Summer Time At Shelter

Posted on June 5, 2019

It’s officially summer! While most families are out enjoying the summer sun, vacationing at the beach, traveling, or going to summer camp, things can look a little different for our families at shelter.  

While the kids are out of school, they spend a lot of time in the Shelter. If they are not playing outside on the playground, you can find them inside in the playroom or watching television in the living room. The kids are also allowed to use the computers to watch youtube videos or play online games. At the same time, Shelter staff and the mom’s staying there with their children do not want the kids spending all their time stuck on a screen.  For this reason, Shelter provides them with family-friendly movies to watch, board games, reading, and arts and craft supplies for when they are feeling creative. Luckily our Male Mentor also makes a monthly calendar with planned activities for the children to participate in. He tries to make it inclusive for kids of all ages, such as playing volleyball, baking, or making slime. During the summer, Shelter staff also tries to have at least two planned field trips a month, the most recent being to the UNT Planetarium.  

Being in a place that isn’t your home for an extended time period during the summer months can be challenging for the kids at shelter, simply because it is a different environment. Our dedicated staff does their utmost to provide an active, well-rounded summer, full of positive activities in a safe environment. Our Shelter, which is at an undisclosed location for the safety of our clients and their children, is dedicated to making a temporary stay feel like a home away from home for our clients.  And that is the key to healing for families in crisis. Keeping active can be an emotional support for the children as well, as they know they have a safe place to be, where they can have fun, and be at ease.  

If you would like to donate summer activities, games, or books for the kiddos at shelter, you can visit our Amazon Smile wishlist via the link below.  If you would like to bring in items to donate, you can bring them to our Outreach Office located at: 4845 S. I-35 East | Corinth, TX 76210

If you have any questions, you can e-mail our donation coordinator.

Amazon Smile

Activity List

Crisis Line: Available 24/7 @ 940-382-7273 | 800-572-4031

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Back to Basics- What We Do

Posted on May 29, 2019

There's always something going on over here at our agency whether it's events, drives or volunteer gigs we've got a ton of opportunities for the community to give back, and boy does our community give back (THANK YOU!). We want to take a minute to just go back to the basics of what it's all about - how we help. 

OUR MISSION

We provide compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention.

Everything we do on a daily basis goes back to our mission. We have a rockstar team making things happen every day. You can learn more about a few of the key players on our staff page or board page

HOW WE HELP

The resources available for victims of sexual and domestic violence are completely free and confidential. You can learn more about the various ways we help by checking out the "GET HELP" tab on our website. The snapshot below gives you a quick look into the services available including - shelter, transitional housing, counseling, play therapy and legal services. 

If you or someone you know would like to connect for services please call our 24-hour crisis line at 800-572-4031 or front desk at 940-387-5131. You can call just to ask questions and learn about resources or setup an intake appointment. 

HOW IT WORKS

When someone is ready to learn more about the resources available for them they can call our front desk at 940-387-5131 and schedule an intake appointment.

The sole purpose of this appointment is to learn more about their goals, assess their safety and how we can help. As far as the steps they take next... it is completely their decision. There is no obligation for them to access the services- it is their choice. We just ensure we are there to help them break down any barriers that may be getting in the way of accomplishing their goals and staying safe. We are here to support them.

It looks different for every client but the thing to remember is that help is available! If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual or domestic violence send them to Friends of the Family. We are the experts and we can help! 

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Reproductive Coercion

Posted on May 23, 2019

Reproductive Coercion 

Many times, when we talk about domestic violence and sexual assault we hear about verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. When sexual abuse is discussed it is usually attributed to rape or sexual assault. Earlier this month we talked about how financial abuse is a form of domestic violence, which even though it occurs in 99% of victims is lesser known than other types of abuse. Today we are going to discuss another lesser known form of exerting abusive power and control over a partner: Reproductive Coercion. 

According to a 2011 study done by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, of the 3,000 people surveyed, 25% reported that they were victims of what is known as Reproductive Coercion. Reproductive Coercion is defined as a form of domestic violence (AKA intimate partner violence) where behavior concerning reproductive health is used to maintain power, control, and domination within a relationship and over a partner through an unwanted pregnancy.  

So what does reproductive coercion or birth control tampering look like? 

-Refusal to wear a condom or take birth control 

-Breaking or Removing a Condom during intercourse on purpose 

-Lying about their methods of birth control (claiming to have had a vasectomy when they have not; not being on the pill when they said they were) 

-Purposefully passing on STI’s to their partner 

-Tampering with birth control pills either by flushing them, damaging them, or poking holes in condoms 

-Forcing their partner to get an abortion or preventing them from getting one 

-Continually keeping their partner pregnant  

-Monitoring their partner’s menstrual cycle 

-Removing an IUD or ring 

In 2013 another study took place in Rhode Island when an OBGYN noticed many of her patients were getting pregnant after they had requested birth control. The physician surveyed 641 patients and learned that 16% were pressured into pregnancy in some form or another, mostly through destruction of their birth control methods or tampering with their birth control methods.  

