• Mayor Mike Rawlings Honored for his Outstanding Efforts

    by User Not Found | Oct 29, 2013
    VIDEO: Watch Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) President honor Mayor Mike Rawlings for his outstanding efforts to rally thousands of men to stand up and speak out against domestic violence! 
  • October is National Domestic Awareness Month

    by User Not Found | Oct 29, 2013

    October is National Domestic Violence Month. The purple ribbon is the unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence.

    October is National Domestic Awareness Month 

     

    The Texas Council on Family Violence announced on October 3 that 114 women were killed in Texas in 2012 at the hands of an intimate partner. In Honoring Texas Victims – Family Violence Fatalities in 2012 , read the stories of 114 Texas women.

  • Thank You for Being A Connection To End Abuse

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 27, 2013

    2013 TexasTrailblazer Awards

    Thank you for Being The Connection To End Abuse!

    Special thanks to all our attendees, our guest speaker Cynthia Lowen, Honorary Chairs Sheila and Jody Grant, Event Chairs Barbara and Steve Durham & Julie and Steve Rado, the Host Commitee, the 2013 Award Receipents and all our 2013 sponsors!

    2013 TTA  Sponsors

    2013 TTA Sponsors

  • beauty brands Launches its End Abuse Campaign

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 23, 2013

    beauty brands Launched its End the Abuse Campaign

    Stand Up. Stand Out. End Abuse.

    beauty brands End Abuse campaign has begun! For the first time ever, they have three great products for $7.98. Simply go to any beauty brands location near you and purchase Redken GUTS 10 — and then from now until 10/28, 100% of the proceeds will go directly to domestic abuse shelters in your area.

    Learn more on their website.

  • Partners Card featured in The Scout Guide Dallas

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 23, 2013

    The Only Save Where You Truly Save

    The Family Place is so excited that 2013 Partners Card is featured in The Scout Guide Dallas. 100% of your Partners Card purchase goes directly to helping victims of family violence.

    Visit partnerscard.org today to purchase your card!

    2013 Partners Card in The Scout Guide Dallas

  • Online sales for 2013 Texas Trailblazer Awards end today!

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 19, 2013

    Online sales for the 2013 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon end today!

    Be the Connection to End Abuse
    Can cruel words really kill? The answer, unfortunately, is yes.

    The focus for this year's Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon is to raise awareness on how bullying can lead to a cycle of domestic violence. We welcome Cynthia Lowen, writer and producer of the award-winning "Bully," a feature documentary exposing the hidden lives of bullied children, as this year's guest speaker.

    Join us next Thursday, September 26 at the Omni Hotel Downtown Dallas!

    2013 Texas Trailblazer Award Recipients
    Gloria Campos - Texas Trailblazer Award
    Darlene Blakey - Real-Life Hero Award
    Kimberly-Clark - Advocacy Award   
    Hannah Hinton & Karim Bryant - Youth Service Award & Scholarship

    Seats are limited so buy your tickets online today!

    For more information,contact Tess Nordick at texastrailblazers@familyplace.org! 

    The Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon raises funds to support the comprehensive programs of The Family Place and to ensure that life-saving services will be available to women victims and their innocent children for years to come.

  • 2013 North Texas Giving Day

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 19, 2013
    2013 North Texas Giving Day is here! 

    A little bit goes a long way today! Every gift of $25 or more to given to The Family Place on DonorBridge.com between now and midnight will be multiplied!! You are helping victims become survivors.

    How it works:

    • Go to our link - https://www.donorbridgetx.org/npo/751590896/ - until midnight tonight!

    • Donate $25 or more to The Family Place.

    • Forward the link to your friends and family!


    2013 North Texas Giving Day

  • The Family Place reveals Texas Trailblazers in CultureMap Dallas

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 18, 2013

    Family Place reveals Texas Trailblazers at chic Goss-Michael Foundation affair

    September 18, 2013
    by Diana Oates
    CultureMap Dallas

    A chic crowd of Family Place supporters recently descended on the Goss-Michael Foundation for the big reveal: the recipients of the Texas Trailblazer Awards 2013.

    The front room made quite a statement about the history of organization and its mission, with a display of photographs from the 1994 Dallas Morning News Pulitzer Prize-winning series that examined the epidemic of violence against women in many nations.

