Posted on July 18, 2017

Back to School Drive 

A Note from Our Executive Director 

The new school year is often a very exciting time for children. They have the anticipation of selecting new backpacks, school supplies and cute outfits for the first day. While the children are filled with excitement and anticipation moms on limited income feel stressed and anxious. Often times, mom are stretched with paying all of the “regular” expenses, such as housing, utilities, gas, and food. While many attempt to save a few dollars back prior to school starting the rising costs of schools supplies is a daunting challenge- especially for those with multiple school age children. As a parent, we certainly do not  want to send our children to school with inferior items.  At DCFOF we recognize so many of our clients are not only struggling with the emotional scars of the trauma of the abuse, but also diminished resources. Our back to school drive helps to alleviate that burden. For nearly two decades, DCFOF has been grateful to have the support of our community to help us to meet yet another critical need for the children receiving services in our program.

Our Why

Getting ready for the school year can be an exciting time in a child's life. As much as we didn't look forward to homework again, it was often fun to go to the store with our parents and pick out the coolest new backpack and journals. Even more exciting was getting to pick out brand new clothes!  

Purchasing back to school supplies and clothing is a luxury that many of our clients do not have. For those who have been financially abused (99% of domestic violence victims are financially abused), income is limited and every penny is stretched as far as possible. We want to make sure our kids start the school year off strong and don’t have any distractions like worrying about having the right tools. In an effort to support our clients and their kiddos, DCFOF created the Back to School Drive. 

The Back to School Drive has been a effort coordinated by our agency for over 12 years. Desiree Melkovitz, our Community Resource Coordinator, is heading up this year's Back to School Drive. When talking about the Back to School drive with community members Desiree explains that "this is something that helps alleviate stress on our clients as they get their kids back to school. It's expensive and it's hectic and if we can help in a small way to empower our moms then I've done my job." 

We have supporters across Denton County pitching in by bringing as many school supplies as they can for our kids. From backpacks, to pencil cases, to calculators, any amount of support is appreciated. The smiles on the faces of the children when they get their very own brand new backpack full of supplies is priceless! 

More Info

Back to School Drive Details: 

We are working to put together 400 backpacks full of school supplies for kids of all ages. Please reference the flyer above for our most needed items.  

Donations Due: August 4th 

Volunteer Opportunity: We will be packing backpacks the week of August 4th-8th . Interested in volunteering?  
Go to the volunteer portal to sign up OR Contact Desiree at  

We will be giving the backpacks out to the kids the week of August 14th. Make sure your contributions get to our office before then! 

Want to give financial support for this drive?

Donate for Back To School 

Questions About The Drive? Contact Desiree at 

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Posted on July 12, 2017

"For the creative shopper who treasure hunts with a purpose" 

1614 W. University Denton, TX, 76201

Denton County Friends of the Family is best known for our emergency shelter and outreach services, but did you know that we have a thrift store? Located on 1614 W. University in Denton, the DCFOF Thrift Store is a great resource for both our clients and the community. Our clients many times will not have access to financial resources, and buying themselves and their kids new clothes is the last thing on their mind.  

Any time our clients are in that position, DCFOF will give them gift cards to our thrift store! Clients can comb through the aisles and make purchases without having to disclose themselves as a client in front of the employees and other shoppers. Not only is this an ease for their purse strings, but retail therapy can be very empowering! 

Our thrift store is open to the community, and is a very important fundraising piece for our agency. The net profits from the store all go right back into the programs that we offer victims of domestic violence and sexual assault at DCFOF. So when you buy anything from a blouse to a couch from our store, you are contributing to programs such as emergency shelter, counseling, play therapy, legal advocacy, sexual assault advocacy, 24 hour crisis line, community education, food pantry, and career resource center. 

To stay up to date on DCFOF Thrift Store happenings, join our Facebook page! 

DCFOF Thrift Store Facebook Page

Agency Facebook Page 

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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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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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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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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: 




*Domestic Abuse Shelter 

**Purple Purse Foundation

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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


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.


  • 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


  • 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


*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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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?


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


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


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

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Posted on June 9, 2017

How Does This Impact Your Business? 

The effects of domestic violence are felt by a victim's family, friends, community and even her workplace. 1 in 4 Women are victims of domestic violence and 2 in 5 women in Texas are victims of sexual assault (1). Taking into consideration the high number of people in our community impacted by sexual and domestic violence it is no surprise that these type of traumas and violence would have an impact on careers and on our business community as a whole.  

