Meet Paige

Posted on January 28, 2019

Meet Paige, the newest member of our Marketing and Development team here at DCFOF!

She is our Community Resource Coordinator for Transitional Housing. As some of you may know, Transitional Housing is our newest program that we have had for about a year now. It is an incredibly important addition to our agency, helping us support the 99% of domestic violence victims that have suffered financial abuse and need time and support to build their lives up again before they take on their own rent. As a part of this program, Paige will support our growing Transitional Housing program needs and initiatives, take the lead on all in-kind donations for our clients, and engage our community through our Women’s Auxiliary!!

Paige is a Dentonite born and raised. She graduated in 2014 with a BS in Integrative Studies from UNT with focuses in Business Management and Public Affairs and Community Service. While attending UNT she also earned her certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is a certified Mediator. 
Among her 11 years of experience in customer service, she has cultivated her professional skillset through her time as a higher education counselor and administrator. When Paige is not working, she enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and getting crafty!

Paige is excited to be a part of DCFOF’s legacy by helping to create a community of awareness and compassion for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Welcome to DCFOF!
 

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Welcome Sarah!

Posted on January 23, 2019

Meet Sarah!  

She joins our Prevention Education Awareness Program as a Community Educator here at Denton County Friends of the Family.  

Sarah completed both of her undergraduate (a B.S. in Psychology with a Minor in English) and graduate (M.A. in Counseling Psychology) degrees at Texas Woman’s University. While in graduate school, she got the chance to intern at University Behavioral Health of Denton with their Outpatient Adolescent and Adult programs (concerning such issues as substance abuse, sexual assault, psychiatric disorders, etc.) and the Denton County Jail where she provided individual counseling and taught psychoeducational courses to incarcerated individuals. She truly valued the opportunity to work with individuals going through difficult times in their lives and found a sense of fulfillment in it. 

She chose to work at Denton County Friends of the Family because she truly believes in the values expressed here. She admires the work DCFOF has done for the community and wanted to be a part of something bigger than herself. Plus, she says she’s heard amazing things about the work atmosphere and knew that this was someplace where she could thrive! Sarah is most excited about getting to work as part of a team to teach others about issues related to domestic violence and sexual assault. Education is so important to her and she is looking forward to being able to work within Denton County to teach others about the work we do here.  

Please help us in welcoming Sarah to our team, we are excited to have her on board!

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Stalking Awareness Month

Posted on January 15, 2019

STALKING AWARENESS MONTH

HOW TO RECOGNIZE & COMBAT STALKING

Guest Blog Author: Jennifer Wyatt

January, 2019 is the 15th annual National Stalking Awareness Month (NASM). In July 2003, the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), in partnership with Representative Heather Wilson (R-NM) and Lifetime Television, at a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, told the story of Peggy Klinke, a 33 year-old woman who had been brutally murdered by a stalker on January 18, 2003. This briefing focused on strengthening law enforcement’s response to stalking. Later that same day, Rep. Wilson introduced a Congressional Resolution to support National Stalking Awareness Month. 

SPARC (the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center) defines stalking as “a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” Let’s break this down a bit. A pattern can be as little as two incidents, and while this behavior is directed at a specific person, we often see that family, friends, and/or coworkers are contacted by the perpetrator, as he/she tries to gain access to or information about the victim. Fear. Fear is difficult because it is a contextual emotion; what one person sees as fearful is not necessary fearful to the person right beside them. An example of this would be receiving flowers. In itself, receiving a bouquet of flowers at work is not a scary thing, it’s usually a happy surprise for most people but, what if that bouquet was sent from an abusive ex-partner? And you were unaware that they knew were you worked? Or knew where your work is located? In this case, that beautiful bouquet of flowers becomes terrifying. It’s for this reason that the term “reasonable person” is in the definition. 
 

Some RED FLAGS that would indicate potential stalking behavior are:
•    Unwanted phone calls or texts
•    Unwanted contact via social media
•    Unwanted gifts
•    Suddenly “showing up”, either approaching you or your family/friends
•    Monitoring your movements (so easy now with current technology)
•    Damaging your property
•    Threats (to you, your family, your friends, your pets)
•    Creating situations that will lead to contact with you
•    Not taking “NO” for an answer when asked to stop contacting you

If you feel that you are in immediate danger:
•    Call 911
•    Don’t confront your stalker. This most often makes the situation escalate
•    Tell people. The more people who know at home or work, the more the stalker’s behavior can be documented and monitored
•    Keep records of the stalking activity, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem
•    Change your daily routine so it is harder for you to be monitored

Who are victims of stalking? As with domestic violence, victims of stalking are all around us; they can be anyone. 1 in 6 women are victims of stalking, as are 1 in 17 men. Stalking can happen at any time to any person. If a woman starts changing her route home, changing where she grocery shops, or suddenly starts screening her phone calls, then that woman is afraid. It’s important to be able to recognize changes in behavior of our friends and loved ones in order to support them and help them. Here, in Texas, stalking is a 3rd-degree felony if it is the first offense, and a 2nd-degree felony if a repeated offense.