Reproductive Coercion can happen to anyone. It is a way to maintain power and control over one’s partner and is usually just one aspect of the abuse occurring at home. Unfortunately, the resulting pregnancy can then become one of the most dangerous times in a woman’s life, especially if she is in an abusive relationship.  

Statistics:  

1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault 

1 in 7 report experiencing birth control sabotage at some point in their life 

1 in 5 women report that their partners pressured them into getting pregnant 

What can you do? Always start by believing. If you or someone you know has had their birth control tampered with, provide them with our Crisis Line number at 940-382-7273 or toll free at 800-572-4031. OBGYN’s are also here to help, as well as the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233. We can help provide you with the resources you may need through our free Advocacy, Counseling, and Legal services. You are not alone. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline

The Cut

Prospect

Bedsider

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Clarice's Story

Posted on May 20, 2019

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) states that "on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men." 98% of those 10 million victims are also battling financial abuse from their abusive partner on a daily basis, making it almost impossible for them to become financially independent. Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program provides survivors of family violence with tools, resources and financial assistance to be able to build a foundation for a safer life. Friends of the Family knows that survivors leaving an abusive relationship are fighting an up hill battle and want to help every step of the way. The following is a client's story who was able to find independence and emotional well-being with the help of Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program. 

When Clarice came into the Transitional Housing Program, she was facing a multitude of barriers. She was experiencing homelessness as a direct result of the violence her ex-partner had inflicted, which included physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. In addition, she was involved with CPS, multiple medical concerns, no health insurance, student loan debt, and poor credit. Her advocate worked with her to address her safety and legal concerns first, by helping her safety plan and obtain a protective order. They then focused on the client’s health. Her advocate connected her with local medical and dental resources and assisted her with signing up for benefits. Once the immediate concerns regarding safety, housing, medical, and physical needs were addressed, the client decided to start accessing counseling through our agency to address the trauma that she had survived. Clarice worked extremely hard to reach her goals while in our program. She began working on her custody case regarding her daughters who had been separated from her due to CPS involvement, and was able to begin spending more time with her daughters, which increased her hope and motivation for the future. Clarice focused on budgeting, saving money, and her housing plan for once she completed our program. She and her advocate worked to set up a payment plan for her student loans and she began to repair her credit. Next, they created a housing plan and located an apartment for her to move in to when the time came.  She was also able to get much needed car repairs, so that she could reliably get to and from work each day. However, as she was working towards her goals in case management, more barriers arose. She was able to obtain health insurance through her work, but was not able to access the benefits for two months. Also around this time, an individual she had been acquaintances with began to consistently harass and stalk her through call and text. Clarice and her advocate worked to address her safety with the new threat that had arisen by safety planning regarding her home, work, travel, and technology use. 


Despite all of the barriers that Clarice faced, during her time in the Transitional Housing program, she was promoted at her job twice and started training new staff. She accessed legal advocacy, housing advocacy, case management, counseling, and budgeting. She obtained a protective order, secured more time with her daughters, and qualified for Crime Victims Compensation to help her financially with her move into a new apartment. At the end of our program, she was able to obtain a lease in her own name and moved into her own apartment near her daughters and work. Clarice completed our program proud of all of the goals she had accomplished and hopeful for her and her daughters’ futures.  
 

If you would like to learn more about how to support the efforts of Denton County Friends of the Family's Transitional Housing Program with time, talent or treasure and become a Housing Partner email our Community Resource Coordinator, Paige

Thank you for investing in safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention for victims of sexual and domestic violence in our community. 

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Labor of Love Fair 2019

Posted on May 15, 2019

Being a new mom or deciding to add another bundle to your family can at times be overwhelming. Lucky for Denton, Chelsea Wolfington and Elizabeth Bernal understood the struggle of navigating through the journey of becoming a new parent and learning about all the available options and resources that are out there to choose from and wanted to make it easier! Chelsea and Elizabeth are the co organizers for the Labor of Love Fair 2019, which is a free resource and information fair for expecting moms and new parents. The Labor of Love Fair is also graciously benefiting Denton County Friends of the Family. They will be collecting donations of diapers, wipes, formula, and other needed baby items from guests attending the fair in exchange for raffle tickets. All extra monies raised by the Labor of Love Fair will also be donated towards the services provided by Friends of the Family. Read more below about why Chelsea and Elizabeth decided to organize the Labor of Love Fair and the type of vendors and resources it will be offering. 