Because of the historical stigma surrounding domestic violence, many employers are uncertain of their role in what has previously been viewed as a private family matter. Denton County Friends of the Family was established 37 years ago as a grassroots effort. Prior to that, there was no place for victims of violence in our community to get help like there is today. Having resources available like those that our agency provides help us to break the stigma of abuse being a private family matter and allows victims to get help. 

One of the ways that we work to break through the stigma at Friends of the Family is through our prevention and education programs. We will tell you more about these later, first let's read a little more about the economic impact of violence in the business community. 

"Sixty-four percent (64%) of victims of domestic violence indicated that their ability to work was affected by the violence. Among key causes for their decline in productivity, victims noted "distraction" (57%); "fear of discovery" (45%); "harassment by intimate partner at work (either by phone or in person)" (40%); fear of intimate partner's unexpected visits" (34%); "inability to complete assignments on time" (24%); and "job loss" (21%)(2). 

The impact of abuse feeds over into the work place in numerous ways and cannot be overlooked. As many as 75% of domestic violence victims face harassment from intimate partners while they are at work(3). This impacts the victims personally, the safety of co-workers and has an economic impact on the business itself.  

"Exerting control over victim’s employment is a form of harassment used by batterers to intimidate their partners. Although exact tactics are somewhat varied, they can be grouped into two categories: work disruption and work–related stalking. Work disruption is anything that prevents the victim from getting to work on time or at all, and typically takes place at home or outside the workplace. One national study indicates that abusers typically disrupt by depriving the victim of sleep, refusing to assist with child care, physically injuring the victim before work, turning off the alarm clock, or creating an embarrassing situation at the victim’s work. Work–related stalking includes following a person, coming to the victim’s workplace unannounced, looking into the window of the workplace, waiting for the victim at the end of the workday, as well as telephone calls and emails to the victim. It’s important to consider the workplace as a constant factor in the victim’s life. Although victims may change their residence, their work location and work schedule often remain the same (Swanberg, Logan, & Macke, 2006)." 

Toni Johnson Simpson, our Executive Director explains that "the lack of understanding businesses have about domestic violence can have serious consequences for victims and their families."

The effects of domestic violence can have direct monetary impacts on businesses, with $8.3 billion annually in lost productivity and higher medical bills according to Forbes magazine. Luckily, there are some businesses who recognize this issue and have taken steps to correct it. Companies like Verizon, Allstate, Prudential, Avon, Mary Kay, Macy’s and Home Depot have already taken significant steps forward by initiating domestic violence policy programs and collaborating with local domestic violence and sexual assault agencies. Our team of local experts at Denton County Friends of the Family are right here in Denton County we are ready to help your business do the same! 

Our Community Education program offers professional training and presentations for managers and employees on effective domestic violence prevention programs, as well as how to recognize, report, and respond accordingly in the workplace. We can provide educational resource materials for use in employee handbooks, resource materials, and orientations.  If you would like to schedule a training or receive more information about our programs let us know!  

Request a Training 

Get More Info

About Denton County Friends of the Family 

We provide compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, healing, prevention, and justice. If you or anyone you know is a victim of violence and needs help our 24 hour crisis line is always available or you can call our Outreach Office and schedule a time to come in. 

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

Outreach Office: 940-387-5131 


Resources and References: 

(1, Texas Council on Family Violence, 2015) 
(2, Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence, 2005) 
(3, Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1998) 


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Posted on June 6, 2017


Community Resource Coordinator 

Ready to join our team? Please email your resume and cover letter to our Director of Community Relations, Randi Skinner at 

Employment Status 

Full-Time, Exempt 

Reports to 

Director of Community Relations (Director of Marketing & Development)


All agency volunteers and interns 


22% HHSC, 53% CJD, 25% OAG 


  • Bachelor’s degree in social services, public relations or related field 

  • Strong written and oral communication skills 

  • Must be at least 23 years old 

  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record 


  • Bilingual in Spanish (not required)

Position Objective 

Coordinate all agency volunteers and in-kind donations. Serve as a representative of the agency to the community. 