The most important things to remember are to trust your instincts, tell your family, friends and neighbors, notify the police and work with a domestic violence organization, like Denton County Friends of the Family if you feel you are being stalked.

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Black History Month Kick-Off

Posted on January 14, 2019

An Evening of Raised Awareness

GET TICKETS

Join us for our kickoff event for Black History Month- An Evening of Raised Awareness with Dr. Renee Hornbuckle! This event is brought to you by the DCFOF Our Community Matters Program, an outreach program to the African American community of Denton County to increase awareness of services and access to resources. This is our second year to host this fantastic event!

2018 PHOTO ALBUM

Meet The Speaker!

Dr. Renee Fowler Hornbuckle is a Senior Pastor, Community Leader/Advocate, Best Selling Author, International Speaker, Single Mother, Strategist (life/crisis/church), business executive, entrepreneur, sorority member, Founder of The Life Empowerment Training and Development Institute, CEO of InSight Consulting and Founder of Rachel's House (transitional living for women and families in crisis), Women of Influence, Inc. and Destiny Empowerment Enterprises, Inc. After a successful corporate career, she successfully transitioned into the faith-based and nonprofit sectors, while still pursuing entrepreneurship, as well as, sitting on numerous community boards. Overcoming many trials, a life-altering scandal and domestic violence, she has used her difficulties as fuel to propel her to greater purpose in which she has developed creative and life-changing systems, messages and tools that promote how to bounce back and live a victorious life! Dr. Renee is passionate about equipping people to fulfill their greatest purpose.  Dr. Hornbuckle’s expertise lies in crisis counseling, domestic abuse issues, and personal development.

Kick off Black History Month with raised awareness of the barriers faced by African American victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. All proceeds from this event go back into the Our Community Matters Program to support the African American community in Denton County with access to DCFOF resources.

When | Friday, February 1st

Where | Campus Theatre (214 West Hickory Street, Denton TX 76201)

VIP Reception & Private Book Signing | 6:00pm-7:00pm

Program & Keynote | 7:00pm-8:30pm

GET TICKETS
 

Want to learn more about Our Community Matters? Join the OCM Newsletter!

JOIN THE NEWSLETTER

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2019 Is Your Year!

Posted on January 4, 2019

2019 IS YOUR YEAR!

Living Your Best Life By Giving Back

The new year is here and it's time for a change! As we all scurry off to the gym and tell ourselves (over and over again) that we won't have that extra cookie anymore, or will only shop organic from now on, change is on our minds and we all are trying to be our best selves. Nothing is better for the soul than giving back! Here are some ways that you can get involved with DCFOF in 2019 and make a big impact.

1. VOLUNTEER

Volunteers are the key to our success as an agency. We could not do all that we do for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community without our awesome volunteers! If you have not been involved in nonprofits before volunteering is a great way to start. From assisting with our food pantry, to handing out gifts at the holidays, to playing with the kiddos at the shelter, every volunteer gives their time and compassion to make the world a little brighter for those that need it most. "We have volunteer opportunities in every department at our agency," says Stephanie Honeycutt, Community Resource Coordinator. "Tell us where your mission interest is and we can help you find your perfect passion project for giving back!"

LEARN MORE

2. DONATE

Don't have a lot of extra time but want to make an impact on someone's life? Monthly donations to our agency are a great way to bring about positive change in our community! All donations go right back into our programs for victims of sexual and domestic violence such as: emergency shelter, counseling, play therapy, advocacy, legal services, transitional housing, and community education. Even just $10 a month to go toward something like gas gift cards for our clients makes a big difference for the families that we serve.

LEARN MORE

3. ADVOCATE

Here's something you need to know to advocate for the clients we serve- abuse is a choice. A choice the perpetrator or abuser makes. They make a choice to physically, emotionally, psychologically, or sexually harm the other person. Enabling behavior often echoes stories about how the abuser can't help it or something happened (whatever the story is) and that's why the abuser hurt the victim. At the end of the day abuse is not a cause and effect concept, it is a choice. Ask yourself this- why can someone go to a job they hate with coworkers they cannot stand and a demanding boss, and not harm their co-workers or boss, but then comes home and reacts completely differently around their partner? Because this is a choice they make. They actively choose not to hit their boss in the same way they actively choose to hit their partner.

