEAP) is designed to provide training on the issues for our broader community. If you’ve noticed that you’re workplace doesn’t have training on domestic violence, sexual harassment, or abuse propose that our PEAP team come out and facilitate training. You might be saving someone’s life in the process. 

It’s time

I admit that my eyes have opened in recent months, given my connection to Friends of the Family. But my ask of the men in this community is to stand up, ask questions, and do your part to affect change. Men, it’s time to start recognizing and standing with survivors, rather than ignoring a deadly issue for women. It’s time to start teaching our children and grandchildren what healthy relationships look like, and holding those accountable who don’t model this themselves. It’s time for men to step up and speak out against domestic violence, harassment, and sexual assault. 

So to the men reading this, are you ready to take a stand? 

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Denton County Friends of the Family Welcomes Two New Faces

Posted on July 25, 2019

Denton County Friends of the Family has welcomed two new faces to their small but MIGHTY Marketing and Development team! We are delighted to introduce Ximena Montemayor, our new Development Coordinator and Katie Jahangiri, our new Director of Marketing and Development.

Ximena earned her Bachelor's in Psychology and minor in Human Development and Family Studies in 2017 from the University of North Texas before pursuing and completing her Master’s in Public Administration this past May. During her time in college, she has served in various leadership roles and completed an internship with local nonprofit. Ximena grew up in Cedar Hill, Texas but quickly fell in love with Denton’s authenticity after moving here for college. She is very excited for the opportunity to stay in Denton and serve in a role that gives back to the community she has fallen in love with! In her free time she enjoys traveling, exploring places such as Japan, Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica.

Katie has lived in the Denton Community for over six years. After graduating from the University of North Texas, she went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. Katie brings extensive experience to the agency, having worked in both the private and nonprofit sector to build fundraising, training, marketing, and business development strategies. Above all, she is passionate about supporting women and children, and believes that she can use her unique talents to help end domestic violence in our community. 
As the Director of Marketing and Development, Katie will lead her team in building relationships across Denton County, promoting and safeguarding the Friends of the Family brand, and cross-collaborating across our agency to ensure the ongoing success of our programs and services.   

Welcome to the family Katie and Ximena! 

Interested in learning how your business or organization can give back to your community? Email

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Transitional Housing Provides Safe New Beginnings

Posted on July 17, 2019

Survivors of domestic violence often leave their entire lives behind to seek safety. Even worse, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that up to 99% of all domestic violence victims experience compounded economic abuse by their partner. At DCFOF, we know that economic abuse can take on many forms. For example, abusers often force the victim to quit their job or coerce them into non-consensual credit-related transactions that will negatively impact the victim’s credit. As a result of economic abuse, victims often feel forced to stay or return to their abusive situation.   

That’s where we come in.  

Friends of the Family’s Transitional Housing Program offers some relief to survivors of family violence by helping clients find a new safe home, as well as help furnish and provide basic household items. The Transitional Housing Program helps domestic violence victims create a safe place to heal and gain their independence. Since February 2018, Friend of the Family’s Transitional Housing Program has helped 193 clients — 66 families — find their safe new beginning. Below is Rhonda’s story; she and her children were one of the 66 families. 

When Rhonda entered our Transitional Housing program, she and her 3-year-old son were facing eviction from their home. She was pregnant with her second child, and she had been experiencing extreme physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse from her partner. Beyond that, the ongoing abuse had impacted her ability to maintain employment and stable housing for her and her son. Unfortunately, Rhonda wanted to finish school but was forced to put her plans on hold. The violence and instability she experienced at the hands of her abuser felt insurmountable. Eventually, the abuser was arrested for family violence, which only left Rhonda attempting to support herself and her child, as well as deal with a pending home eviction. Nevertheless, she was determined to survive and create a better life for her son and unborn child.   

Through the coordinated effort of multiple DCFOF departments, our Legal Team was able to get the eviction dismissed, and our Transitional Housing Team secured a new apartment for Rhonda and her son. Moreover, the Transitional Housing Program provided her with rental and utility assistance for six months to give her time to begin healing, earning an income, and provide care of her son. While in the Transitional Housing Program, Rhonda accessed counseling for herself, play therapy for her son, legal advocacy, case management, along with financial childcare and education assistance. Meanwhile, her advocate assisted her in working with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office as the abuser’s criminal case proceeded and helped her obtain a protective order against the abuser. At the same time, her advocate worked as a liaison between her and Child Protective Services to help her meet her goals and follow her safety plan. Our program staff had the exciting privilege to meet Rhonda’s new baby when she was born just a few months into our program. Staff and volunteers came together to provide needed baby items to help with the transition time for her as they became a family of three.   

Rhonda was determined to work hard and provide for herself and her two children. During her time with us, she obtained a full-time job, received a promotion, and became a trainer for new employees. Soon after, she was able to begin fulfilling her dream of going back to school, where she completed a certification program through the local community college. Rhonda even has plans to continue her education this fall. When she exited our program, she had increased her income and moved her family into an apartment in her name. Above all, Rhonda has made a new life for her family and worked hard to achieve her goals. Like many other survivors, Rhonda needed safe, accessible housing for her and her children, so that she could begin working on her goals and healing.  Thankfully, the Friends of the Family Transitional Housing program can provide those necessary resources, support, and love to those in need.  

Transitional Housing 101  

How You Can Help 

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Annual Partner: Julian Firm

Posted on July 12, 2019

Annual Partnership: The Julian Firm, P.C.

Jared Julian, Founder and President of The Julian Firm, P.C., has awarded Denton County Friends of the Family $5,000 as their Partner with a Purpose Annual Partnership. Mr. Julian is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Julian has been a licensed attorney in the State of Texas since 2001. The attorneys and paralegals at the Julian Firm, P.C. represent individuals going through difficult family law related matters including, divorce, child custody disputes, child support issues, alimony/spousal maintenance, modification of prior court orders and all other family law related matters.  

Mr. Julian is recognized as a Family Law expert in the State of Texas and he is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Less than one percent of all Texas law attorneys are board certified in Family Law. Mr. Julian is also rated as “Super Lawyer,” a distinction limited to 5 percent of all Texas attorneys. For over 15 years, Mr. Julian’s practice has focused on family law and has handled well over a thousand cases. He has handled extremely high net-worth divorces, highly contested custody disputes and C.P.S. termination cases, but also counsels his clients through more amicable cases often resolved through settlement. Mr. Julian is a highly sought-after mediator with a successful mediation resolution rate over 95%. 

“What we know is that the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is as they are trying to end the relationship,” says Toni Johnson-Simpson DCFOF Executive Director. “It is so important to have professionals in the family law field that recognize signs of domestic violence and are actively working to support victims in their day to day lives. As a member of the DCFOF Board of Directors and our 2019 Partner with a Purpose, Jared Julian and his firm have taken a stand against domestic violence. As Denton County continues to expand, so does the need for our services. In the last year, we have seen a 50% increase in children served with play therapy, a 52% increase in clients needing advocacy services, and a 24% increase in new clients coming through our doors. It is more important than ever to have strong partnerships like the one with The Julian Firm, P.C. to continue to provide the quality and quantity of services to every person in need. I want to thank Mr. Julian and the staff of The Julian Firm, P.C. for their commitment to safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault 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