"After having children of our own, starting businesses while raising toddlers, and having many conversations that started with, “Why didn’t we know this existed...?” The idea came to us to bring together all the resources we had needed during our pregnancies, births, and postpartum periods under one roof so other families, instead of wishing someone had the answer, could know who had the answer and how to contact them. 


Our event will feature vendors from every aspect of pregnancy and early parenting. We will have information, resources, products, and services from midwives, doulas, prenatal massage therapists, and lactation consultants to newborn care specialists, women’s outreach, crafters, natural care reps, local makers, and more!


 The Labor of Love Fair will be at the Denton Civic Center on August 25th, 2019 from 2-5 PM. Admission is free and children are encouraged to attend. There will be a children’s area with activities for different age ranges."

Learn More

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Shop for Jewels to Invest in Justice!

Posted on May 7, 2019

Shop for Jewels to Invest in Justice!

                                                                                                                                                                                         

2018 Photo Album

Jewels for Justice

Saturday, June 8th

11:30AM- 1:00PM

Private Residence of Charla Bradshaw

Presented By

GET TICKETS

It's Kendra Scott time! On Saturday, June 8th the DCFOF Women's Auxiliary is hosting the third annual Jewels for Justice, presented by Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers and hosted at the lovely home of Charla Bradshaw. Get ready for an afternoon of fun, fashion, and fundraising for a great cause.  Just in time for the new summer line, you get a chance to shop gorgeous Kendra Scott jewelry while making an impact. All ticket sales and a portion of jewelry sales go back into DCFOF services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community. Every person who comes out to the event is truly making an impact!

According to the Kendra Scott website "every Kendra Scott piece is intricately and artfully designed at our state of the art studio in Austin, Texas. As a creative mind with a love of natural gemstones, Kendra designed her first collection of jewelry in 2002. The foundation of Kendra’s success has been her infectious energy and entrepreneurial spirit, which took her from a $500 project in the spare bedroom of her home to a billion-dollar fashion brand loved globally. Known for her unique use of color and quality materials, Kendra has created collections of timeless pieces that have won over loyal fans, media and celebrities alike. Since she began her company, Kendra has lived by three core values: Family, Fashion and Philanthropy. She created a brand and culture that authentically values giving back and making a positive difference in the community."

But the jewels aren't all- get ready for some delicious bites and a mimosa bar! The only thing that makes shopping better is doing it with a cold cocktail in hand. The brunch bites are courtesy of Chef Mark McDaniel, local caterer and generous supporter of DCFOF. You can learn more about his catering company HERE. Get ready for goodies like prosciutto wrapped melons, spinach artichoke dip, and savory croissant breakfast bread pudding- YUM!

We are so excited and grateful to host this fabulous event at the private residence of Charla Bradshaw! Charla Bradshaw is an accomplished board certified family law attorney and Denton Managing Shareholder at KoonsFuller Family Law Firm.  Awarded 2016’s Best Divorce Lawyer by Murray Media’s “Best of Denton County,” Bradshaw has also been listed among the “Best Lawyers in America” since 2011.  She was one of the  Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas (2005, 2014 and 2015) and rated one of the Best Women Lawyers in North Texas by D Magazine in 2010. You can read her full bio HERE.

We are very grateful for the support of our presenting sponsor Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers. According to their website "Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers opened in August 1998. We chose to become a part of the Denton County community because we found Denton to be a place that continues to embrace the traditional values of community. We are proud to be a part of such a caring and connected society. As we’ve grown, we’ve expanded to help represent clients in Collin County and really enjoy helping clients in both counties with their family law cases. Our firm has had the pleasure and distinction of being named Best Family Law Firm by the Best of Denton County and "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News Best Lawyers." Learn more about their firm HERE.

As you can tell, this event is going to be a blast! But above everything else, lets remember why this event matters. 100% of ticket sales and a portion of Kendra Scott sales go right back into DCFOF services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community such as: emergency shelter, counseling, play therapy, legal services, advocacy and case management, transitional housing, 24-Hour crisis line, hospital and court accompaniment, a food pantry, and community education. When you shop at Jewels for Justice you are directly supporting the members of our community who need your help, and making a bigger impact than you think. It is hard to put into words what it means to victims and survivors to see 100 community members come out to an event just to support THEM! For people who have been so isolated and made to feel that no one would support or believe them, you showing up matters! We thank you for coming out to Jewels for Justice and taking a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault.

Get your tickets now and shop JEWELS to invest in JUSTICE! 

GET TICKETS

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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