Primary Functions 

Job Title: Community Resource Coordinator, Full-Time Must be available to work evenings and weekends. Position Description: We are looking for a hard-working and reliable individual to recruit, screen, orient, train and assign volunteers for all agency programs. The individual would also handle in-kind donations and drives and work directly with the Marketing and Development team. The ideal candidate would have experience working with and managing volunteers. Qualifications:

· Bachelor’s degree in related field

· Demonstrated knowledge, understanding, and skills in working with all types of people.

· Minimum of three years working with volunteers in a non-profit agency preferred.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by staff assigned to this position. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required. Other duties may be assigned as required. 

This position is a grant-funded position and is subject termination based on the renewal of supporting grants. Employment with Denton County Friends of the Family is on an at-will basis, in accordance with state law, meaning that both the employee and the agency are free to terminate the relationship at any time, with or without cause or advance notice.  

Ready to join our team? Please email your resume and cover letter to our Director of Community Relations, Randi Skinner at 

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Posted on June 1, 2017

The District Attorney's Office and law enforcement departments are tasked with the challenge of finding perpetrators of violent crime and holding them accountable.  During the course of these investigations it is no surprise when these violent offenders are in possession of cash earned through illegal acts. The District Attorney’s Office has an Asset Forfeiture Division that assists law enforcement with the seizure of criminals’ money, and that seized money must then be used for law enforcement purposes. In a heroic display of compassion, the Denton County District Attorney's Office has donated $50,000 of these funds to Denton County Friends of the Family to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. What better display of justice is there than to give money that has been involved in violent crime back to the victims of violent crime.

“I am glad that we had the opportunity to use these funds that we seize from criminals and use them for the benefit of victims of crime", says District Attorney Paul Johnson. "We know that by donating to Friends of the Family, the funds will directly impact the work they do on behalf of victims of domestic violence.”

"As survivors of sexual and domestic violence, the women and children we serve are either direct victims of a crime, or have witnessed a crime", says Toni Johnson-Simpson, Friends of the Family Executive Director. "These funds are going to make a huge impact for the clients we serve! The District Attorney's office has made an investment in the members of our community who need it most, and all throughout our agency there is a great feeling of hope thinking of how many more people we are going to be able to serve with these dollars. Thank you for enabling us to change the lives of victims of violence in our community, and for the sense of justice you have brought to our clients today."

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Posted on May 31, 2017

Denton County Friends of the Family is proud to present the Mission Impact Award to the CoServ Charitable Foundation! CoServ has been a consistent and crucially needed partner of Denton County Friends of the Family over the years. From updating flooring, to providing technology, to even providing the sign on the front of our building CoServ has recognized the need for our agency and provided tens of thousands of dollars in funding to enable us to change lives. 

Most recently, CoServ donated $15,000 toward a 15 passenger van for the shelter! 

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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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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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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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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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Posted on April 20, 2017

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and at Denton County Friends of the Family we are working to raise awareness. Events are happening across the county, many of which are hosted by or partnered with Friends of the Family, and our Facebook has been bombarded with shades of teal. #GoTeal  

Sexual assault is defined as any forced, coerced, or unwanted sexual act. Sexual assault can include, but is not limited to, rape, sexual threats and intimidation, incest, sexual assault by intimate partners, child sexual abuse, human sexual trafficking, sexual harassment, street harassment and other forms of unwelcome, coerced or non-consensual activity.  

The secret that many do not know about sexual assault is that it is not really about sex at all. It is a crime of power and control, and taking that power away from another person. It is about the feeling of power and superiority a rapist gets when they hold another person's life and safety in their hands.  Sex is not the motive; it is the weapon that a rapist uses to get the power and control that they are looking for.  

This is why it is so important to know that sexual assault is NEVER caused by alcohol or the way a person is dressed. Most importantly, sexual assault is NEVER the victim's fault. All adults have the right to consent or not consent to any person or sexual activity at any time, for any reason. You always have the right to consent or not consent regardless of your relationship status with that person, or if you have consented to sexual activity with them before.  

Denton County Friends of the Family was created to give resources to people who have been through traumas such as sexual assault. With 2 in 5 women in Texas experiencing sexual assault in their lifetime, we know that there will always continue to be more women that need our help. We provide victims/survivors with counseling, play therapy (if under 12), a safety plan, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, a 24 hour crisis line, a career resource center, and a food pantry. In addition, we will continue to shine light on this issue in the hopes that we will one day live in a society where sexual assault is not as prevalent as 2 in 5.  