So domestic violence 101 question of the day- what is the cause of abuse? Choice. Now, there are certainly variables that impact safety concerns or risks and our team of advocates are trained to help navigate these with victims/survivors. But at the end of the day blaming the victim in anyway is part of the problem not part of the solution.

So that brings us to our tips on how YOU can be the best advocate you can be in 2019. 

1. Don't Judge Her 

It is not your job to tell her what to do or try to understand the reasoning behind her decisions or actions. First of all, you can't make reason out of something that doesn't really make sense to begin with. To put it simply, someone that she loves is hurting her, that alone does not make sense. We often hear people asking why a woman doesn't just leave an abusive situation. There are many barriers to leaving. You can read a more comprehensive list of barriers to leaving an abusive relationship in this past blog post but for now let's just talk about one: her safety. The most dangerous time for a victim of violence is when she is trying to leave her abuser. The Honoring the Texas Victims Report, distributed annually by the Texas Council on Family Violence, is one place we see this safety risk come to life. In 2017, 136 women were killed by their intimate partners. 

2. Connect Her With Friends of the Family 

At Friends of the Family our team of experts provide compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with the community to promote safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention. If ANYONE, child or adult, is currently experiencing sexual and domestic violence or has experienced this in the past, we can be a resource! You can provide them with our 24-Crisis Line number, 800-572-4031. They can call this line anonymously and have questions answered or talk through some options with our team of trained crisis line professionals. In addition, someone can call our Outreach Office at 940-387-5131 to schedule an appointment in order to meet with one of our staff members and learn about the services available to them and their family. We are the sole provider of comprehensive services throughout the entire County of Denton. We are the local experts and can help connect your family, friends, neighbors and loved ones to the right resources to help them access safety. 

You may not understand all that goes on behind closed doors, but you can know how to help someone if they are brave enough to come and share those stories of fear, anxiety, and abuse.You are not there to tell them what to do, you are there to empathize and give them resources. Listen, don’t judge and direct them to our agency! This is how you can be the best advocate that you can be in 2019. 

Our team at Denton County Friends of the Family is here for our community, ready to help victims/survivors access safety and navigate the road to hope. 

CONTACT US

What Services Are Available at Friends of the Family

At Friends of the Family we provide access to comprehensive services. More information about the type of services available can be accessed through our website under our Get Help section or by calling our Outreach Office at 940-387-5131. Services available include: 

  • Safety Planning 
  • Individual and Group Counseling 
  • Play Therapy for Children 
  • Activity Therapy for Adolescents
  • Emergency Shelter 
  • Transitional Housing
  • Legal Services
  • Advocacy 
  • Food Pantry 
  • Education Programs
  • And more, based upon the needs of the client... 

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

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Holiday Updates

Posted on December 13, 2018

Holiday Updates

It's time to deck the halls and pull out the garland! With The Holiday Express come and gone and Adopt A Family in full swing, here at DCFOF we are helping spread the holiday spirit! 

The Holiday Express

The Holiday Express was fantastic! We had about 600 people come out throughout the day and hop on the holiday-themed train ride between Elf's Playland and the North Pole.  From Christmas tree waffles, to pictures with Santa, to cookie decorating there was fun for the whole family. After being serenaded by Christmas carols ( Thank you Vocal Magic!) families hopped on the DCTA A-train for a fun musical number by Musical Theatre Denton. Upon arrival at Elf's Playland they were greeted with music, a bounce house, delicious coffee and hot cocoa, and fun kids activities!

After a second, and equally exciting musical number, families headed over to the North Pole. Not only was Santa waiting for them, but there was even a real life "reindeer" out front! A delicious brunch, fun activities, music, and a beautiful silent auction was waiting for them inside. It was a blast full of holiday cheer!

Check out this great write up from the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Read The Article

View The Photo Album

Adopt A Family

Adopt A Family is in full swing and guess what- we adopted out 700 kids this year! Wow! That is almost double the number of kiddos that we served in this drive last year. We are so humbled and grateful for all of the community members that have come through for our clients this week and brought in their gifts. Our halls are packed with Barbies, Paw Patrol, sweaters, games, and more! The holidays can be a tough time for the people that we serve given the troubles they may have at home. It means so much to all of us to have our community come through for them and bring some joy to their holiday!

We still need volunteers! If you are an active volunteer and want to help out this week with Adopt a Family please email Stephanie at shoneycutt@dcfof.org. 

Volunteer

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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