    In the back room, charitable guests — including Family Place executive director Paige Flink, Joyce Goss, Julie and Steve Rado, JB Hayes, Jennifer Burns, Melissa Sherrill, Stephanie and Travis Hollman, Holly Pellham Davis, Sharon Henley, and Steve and Barbara Durham perused and purchased artwork created by Family Place clients as they congratulated future honorees Gloria Campos (Texas Trailblazer Award), Darlene Blakey (Real-Life Hero Award) and Kimberly Clark (Advocacy Award).

    The Family Place also will recognize two students, Hannah Hinton and Karim Bryant, with the Youth Service Award and Scholarship at the 2013 Texas Trailblazers Award Luncheon, themed "Be The Connection To End Abuse," on Thursday, September 26, at the Omni Dallas. The featured speaker will be Cynthia Lowen, writer and producer of Bully, the first feature documentary exposing the hidden lives of bullied children.

    Tickets and sponsorships for the luncheon can be purchased online.

    Read more at CultureMap Dallas.com.

  • The Family Place Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon is Truly a Family Affair - Preston Hollow People

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 05, 2013

    Two of our 2013 Texas Trailblazer Awards Chairs - Julie Rado & Barbara Durham - are on the cover of tomorrow's Preston Hollow People! The Family Place Awards Luncheon is truly a FAMILY affair!

    Only 3 weeks away! Buy your tickets for the 2013 Texas Trailblazer Awards at http://www.familyplace.org/event-details?eventid=31!

    TTA - Preston Hollow People Cover - September 6 2013

  • Fundraising Triumvirate Launches ReuNight in MySweetCharity

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 05, 2013

    Fundraising Triumvirate Launches “ReuNight” For The Family Place With Pens In Hand

    September 3, 2013
    by Jeanne Prejean
    MySweetCharity.com

    For the uneducated in fundraising or those who just think it all happens magically, let’s start with some rethinking. Negotiations and planning that would astound the White House West Wing take place for months.. It’s especially daunting for a new venture. That is, unless you have the area’s top fundraising experts involved. Say for instance, Claire and Dwight Emanuelson, Heather and Bill Esping and Muffin and John Lemak. They’re old pros at the nuances of pulling together memorable fundraising events that end up being the hit of the season. Why, just this month Claire is chairing the Crystal Charity Fashion Show and Heather is co-chairing the TACA RBC Wealth Management Custom Auction.

    Heather Esping, Muffin Lemak and Claire Emanuelson

    Heather Esping, Muffin Lemak and Claire Emanuelson

    So, when the gals and their husbands decided to band together for a new event for The Family Place, they just emailed a couple of dozen of their buds and “Voilà!”—they had their host committee.

    But it was more than their just asking. The incentive was the cause. In addition to The Family Place’s celebrating its 35th anniversary, it was Mayor Mike Rawlings‘ rally against domestic abuse that added to the importance of uniting for a nighttime dinner to raise funds.

    Hey, reuniting those who have supported The Family Place in the past on one night! What an idea! Why not call it “ReuNight”? And the timing of the event was Tuesday, November 14, just as people were thinking of reuniting with family and friends for the holidays.

    But they knew they needed more than a title. So, they gathered partners to unite for the dinner. In addition to Bank of America and Merrill Lynch as the presenting sponsor, the gals arranged to have the Place at Perry chefs provide the courses at the restaurant on Thursday, November 14.

    With all the plans in place, the ladies held a letter signing at Claire’s on Tuesday, August 20. What’s that? Ah, come on. You know you’ve received a letter or two dozen from committee members hand-signed with messages hoping that you’ll attend. Those signatures and personal messages aren’t produced by machines.

    But when Claire is organizing the letter signing, it becomes a party in itself with all types of foods and adult beverages served amid stacks of letters at the Emanuelson dinner table. In this case, Lynn McBee in workout attire popped in between appointments and got right down to work signing a batch of the letters next to Lisa Sabin. . . Piper Wyatt, who was preparing for the invasion of LSU fans for the LSU-TCU game, was signing non-stop. . . Looking rested from a stay in Keystone, Matthew Simon took off his jacket and immediately got to work after getting a hug from The Family Place’s Paige Flink. . . Bank of America’s Gillian Breidenbach and Merrill Lynch’s Troy Schiermeyer dropped by to check in with the group.

    Perhaps next time Claire should sell tickets to attend the letter-signing party.

    Read more at MySweetCharity.com.

  • 2013 Partners Card are now available for purchase online!