Resources Available:  

Check out our programs here.  

Schedule an intake appointment at our outreach office by calling 940-387-5131.  

Want to talk? Call our 24-Hour Crisis Line at 1-800-572-4031 or 940-382-7273  


Click here for more information about sexual assault.  


I want to support victims/survivors of sexual assault by making a donation.  

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Posted on April 5, 2017

Check out the update below from our Shelter team! 

Car dealership Classic of Denton has generously donated a brand new 2017 van to the Denton County Friends of the Family shelter. The luxury 15 passenger van is valued at $75K, and after the CoServ Charitable Foundation made the generous contribution of $15K, Classic of Denton donated the remaining $60K to Friends of the Family.

The van is being used for grocery shopping, dropping child residents off at school, giving clients rides to the courthouse, and much more. Unlike other company vehicles, this van does not have any kind of logo identifying it as a Denton County Friends of the Family vehicle with the intention of client safety and confidentiality.

Friends of the Family Shelter Van Making an Impact in 2017"To understand the direct need of this van, you first need to understand the dangers that our clients face," says Rebekah Woodland, Assistant Director of Residential Services. "Many of them have recently left an abusive partner, who may still be looking for them. Many of them have previously been stalked by their abusers, and sometimes have even had their cars tracked with GPS. Our ability to get their children to and from school, provide them with groceries and other basic needs, and even get them to a court appointment safely is crucial to their ability to survive on their own. Thanks to Classic of Denton and the CoServ Charitable Foundation, this new van has enabled us give them the resources to thrive again!"

"Safety and support are common luxuries that many of us are lucky enough to take for granted," says Randi Skinner, Friends of the Family Director of Marketing and Development. "Driving ourselves to an appointment without having to look over our shoulders is normal to us, but our clients have to be constantly on the lookout for their abuser. Classic of Denton has not just given our shelter a van, they have given shelter clients the freedom to take care of themselves without having to worry. That gift is priceless for them, and we are eternally grateful to Classic of Denton and the CoServ Charitable Foundation for giving that gift to our clients!"

For more information about Denton County Friends of the Family visit:

For more information about Classic of Denton visit:

For more information about the CoServ Charitable Foundation visit:

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Posted on August 14, 2015

Denton County Friends of The Family Programs & Activities Spring 2017 

Creating a Community Free of Violence:  The Community Education department is available to present the following programs, trainings, activities, and workshops to your school, organization, or agency for FREE!! 

Pre K-5th Grade 
Bumbles * W.H.O. * Be the Change * 5S Program 

Middle School 
Real Kids Getting Real * 5S Program 
Coaching Boys into Men (athletic specific) 

High School 
Expect Respect * In Their Shoes * Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes 
Killing Us Softly * Tough Guise * The Dating Game 
The Clothesline Project * Coaching Boys into Men (athletic specific) 

Relationship Violence/Sexual Assault 101 * Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes 
Killing Us Softly * Tough Guise * The Dating Game * The Clothesline Project 
In Their Shoes (Teachers/Counselors) * Health/Community Fairs or Events * 
Coaching Boys into Men (athletic specific) 

Our grant funders require 30 students or less per presentation. 


Bumbles (30-45 minutes): Bumbles the Magic Bumblebee teaches children about the following topics: their bodies are special and belong to them, safe and unsafe touches, identifying safe adults; as well as secrets. Bumbles also uses an interactive song to recapture all the different topics discussed. 

WHO (30-45 minutes): Students will learn behaviors and strategies for staying safe at home and in the community. WHO teaches children to know, say, and use certain skills to avoid and reduce dangerous and/or hurtful situations such as bullying, child and/or sexual abuse. 

Be the Change (45 minutes): Be the Change is designed to give students the tools to create positive changes in their own lives. We seek to empower students through healthy boundary setting, communication, and beginning to understand socialization. 

Real Kids Getting Real (3 part series): This series teaches middle school students to recognize how society impacts our relationships and the definition of relationship violence, while at the same time providing curriculum-based, age-appropriate activities and information that encourage students to form healthy relationships, respecting themselves and others. 

5S Program (1 to 3 part series): This program focuses on teaching students and parents about: planning and decision making, choices and consequences, resistance skills, peer pressure, self-esteem, goal setting, peaceful conflict resolution, communication, boundaries and respect. 