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 03, 2013

    2013 Partners Card

    Purchase your 2013 Partners Card today!

    Cards are available online at www.partnerscard.org!

  • Who Does Not Like a Sale? 50 Percent off EVERYTHING at The Family Place Resale Shop This Weekend

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 29, 2013

    The Family Place Resale Shop September 2013

    Who doesn't like a sale? Especially when it's 50% off EVERYTHING!!!

    That's right - 50% off everything at The Family Place Resale Shop this weekend!! Stop by Friday, 8/30 - Sunday, 9/1 and save!

    Located at 11722 Marsh Lane Suite 354 Dallas, Texas 75229
    Hrs: Monday-Saturday: 10am–5:30pm | Sunday: 1pm–5pm

    The Resale Shop will be closed on Monday, 9/2 in observance of the holiday.

  • Survivor Connie Nash and Partners Card Co-Chair Annika Cail on D the Broadcast

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 27, 2013

    Watch Survivor Connie Nash and Partners Card Co-Chair Annika Cail on D the Broadcast on Pat Smith's Treasure You!

    August 27, 2013
    D the Broadcast

    Click here to view the video!

    D the Broadcast - Pat Smith Treasure You - Connie Nash Annika Cail

  • The Park City Blog Talks about Bullying, the Focus for the 2013 Texas Trailblazer Awards

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 27, 2013

    THE FAMILY PLACE FOCUSES ON BULLYING AS A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GATEWAY

    August 21, 2013
    Neighbors Go Park Cities

    The focus for The Family Place 2012 Trailblazer Awards Luncheon is to raise awareness on how bullying can lead to a cycle of domestic violence. The luncheon will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at the Omni Hotel, 555 South Lamar Street, in Dallas. Cynthia Lowen, writer and producer of the award-winning “Bully,” a feature documentary exposing the hidden lives of bullied children, is the guest speaker. The documentary is now the foundation for The Bully Project Social Action Campaign, a collaborative effort by various organizations to end bullying.

    “The behaviors we see in playground bullies are the same ones we see in men who batter their wives and girlfriends,” said Paige Flink, executive director of The Family Place. “If we can teach children empathy and another way to handle their anger, we believe that we can prevent future relationship violence.”

    A video, produced by 16-year-old Olivia Bolwell, that tells the story of bullying from the perspective of teens from several countries, including America, will also debut at the Trailblazer Announcement Party. “Several people have said that the video has helped them, or helped them to help a friend, who is being bullied,” said Olivia Bolwell. “The person who bullied me had been my friend for three years. “Now I have learned to pick my friends carefully.” Olivia is the granddaughter of John and Jacqueline Dix of Highland Park.

    During the announcement party on September 12, The Family Place will announce the North Texans who will be honored at the annual luncheon on September 26, as Trailblazers who are making a major contribution to our community.

    The Honorary Chairs are Sheila and Jody Grant. The event Co-Chairs are the mother/daughter duo Barbara Durham and Julie Rado and their husbands Steve Durham and Steve Rado.

    For ticket and sponsorship information, visit www.familyplace.org.

    About The Family Place: It is the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area. The Family Place reaches out to thousands of victims of family violence each year with award-winning programs that have kept women and children safe for 35 years through intervention, emergency shelter, and crisis counseling services.

    Read the full article here.

  • Congratulations to our 2013 Texas Trailblazer Award Winners

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 27, 2013

    Congratulations to the 2013 Texas Trailblazer Award Winners!

    Gloria Campos
    Texas Trailblazer Award

    Darlene Blakey

    Real-Life Hero Award

    Kimberly-Clark
    Advocacy Award

    Hannah Hinton & Karim Bryant
    Youth Service Award & Scholarship

    Join for the 2013 Texas Trailblazers Awards Luncheon to honor these outstanding leaders on Thursday, September 26 at the Omni Downtown Dallas Hotel.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

    2013 TexasTrailblazer Awards

    The Family Place Texas Trailblazer Award recognizes a local individual who has achieved significant success despite the obstacles faced along the way. The Trailblazer is someone who has accomplished a “first”, opened the doors of opportunity for others, and who is an exceptional role model for Texas women and healthy families. Through their accomplishments, the Trailblazer has blazed a trail for others to follow.

    The Family Place Real-Life Hero Award honors an individual who works behind the scenes to create positive change for women and healthy families within our community.

    The Family Place Youth Service Award and Scholarship recognizes students who are outstanding leaders in their high school communities. They have participated in The Family Place Students Be Project Program for a minimum of one year, acting as mentors to educate their peers about healthy relationships in an effort to prevent teen dating violence and sexual assault.

    The Family Place Advocacy Award recognizes an organization that has played a vital role in furthering the mission of The Family Place to stop the suffering of women and children victims of family violence in North Texas. By providing generous financial and volunteer support and promoting awareness with employees, associates and peers, the Advocacy Award recipient is a strong voice speaking out for victims of family violence to improve our community’s response to their critical needs.

  • Paige Flink comments on discovey by Dallas police of hundreds more unworked family violence cases

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 20, 2013

    Dallas police find hundreds more unworked family violence cases

    August 19, 2013
    by Tanya Eiserer
    The Dallas Morning News

     

    Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News - File 2011

    Sheranda Hodge woke up to hear her boyfriend screaming as he kicked, choked and beat her.

    After an overnight hospital stay, Hodge told Detective Shawn Wash that she wanted Alvin Simon prosecuted. Hodge heard nothing for nearly three years.

    Now she knows why: Her case was one of 646 cases that Wash failed to properly investigate when they were assigned to him while he was a family violence detective, according to an internal police audit obtained by The Dallas Morning News. An audit found that another investigator, Detective Durman Johnson, didn’t properly investigate more than 100 family violence cases.

    “I thought it was being taken care of,” Hodge said. “I didn’t know it was being ignored.”

    The hundreds of unworked offenses, mostly from the latter part of the last decade through 2011, ranged from dozens of simple misdemeanor assaults to stalking cases and felony child abuse or sexual assault cases.

    The unworked cases represent additional evidence of widespread problems with the Police Department’s family violence unit. Since an embarrassing incident in late 2009 where thousands of cases were discovered in another detective’s garage, the department has improved supervision of investigators, implemented an automated case-tracking system last year and increased the number of detectives.

    Paige Flink, executive director of The Family Place Shelter, said she’s confident that police now have the right leadership and reforms in place to prevent something similar from occurring again. But the discovery that hundreds more pleas for help from victims went unheeded because of the two detectives is disheartening, she said.

    “I’m almost speechless that people who thought the police were going to help them didn’t get help,” Flink said.

    After more than a year, internal affairs investigations into Wash and Johnson were recently completed. It is unclear what discipline, if any, they will receive. Wash is assigned to the property room and did not return a request for comment. Johnson declined to comment. He is answering phones in the crimes against persons division.

    Many of Wash and Johnson’s mishandled cases are from the same era in which Detective Mickey East failed to properly pursue thousands of cases. East retired in February 2012 after a 2½-year investigation. He said he took the cases home when he was overwhelmed by the workload.

    Police officials say Wash and Johnson exhibited many of the same tendencies as East, such as repeatedly failing to properly document what they did and did not do on their cases.

    “There’s not a whole lot that they can do that we can’t catch them on now,” said Deputy Chief Sherryl Scott. “It’s all about making sure that our domestic violence victims are getting the service that they need from our detectives.”

    As the department moved to improve the family violence unit after the East investigation, authorities began to check to make sure other detectives had been properly pursuing cases and archiving their files.

    “We looked in a room that was supposed to be empty because it was an interview room, and that’s where we found some boxes that didn’t belong in there,” Scott said.

    The numerous boxes found in March 2012 in a police interview room at Jack Evans Police Headquarters contained cases assigned to Johnson and Wash.

    Officials audited 765 cases assigned to Johnson, according to police records. They found more than 100 cases from 2007 to 2011 had not been worked.

    They reviewed 970 cases assigned to Wash. The auditors found 646 cases spanning from 2007 to 2011 that had not been worked.

    In January 2012, the same month that Sgt. Rene Sigala, a family violence supervisor, met with Wash to outline a litany of problems with his cases, Wash closed 100 cases from 2009, saying the victims had refused to cooperate or he couldn’t reach them.

    When counseling Wash at that time, Sigala noted that Wash wasn’t properly filing paperwork, repeatedly had errors in his reports and was behind on documenting what he’d done on cases.

    Wash said he was “overworked and that he had fallen behind due to caseloads and not enough detectives in the unit.”

    Both Wash and Johnson earned plenty of overtime during the years that the cases were assigned to them. The audits show Johnson earned about $15,000 in overtime for work in 2009 and 2010. Wash was paid about $15,000 for 330.9 hours of overtime in 2009. He made more than $7,500 in overtime in 2010.