Expect Respect (3 part series): Expect Respect is a program for preventing teen dating violence and promoting safe and healthy relationships in high school. It consists of three parts: socialization, relationship violence, and communication/boundaries. 

In Their Shoes (1– 1.5 hour): A scenario-based training designed to help participants learn what dating is like for today’s teen - from their perspective. This is intended for adults who interact with teens as well as teens themselves. It provides a snapshot of unhealthy teen relationships and generates a thoughtful discussion about how adults and teens may better understand teen dating violence. 

Hip Hop - Beyond Beats and Rhymes (2 hour): The documentary based program explores the issues of masculinity, violence, hip hop music, gender stereotypes, and culture through interviews with artists, academics, and fans. 

Killing Us Softly (1-1.5 hour): The documentary based program provides a critical analysis of the advertising industry’s effect on the image of women and femininity, and the unrealistic portrayals of beauty, perfection and sexuality it presents to young women and girls. 

Tough Guise (2 hour): The documentary based program examines the relationship between media and the idea of masculinity, violence, and what it means for young boys. 

The Dating Game (1-1.5 hour): The dating game activity points out to youth that we are influenced by a variety of messages regarding personal interactions, and we bring those attitudes and behaviors into our relationships. 

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault 101 (2 to 4 hour): This program examines and discusses a wide variety of information relating to relationship violence & sexual assault. Educating the community on the following subjects: types of abuse, facts/figures, what the law says, myths/facts, red flags/warning signs, effects of relationship violence/sexual assault, and more. 

The Clothesline Project: The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started to address the issue of violence against girls/women. It is a vehicle for girls/women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against girls/women. This program can be geared toward both girls and boys. 

Contacting the Community Education Department:  Hillarye Hightower, Director of Community Education, (940) 387-5131 x240 or  Schedules fill up quickly, please contact us to book 3-6 months in advance.

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Posted on July 21, 2015

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Posted on June 22, 2015

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of intimate partner violence at some point in their lives[i]. On average, more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day[ii]. 20-25% of women in college reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape[iii]. Only 2% of rapists will ever spend a day in prison[iv]. These statistics clearly illustrate the severity and prevalence of domestic violence and sexual assault in our society, and yet the violence rages on. A major factor in their unimpeded continuation is that we, as a culture, consider speaking out about domestic violence and sexual assault uncomfortable and taboo. At Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF), we believe that the first step in seeing a decrease in these crimes is to shine light on them in the public eye, and the best way to do that is by talking about them.

            The DCFOF Speaker’s Bureau is a group of volunteers committed to bringing attention to the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as the services that DCFOF offers to survivors and their families. Volunteers speak to community members at tabling events, as well as other community groups, and receive community service hours and/or internship experience. They have come together to make a commitment to speaking up about domestic violence and sexual assault and to urge others to do the same.

A shining example of a Speaker’s Bureau volunteer is Alecia Martinez, who kindly gave us permission to share her story. In an email interview, Alecia told us that she was “born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I was the oldest of six children, raised in a very poor environment by abusive, addict parents.  In order to escape my dysfunctional home life, I married at 15 and had two sons.  I stayed married to their father for 19 years.”  After years of owning a salon and raising her children, Alecia has since joined the United States Navy, completed her Bachelors in Liberal Arts, and completed her MBA in 2011.

 She has spent the last 7 years working for Fannie Mae, and it is through her a volunteer work event that Alecia came in contact with the DCFOF Speaker’s Bureau: “I had been looking for a worthy cause for which to volunteer for quite a while, [and] because I live in Denton County I felt DCFOF was a good fit.  The fact that it was for the cause of domestic violence and sexual assault made it perfect for me, because I am passionate about the cause as I have been a victim.  I have been the child raised in an environment where little [girls are] molested and women and children [are] neglected and/or physically abused as a way of life.  I have been the woman in an abusive relationship, yet I stayed because had no one to help and nowhere else to go.  I have been fortunate enough to escape the cycle of abuse.  I have sincere empathy for the victims, and I know firsthand that there is hope.”