    All of the cases Johnson should have investigated were assigned to other detectives.

    But out of Wash’s 646 unworked cases, hundreds were now too old to be prosecuted. The statute of limitations, two years for misdemeanors, had expired.

    At least 148 of Wash’s cases were within the statute of limitations and were assigned to another investigator.

    Police have not said how many of the cases were eventually filed with the district attorney’s office, but records indicate that detectives could not reach victims in many of the cases or that victims refused to cooperate.

    It is also unclear how many of the victims were revictimized by the same attackers after their cases were mishandled. As part of the East investigation, a review found hundreds of family violence victims had been revictimized by the same attackers.

    When another detective contacted her in 2012, Hodge was more than willing to prosecute Simon.

    According to police records, Hodge awoke to find Simon jumping on the bed and screaming, “Allah Akbar,” on Dec. 17, 2009. Hodge fled into the bathroom. He kicked open the door. He kicked, punched, choked and bit her.

    “He said, ‘I’m going to kill you. I have to kill you because I’m not going to go back to jail,’” Hodge said.

    She fled, and a neighbor called 911.

    A detective assigned to work Wash’s cases filed the criminal case against Simon in August 2012. He was sentenced to five years in prison in November.

    The seriousness of what happened to her hit home recently for Hodge when her best friend, Demetrious Matthews, was murdered. Police say her boyfriend, Patrick Adger, ran her down and dumped her in the woods in late April.

    “It just like poured salt into this wound,” Hodge said. “That could have happened to me.”

    Read more at Dallasnews.com.

  • Paige Flink and Olivia Bolwell Share how to Stop the Cycle of Bullying on Good Morning Texas

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 14, 2013

    Good Morning Texas invited The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink and Olivia Bolwell, the 16-year old student who did an international video on bullying on air Wednesday, August 14, 2013.

    Olivia shared her reasons for creating her documentary and the process behind it, including her own experience as a victim of bullying, with viewers.  Paige talked about bully awareness, and the Be Project, an intiative of The Family Place to educate students about bullying and teen dating abuse.  

    In addition, the focus of this year's Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon is bullying awareness and how bullying can lead to domestic violence. The luncheon will be on September 26, 2013 at the Dallas Omni Hotel, and the guest speaker for the luncheon is Cynthia Lowen, writer and producer of award-winning “Bully,” a feature documentary exposing the hidden lives of bullied children.

     Watch their GMT appearance below!

  • Dallas, DeSoto shooting rampage shows how domestic abuse cycles are hard to stop

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 12, 2013

    Dallas, DeSoto shooting rampage shows how domestic abuse cycles are hard to stop

    August 10, 2013
    by Ed Timms, Jennifer Emily and Tanya Eiserer
    The Dallas Morning News

    Zina Bowser wanted Erbie Bowser out of her life.

    But what happened next followed a pattern that is frustrating, tragic and all too familiar.

    Threats and even physical abuse come first. Love turns to fear. Divorce court becomes another battleground. The system tries to protect victims of domestic violence — and counsel the abusers. But sometimes it doesn’t work out.

    A protective order may be the last-ditch effort to avoid a catastrophe. Too often, the court papers become a somber record of what victims endured in the weeks, months or years before they’re murdered by someone who once claimed to love them.

    Erbie Bowser, 44, now faces capital murder charges. He’s accused of killing two mothers and their daughters in a deadly rampage late Wednesday.

    Police allege that he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend Toya Smith, 43, in her far southwest Dallas home. He also is accused of killing her daughter, Tasmia Allen, 17. Smith’s 14-year-old son, Storm Malone, and a family friend, Dasmine Mitchell, 17, were wounded.

    Investigators said that Erbie Bowser then stormed the DeSoto home of his estranged wife, Zina Bowser. He allegedly battered down the back door and lobbed a grenade inside that blew out the walls and knocked out windows. Police say he then fatally shot Zina Bowser and her daughter, Neima Williams, 28. Zina Bowser’s two sons were wounded: 10-year-old Myles and 13-year-old Chris.

    A harassment charge from the late 1990s, which later was dismissed, hinted that a man described by family and friends as a “gentle giant” may have had a darker side for a very long time. More recently, he was accused of making death threats that left little to the imagination.

    Was abusive behavior from Erbie Bowser’s past a premonition of the deadly violence he is alleged to have unleashed? Perhaps only in hindsight.

    The courts tried to protect the victims. Counselors worked to calm the rage inside Erbie Bowser. And, at times, it appeared that he’d responded.

    Sometimes domestic violence victims even have a change of heart. Whatever first brought a couple together doesn’t always go away easily. Victims sometimes feel compelled to give their partners another chance, postpone divorce proceedings or even try to rekindle relationships.

    Zina Bowser, for example, had filed for divorce in 2011. But there apparently has been little movement on her case.

    Could things have been done differently? Almost certainly.

    Would it have made a difference?

    That’s a question that may never be answered.

    Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has gained national attention for his campaign against domestic violence, said he was devastated by the killings.

    “The real question is, ‘What can we do better as a system?’” he said.

    Paige Flink, executive director at the Family Place shelter, ultimately holds Bowser responsible.

    “We’ve got to figure out some way to identify the high-risk offenders,” she said. “I’m not going to blame the system because this man murdered these people.”

    Military stories

    Erbie Bowser was accused of attacking his wife in their home in January 2011. She filed for divorce the same month. The couple had been married less than a year.

    For years, he’d described himself as a combat veteran. He once told a fellow vet that he’d been an Army Ranger who had served in Operation Desert Shield, Somalia and Haiti. And that he was a paratrooper.

    He told family members he’d been wounded and was awarded the Purple Heart. He said he had a metal plate in his head.

    He ended up in a special court program designed to help veterans who’ve seen combat or experienced traumatic events.

    Military records indicate he served in the Army from 1991 to 2000. But he was not deployed outside the U.S. . There is no record of a Purple Heart. No record that he’d been trained as a paratrooper.

    “It bothers me if he was not truthful of his military past,” said Joe Lynch, a Vietnam veteran who volunteered as Bowser’s mentor in the Dallas County Veterans Court. “The judge expects nothing but honesty from everyone involved in the process.”

    Participants in the Veterans Court are required to participate in treatment programs. Those may include anger management, an intervention program for domestic violence, drug and alcohol treatment and psychiatric care.

    Anyone with a domestic violence charge is required to go through a “batterer’s intervention” program. Almost 1 in 3 of the vets who go through the court are there because of domestic violence.

    To remain in the program, veterans must comply with whatever treatment is mandated.

    Lynch said he didn’t know if Bowser would have received treatment without the court’s intervention.

    Since state District Judge Mike Snipes started the Veterans Court program in 2010, Bowser is the first offender to be accused of another crime. So far, 23 vets have graduated.

    Graduates of the court can have the charge that brought them into the program expunged. And they are introduced to VA services that they may not have used in the past.

    Such specialized intervention programs in the courts have many advocates, who say they often keep offenders from committing more serious crimes.

    After questions were raised about Erbie Bowser’s military background, Snipes said he will now require proof that a veteran served in combat or a traumatic situation.

    “I’m putting an extra layer in there,” he said.

    Expunged records

    Erbie Bowser had married once before, in 2002. That marriage ended in divorce in 2008. The divorce records do not indicate whether threats or violence were an issue but do state that “there is no protective order between the parties.”

    Some of Bowser’s history of domestic violence didn’t appear in his criminal record because it was expunged after he’d completed the Veterans Court program in 2012.

    Flink is among those who have concerns about any domestic abuse records being expunged, particularly when weapons are involved.

    “We all believe in redemption and we hope for redemption, but we have accepted being more tolerant when people enter this gray area that is a very slippery slope to murder,” Rawlings said.

    Zina Bowser’s application for a protective order after she alleged a violent encounter with her estranged husband was found in their divorce records.

    “He came around the bed really fast and … pushed me with his stomach,” she wrote. “Then he put his finger in my face and said, ‘I will bury you.’”

    Later, she wrote, Erbie Bowser pulled out a knife and flipped it open. He warned that if she called the police, “I will execute your kids.”

    State District Judge Rick Magnis is beginning in January a specialty court for felony domestic violence offenders. He is still deciding whether offenders who have a “high lethality” will be admitted to the program. A high lethality means they have a higher chance of killing their victim.

    Defendants with family violence cases in his courtroom are assessed for stalking behavior, controlling behavior and threats to kill.

    Terms of probation for those with a higher risk could include GPS monitoring, an alcohol monitor and drug testing. All domestic violence defendants on probation are required to receive batterer’s intervention treatment, he said.