For many survivors, knowing that they have options and that their fellow community members care about what they have been through can be very comforting. At a tabling event at TWU, Alecia was “touched by the number of college students interested in the cause and volunteering.  I doubt there are many people whose lives have not been touched in some way by domestic violence and sexual assault.” In addition to volunteering her skills with Speaker’s Bureau, Alecia has also worked at the DCFOF shelter and headed up a clothing drive for women transitioning back into the workplace.  She said that she is planning to tutor clients of DCFOF who are studying for GED testing, and believes education is of great importance. She feels “like people are more likely to stay in an abusive environment if they believe they have no alternatives.  It is our responsibility as a community and as fellow humans to do what we can to initiate change.”

Most who consider volunteering for a cause like this imagine themselves working in a shelter, as a hospital accompaniment advocate, or perhaps in our thrift store. When Alecia was asked why she chose Speaker’s Bureau above those things, she said that “I feel I have overcome much adversity because people informed me that I had choices and that I could change my life.  I want to be that person for someone else.  If I can point them in the right direction to get the help they need at DCFOF I will consider it a great honor… Some people believe in Karma, some say you reap what you sow; others say what goes around comes around.  I believe we get back from the universe what we give.  That’s why I want to invest in the betterment of humanity.  I feel there is no worthier cause than to invest in victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.  I chose the Speakers Bureau specifically because I am grateful that I have a very different life now. I want mine to be one of the voices helping to empower people to change their lives for the better.  I want my voice to be one of hope and inspiration.”

To join DCFOF Speaker’s Bureau, email

For volunteering information in DCFOF shelter or thrift store, email

To make a donation, visit



[i] (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

[ii] Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.

[iii] Fisher BS, Cullen FT, Turner MG. 2000. The sexual victimization of college women. Washington: Department of Justice (US), National Institute of Justice; Publication No. NCJ 182369.

[iv] Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

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Posted on February 28, 2014

Denton County is now incredibly fortunate to have AmeriCorps VISTAs serving to support our community, thanks to Denton RSVP.

AmeriCorps VISTA  is a national service program designed to fight poverty in America. Each VISTA commits to serve on a specific project with a nonprofit organization or public agency.

Denton Country Friends of the Family (DCFOF) is tremendously thrilled to say that we have two of those VISTAs and expect to receive another in late April. We are pleased to welcome Sarah and Trish!

Sarah will be serving as the Community Outreach Liaison.  She feels very inspired to work with us because she believes that our staff and clients are all very courageous individuals who stand up and do something about how our society views and reacts to domestic violence and sexual assault. Sarah will assist in DCFOF's social media projects, our Community Education Department, and with resource development. She is very enthusiastic to get out in the community to help spread awareness and hopefully provide some eye-opening education opportunities.

Trish will be serving as DCFOF's Organizational Analysis and Implementation Coordinator! She is excited to work with a local organization which addresses a serious issue like domestic violence and sexual assault, knowing that these can affect anyone in our community. Trish will be helping to create a more efficient operating system for the staff here at DCFOF, so that we are able to dedicate more time to helping our clients and the community, and less time working on paperwork.

We are more than happy to have them on board - joining us in moving families from crisis to confidence!

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Posted on June 14, 2013

With Father's day fast approaching, we at Denton County Friends of the Family would like to take a moment to talk about dads, and particularly, the impact they can have on the children and loved ones in our lives.

In the state of Texas, 47% of all people will personally experience some form of domestic violence or abuse in their lifetime,1  and child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in those homes where domestic violence is present2. Statistically, fathers are the most likely culprits of physical violence in families. Becoming a father is easy, in part, it's transforming their hardships into wisdom, not abuse, that makes men dads.

Violence blocks one's ability to be a positive figure in a child's life. Dads who are nurturing, on the other hand, can contribute to children's healthy development in a variety of ways. It's not enough to be non-violent. Fathers who are positive role models impart good values and social skills in children, as they grow into well-adjusted and healthy adults.

So, this Father's Day, please join Friends of the Family in celebrating the wonderful dads in our community. They choose to be good dads, and sometimes go without thanks for the role they play in our lives. Whether they're biological dads or stepdads, married dads, or partners; foster dads, guardians, uncles, regardless of their background, there is no doubt there is something special about the influence, love, and lessons these dads can bring into our lives.

To learn more about fathers, families, and the impact of domestic violence, visit:

1 Texas Council on Family Violence. (2012).

2 Yello Dino (2007). Family Violence Statistics.

Copyright © 2013 Caitlyn Cawley

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Posted on February 20, 2011

Dear Friends and Supporters,

In an effort to keep our community informed, please see below for details regarding the immediate needs at Friends of the Family.

As always, we appreciate your continued support of those affected by relationship violence and sexual assault.


Denton County Friends of the Family Needs Your Help.

This community organization must meet an immediate fundraising goal of $100,000.

DENTON, TEXAS-- February 9, 2011- The Board of Directors of Denton County Friends of the Family has issued an imperative request for your help. For 30 years DCFOF has faithfully and zealously served some of the most desperate and destitute people of our community, providing emergency shelter, counseling, food, clothing, legal services and advocacy to assist families in healing from the terror of family violence and sexual assault. As the sole source in Denton County for families affected by violence and sexual assault, denying services has never been an option. For the first time when faced with a growing community, ever increasing demand for services, increased operating requirements over the past 3 years and diminished funds from local and governmental agencies DCFOF will have to decrease services. According to Board Chair, Ann Tubbs, “While the Board of Directors has been faithful in their fiduciary oversight there comes a time when, simply stated, we NEED more. There are long term plans to decrease overhead operations and expand fundraisers, but there is an immediate need to raise $100,000 in the next 30 days.”

According to Executive Director, Toni Johnson-Simpson, “I know this organization has impacted thousands of lives in the past 30 years and I know we will continue to do so.What better way to celebrate the love of Valentine’s Day than to assist those in our community whose lives have been so negatively impacted by a relationship in which love promised and loved hoped for has taken such a terrible turn. It’s a measurable goal of 50 families, individuals, businesses, churches or organizations to donate $2000 each to reach this immediate goal of $100,000.”

In 2010 DCFOF served 10,605 clients with everything from emergency shelter and counseling to rental assistance and food as families’ transition from crisis to self sufficiency. “I think one of the most unfortunate issues we deal with as an organization is that people do not realize the variety of services we provide families in their quest to achieve self sufficiency and safety. In addition, people never understand the true plight of violence until someone they know is affected by violence or sexual assault.” Johnson-Simpson said. This is evidenced as the mother of one of our adult clients said in a recent phone call, “When I held her as a child and watched her achieve all of those milestones in life, including college graduation and a beautiful wedding day, I never in my wildest imagination thought a domestic violence organization would be in her future.”

The immediacy of achieving this goal makes it possible for those services to be available when someone you love or care about may be in need. How do we reach the goal? There are several ways, for example if: 50 give $2,000, 100 give $1,000, 500 give $200 or 1,000 give $100 to Friends of the Family for Valentine’s Day, we can meet this goal. Of course contributions of any size towards this goal are greatly appreciated.

Contributions can be made at or P.O. Box 640, Denton, TX 76202-0640 or contact Carol Gaige at

Thank you for your consideration.

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Posted on January 27, 2011

Denton County Friends of the Family is in the process of moving our Denton Outreach location. Different departments are moving at different times. It is chaos and excitement all wrapped into one!!!! Check back for updates as we post them!!!!

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Posted on November 9, 2010

There is a lot going on at Denton County Friends of the Family right now.

#1 – Coming out of October, which is Relationship Violence Awareness Month, is always interesting. It seems there is something going on at least weekly during the whole month. We had The Haunting of Relationship Violence at Denton Triangle Mall on October 21st. We had a great turnout – thanks to all who helped and attended!

#2 – WE ARE MOVING!!!!! As one could imagine, for an office our size, that entails much planning, organizing, and fundraising. We just had some really neat events with the proceeds going toward our Capital Campaign – the Wine Squared event was last Thursday evening, November 8th, on the Denton Square, and there was a Charity Bridge Game and Luncheon on Saturday the 6th at Denton Bridge Studios. Independent Scentsy Consultant, Robin Clouse, has offered to donate 100% of her proceeds for the month of November to Denton County Friends of the Family. (Her website is and click on DCFOF Party in the Open Parties box, if you’re interested). A UNT first year leadership class held a fundraiser – Be a Friend to the Family – on our behalf at Christian Community Center on the 8th. There were bands, acts, and free baked goods and coffee. They did an awesome job and were so motivated to help us!!

#3 – It is the time of year again when all the stores get ahead of themselves and start putting out winter holiday decorations before fall even truly hits. With that being said, we are joining right in with them – our Adopt-a-Family donation drive is already in full swing!! Each year we invite community members to adopt clients in need of help providing food, clothes, or gifts to their loved ones for the holidays. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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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