    “We’re just trying to reduce the chances as much as we can,” Magnis said.

    Many victims, Magnis said, still want to maintain some contact with the defendants.

    But no contact typically is one of the terms of probation he imposes for the safety of the victims.

    He said he tells victims to attend safety counseling for those who are abused and he will reconsider it.

    Criminologist Denise Paquette Boots, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, said there are many reasons women in domestic violence situations choose to stay.

    “Sometimes they’re fearful. … Imagine him threatening your children, threatening your family, threatening your friends. Saying he’s going to come to your work. He’s going to send pictures to your boss. He’s going to call your friend,” Boots said. “It reinforces his power and control.”

    Boots said abusers can be manipulative and secretive, almost living dual lives.

    “You’ll have situations … where the neighbors and the co-workers will say, ‘I just can’t believe it. He’s just the nicest guy. I had no idea.’”

    If an abuser wants to kill, Boots said, it’s very difficult to stop.

    “They don’t care about … trespassing signs. They don’t care about protective orders. The only thing that we can do is to try to give resources to women to try to get them away from their abuser. But we have women on the run all over the United States from guys that are tracking them.”

    Lurlean Smith, the mother of Toya Smith and grandmother of Tasmia Allen, pleaded Friday with other mothers to talk to their daughters to find out whether their relationships are showing signs of abuse.

    “Notice the habits. Notice if … [boyfriends or husbands] become aggressive,” Smith said. “I stress it to these mothers and these daughters … wake up.

    “You know what [the] signs are. You know what red flags are.”

    Read more at Dallasnews.com

  • Mayor Rawlings Devastated by Domestic Killing Spree

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 12, 2013

    Mayor Mike Rawlings says he’s ‘devastated’ by Dallas, DeSoto domestic killing spree, vows to push for reforms

    August 9, 2013
    by Scott Goldstein
    The Dallas Morning News

    Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has gained national attention for his campaign against domestic violence, said this afternoon that he is “devastated” by a domestic violence shooting spree in which four women were killed on Wednesday night.

    “It’s a very sad day for anybody that cares about women and women’s rights and children in this city,” Rawlings said in a phone interview.

    Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, faces multiple capital murder charges after authorities say he killed his former girlfriend and her teenage daughter in southwest Dallas around 10:30 p.m. and then drove about 7 miles to DeSoto to kill his estranged wife and her daughter. He is accused of tossing a grenade into the DeSoto home before that shooting. Four people were wounded in the shootings.

    The mayor vowed to push on in his fight against men who abuse women, nearly five months after he drew thousands to City Hall for a rally against domestic violence. He said he met just yesterday with District Attorney Craig Watkins on the issue and he plans to hold a private meeting by the end of this month with Police Chief David Brown, Watkins and county judges who handle protective orders.

    “The real question is, ‘what can we do better as a system?’”

    The mayor said he wants to produce a “cross-jurisdictional strategic plan for the city and the county.”

    Specifically, Rawlings said domestic violence cases must move faster through the court system.

    “Because we don’t have the resources to move these cases along quickly, sometimes they’re a year long before someone is really brought to court,” Rawlings said. “In that interim, the victim pulls away and things change so most of these things start to get dropped out.”

    The mayor, a Dallas Mavericks fan, said he recalls seeing Bowser at games when he performed with the zany Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs dance troupe.

    Bowser had a history of domestic violence, but it isn’t in his criminal record because he completed the Dallas County court program for veterans in the summer of 2012.

    Bowser entered the Veterans Court after attacking his wife at her DeSoto home in January 2011. She had filed for divorce and wanted him to move out, according to a protective order application she signed.

    As he has in the past, Rawlings referred to men who abuse women as “terrorists.”

    “These are terrorists, these are people that are creating terror in our backyard,” Rawlings said. “And if we looked at them in that way we would move heaven and earth to stop this.”

    “This is the result of a culture of accepting domestic violence in our city,” he said. “We all do it. And we know people that have hit somebody and we don’t stand up and create a taboo about this the way it needs to be, whether it’s in the media or whether it’s in our personal lives.”

    Read more at Dallasnewscom.

  • Be Project Enters Veto the Violence Contest

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 08, 2013

    Be Project is entering a contest called Veto The Violence, creating a 1-minute PSA about teen dating violence.  Good luck Be Project!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkjAzvVHnw