• Partners Card Picks: PaperCity's Billy Fong and Lisa Shaddock

    by Shivangi Pokharel | Oct 16, 2019

    Billy FongPaperCity Culture and Style Editor

    Exceptionally fancy olive oil from Royal Blue Grocery is always good to have on-hand, plus it makes you seem like a culinary superstar.

    For my new home, classic navy blue and white monogrammed towels from Ralph Lauren.

    Since I'm pretty boring with my towels, I need a whimsical navy and white zebra print bath mat from Jonathan Adler.

    Lisa ShaddockPaperCity Senior Editor

    I’ll get a head start on 2020 with a new planner. I swear by my Graphic Image datebook and Madison carries exclusive colors & prints.

    Our pup can’t get enough of the all-natural treats from Lucky Dog Barkery!

    You can never have enough picture frames, I’ll buy my favorite styles for myself and for last minute holiday gifts from The Ivy House.

  • Partners Card Picks: Jane McGarry - Host of WFAA’s Good Morning Texas

    by Shivangi Pokharel | Oct 16, 2019

    Jacksons Home & Garden has some of the best Partners Card shopping in town – save on holiday décor, outdoor furniture, gift items and even grills!

    I’m so excited to treat myself to something beautiful from Bvlgari at NorthPark Center!

    Cos Bar in The Plaza at Preston Center is a mecca for all things beauty and wellness, it’s a must visit!

    Antèks Home Furnishings has been a Partners Card retailer since the very beginning – I love the store for gifts.

  • Program Highlight: 24-hour Crisis Hotline

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 30, 2019

    Family violence doesn’t take a break, and neither does The Family Place’s 24-hour crisis hotline. In 2018, we received 7,595 emergency hotline calls.

    Our hotline counselors are the first voices that domestic violence callers hear when they reach out for help. Counselors listen to callers in order to understand their circumstances and provide the best solution possible.

    On average, a hotline counselor may speak with 20 to 25 men or women each day. When someone calls the hotline, the counselors first listen to understand more about the client’s situation. Then the counselors will ask more questions and explain what services and shelter options are available at The Family Place. Most callers are seeking safe shelter and immediate basic needs, as they often leave with nothing but the clothes on their back.

    Clients that are considered High Risk (HRO) or are called in by the Dallas Police Department because of a high Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) score always get immediate shelter. These cases typically involve increased risk of deadly situations.

    If a client calls and our shelters are full, high risk clients are connected to a Program Director who can help with immediate needs. This might mean clients are referred to another family violence shelter or might lead The Family Place to find a hotel for the victim until we are able to get them into a shelter.

    Every call touches the hearts of the hotline counselors, but some stand out more than others. One client called our hotline in a panic because her abuser had shot through the windshield of the car while she was in the passenger seat and her two-year-old daughter was in the back. The mother described how scary it was to witness someone that she thought she loved act out by shooting a gun to scare her. With the help of Tahira, one of our hotline counselors, the mother and children were able get into one of our shelters and utilize The Family Place resources to work through the trauma they experienced.

    “The hotline offers emotional support and resources to help individuals with creating effective safety plans and continues to provide a stable anchor for those in the wake of such violence. Along with safe shelter and support, The Family Place is dedicated to help individuals with emotional processing and locating appropriate resources and referrals for recovery,” says Tahira.

  • Program Highlight: The Family Place Supportive Living Program & Bilingual Services

    by Emily Roberts | Sep 11, 2019

    The Family Place sets itself apart by offering its services and programs in both English and Spanish. Our bilingual staff are so important because many of our clients speak little to no English. Without bilingual case managers, counselors and support staff, many Spanish-speaking victims of family violence would not receive the proper resources and might not have their voices heard.  We can serve a much larger population by offering services in both English and Spanish and inform victims that there is always help available. With language barriers nearly eliminated, we can serve all people seeking services at The Family Place more effectively.

    Ana Auces is a bilingual case manager who works with clients in our Supportive Living Program (SLP). SLP is our transitional housing program that provides 26 on-campus extended-stay apartments to individuals and families coming from one of our emergency shelters. As a case manager, her role is to assist clients with basic needs as well as meeting one-on-one to talk about their specific situation. She serves as a voice for victims during a time of change and transition for the families in our care.

    Families that enter SLP are given a furnished apartment that includes bedding, basic food items, pots and pans, plates, utensils, and other necessities to get them started. From then on, clients are responsible for getting food and essentials on their own.

    If they are not already working or going to school when entering SLP, clients will actively search for employment or further education opportunities, so they are prepared when they leave. By providing these clients with free housing, they can save money to support themselves and their families when they exit our care.

    As Ana says, her goal is to “work together with The Family Place team to place our clients in a community where they feel the most comfortable while preparing them to be independent.” 

  • Program Highlight: The Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center

    by Emily Roberts | Aug 20, 2019

    The Harold C. Simmons Child Development Center (CDC) at our Safe Campus offers a specialized curriculum for children five and under that have experienced trauma. This curriculum helps kids at the CDC heal and regain any developmental loss. The CDC provides free childcare for women in our shelter so they can go to work, look for jobs and go to counseling knowing their child is in good hands.

    In recognizing the need for a person dedicated to children’s behavior at the CDC, Gennie Jones joined our team as the Behavior Intervention Specialist (BIS), helping to create positive behavioral change with kids at the CDC.

    As a Behavior Intervention Specialist, Gennie’s main role is to assess every child enrolled at the CDC. She conducts a pre-assessment test on the child’s 5th day and a post-assessment test on their 30th day, if the child is still in our care. During these assessments, she evaluates communication, problem solving skills and speech to determine if there are any pressing behavioral concerns. She also works closely with the counselors to ensure children in the CDC are receiving the specific care they need.

    Every kid reacts to trauma differently, but subtle behaviors cannot go unnoticed. Gennie helps educate The Family Place community—teachers, parents, and staff—about observing important behavioral signs. In identifying these destructive or abnormal behaviors, she helps others understand their importance, making sure the child has support to work on positive behavioral change.

    The CDC is always busy with toddlers running around and teachers interacting with their students. Gennie is an additional resource to address behavioral concerns, so they are resolved effectively and efficiently. Her expertise helps kids in the CDC receive individualized help in overcoming their traumatic experiences.

    Gennie helps mothers understand that small, abnormal behaviors at a young age need to be dealt with immediately, as there is usually something more behind the behavior.

    Her most memorable experience was one mother who knew her child needed outside care due to special needs. Their insurance wouldn’t cover the cost and Gennie was able to work with the community to make sure the child received the best care.

    “It is so inspiring to see moms who has been through unimaginable trauma and are working to put themselves back together continue to put her child first and make sure they are getting the care they need,” says Gennie.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 21, 2018

    Once upon a time, The Family Place opened a shelter and hotline in a house on McKinney Avenue. It was 1978, and intervening in family violence was controversial. We faced significant resistance from law enforcement, the criminal justice system, established therapists and even the religious community.

    But with support from volunteers—Joan Weston and Gerry and Bob Beer—and funders—the National Council of Jewish Women, the Junior League of Dallas, Bette Clair McMurray (the inventor of Liquid Paper), Midway Hills Christian Church and Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, our fledgling efforts soon grew into a leading organization protecting victims and their children.

    Since those early days, we have saved countless lives, counseled more than 215,000 clients, provided shelter to more than 24,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 600,000 calls for help.

    As we look back on these accomplishments, we know that we couldn’t be here for victims who call without your generosity of spirit. As our 40th anniversary year comes to a close, please give today to ensure The Family Place story of hope and love continues to reach those in need.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Mike Rawlings

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 21, 2018

    Following a string of horrific family violence homicides in 2013, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings launched a citywide initiative to end family violence—the Men Against Abuse campaign. We’re proud to have worked closely with Mayor Rawlings not only on the initial launch that rallied more than 5,000 men to Dallas City Hall, but also on ongoing family violence initiatives.

    The campaign calls on men to take a pledge and commit to speaking out against domestic violence. Mayor Rawlings has promoted the campaign at dozens of events, with support from current and former Dallas Cowboys, The Dallas Morning News, religious leaders and radio DJs. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have been exposed to the mayor's important message, and more than 25,000 men have taken the Men Against Abuse pledge.

    “From the time I joined the fight against domestic violence with the Men Against Abuse campaign to the launch of our first Dallas Domestic Violence Task Force report, and until today, The Family Place has been an instrumental partner in the development of a locally led and coordinated approach to tackling domestic violence in our city,” Mayor Rawlings said. “The Family Place has always stepped up where there are gaps – whether it be through opening additional facilities to serve more victims, like the Ann Moody Place and the first male shelter last year, or working to shift the culture to prevent domestic violence through community education and its Battering Intervention & Prevention Program. On behalf of the City of Dallas, thanks to The Family Place for its vision, leadership and dedication over the past 40 years.” 

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Tiffany McDaniel

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 21, 2018

    Tiffany McDaniel, Chief Program Officer, will celebrate her fifth anniversary at The Family Place in 2019. She came to us after 20 years of work in child protection and homelessness.

    “Domestic violence victims were the one population that was constant in all of my previous experiences and the one population that I thought was the easiest to get lost,” Tiffany says. “I wanted to work in an organization where the mission was focused on the safety of victims as opposed to victimization being a secondary service category. I loved that The Family Place offered services to everyone regardless of their past and present circumstances, and I loved that it was in Dallas, which shortened my commute by about 100 miles a day!”

    Tiffany is passionate about empowering all disenfranchised populations to discover and use their voice, but she is especially passionate about victims of domestic violence because of the generational impact battering has on families. Being a victim of and witnessing violence can forever adversely impact a family system, and the resulting effects negatively impact us all. In meeting with victims throughout my years in social work, she has found the worst thing that victims walk away with is the belief that their voice doesn’t matter.

    “It doesn’t matter in their homes, it doesn’t matter in their intimate relationships, it doesn’t matter to their children, it doesn’t matter in the criminal justice system and it doesn’t matter in the child welfare system. What then, is the motivation to keep going?” she asks. “When we teach victims to use their voice and to use it until someone listens, we are not only showing them that others will believe in them, but also that they can believe in themselves. Knowing that you matter is one of the first steps towards empowerment. “

    One of Tiffany’s favorite quotes is by Melinda Gates: “A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” At The Family Place we are teaching victims that they are strong, that their voice matters, and that they should use it without fear as an amazing step towards freedom.     

    Tiffany says that she loves that The Family Place is large enough to serve the masses, but small enough to operate like a family.

    “We care about the people we serve, but we also care about each other. I love that we have a dynamic, visionary leader who gives the staff the leeway to try new things and who is not afraid to take risks to effect change. I am happiest that we have staff members who show up every day with the hearts of servants and with the desire to do the best for every victim that seeks help from us,” she says. “I am proud to work alongside these folks this is truly a family place.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Texas Women's Foundation

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 19, 2018

    In November 2018 the Dallas Women’s Foundation became the Texas Women’s Foundation. The name change reflects the foundation’s position that the future workforce and future economy in Texas depend upon investing in solutions that address the root causes of women's economic insecurity—and reverse them. This transformation honors the foundation’s 33 years as a leader in advocating for social and economic change for women and girls in Texas.

    Since its inception, the foundation has been an important supporter of the growth of programs at The Family Place. Our earliest gift from the foundation came in 1986, and our most recent arrived last month. In all, the Texas Women’s Foundation and its grantors have provided over $1 million for our capital and program needs.

    Join us in thanking the Texas Women’s Foundation for its effort to strengthen the economic security and change the trajectory of thousands of  women and girls from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic communities. We share the foundation’s goal to ensure that Texas women, girls and families have the knowledge, financial and occupational resources to move from surviving to thriving!

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Junior League of Dallas

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 12, 2018

    The Family Place’s relationship with the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) dates back to our earliest days and a grant that helped us hire our first executive director, Gail Griswold, in 1978. Since that time, JLD has granted us nearly $800,000 and more than 25,000 volunteer hours.

    “Junior League of Dallas volunteers are essential to our programs, and we’re grateful for the many years of support,” said The Family Place CEO Paige Flink. “They have been there for us at every important step in our growth.”

    Current JLD President Alicia Hall said that The Family Place has also made a difference in the lives of the organization’s members.

    “Volunteering can truly be life-changing for our members,” Alicia said. “Recently a member shared a story about her time at The Family Place that illustrated how powerful the relationship can be. Through the volunteer training she received, she began to understand what domestic violence looked like and realized that she was a victim.”

    Through our volunteer training, the member also knew the steps to take to stay safe and make changes.

    Over the years, Alicia said, The Family Place has provided flexible volunteer positions for the JLD’s growing membership, accommodating the need for flexible, nighttime and weekend hours.

    “Our relationship with The Family Place has stood the test of time,” she said. “Most importantly our members feel like they are making an impact, and that’s what keeps them engaged.”

    Junior League of Dallas Provisionals learned about the work of The Family Place on their 2018 Community Bus Tour.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Patty Jones

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 07, 2018

    In 1986 Patty married a man that she had no idea was an abuser. After their marriage, he began to hit her in the head and body, but only where bruises would not be visible. Then he slammed a car door on her face, shattering the bones in her jaw, which required her jaw to be wired shut for six months.

    After becoming pregnant, the abuse got worse. He often kicked her in her stomach, eventually leading to premature labor and the loss of her baby. The trauma led to a stroke and severely affected her eyesight. She received five blood transfusions and was in a coma for two months. Doctors told her family on two occasions that she would not survive, but her mother never accepted this and begged the doctors to do all that they could. When Patty came out of the coma, she needed two months of intense rehab to learn to walk, read and talk again. The abuse left her with epilepsy and occasional blindness where she loses her vison for up to 15 minutes at time. But with the love and support of her family, she recovered.

    Patty’s family knew that she needed counseling, and her sister found The Family Place. Through counseling, Patty was equipped with the tools to understand what she had been through and learned that she was not to blame for the abuse she suffered.

    In 2006 Patty wanted to give back to the organization that she said had given her so much. She became a volunteer at our Battering Intervention and Prevention Program office, performing clerical duties and sharing her story of abuse and recovery. In 2013 she became a full-time administrative assistant at The Family Place.

    “I am so proud to be a member of The Family Place family,” Patty says. “It is important for me to set a warm and open tone for our clients so that they know we are here to serve them and help them overcome abusive situations. The most wonderful moments working here come when I see the smiles on our clients faces after receiving the services they need.”

    With help from The Family Place, Patty has built a full life following her abuse. She remarried and has been with her husband for 24 years. She has an adult son and grandchildren. She is also a motivational speaker and life coach, and has a website called You Know Me because she knows there is a “me” in many families.

  • 40Stories for 40 Years: Gloria Aleman

    by TFP User 1 | Dec 05, 2018

    At each of our shelters or counseling centers there is a friendly face greeting clients, donors and staff as they come in the door. At Ann Moody Place, that person is Gloria Aleman.

    Gloria started at The Family Place in 2002 as an administrative assistant. After a few years, the receptionist position opened and she moved into that role. Through her time at The Family Place, she has seen firsthand how the agency has grown and how many lives have been touched.

    “I am amazed by the generous donors who give their time and resources so that we can provide services for anyone that has been through domestic violence,” Gloria says. “I believe The Family Place’s mission to end the cycle of violence lives here and grows with the faithful support of the community. I am honored to help the people of the community that come through our doors.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Myrna Mata

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 29, 2018

    When Myrna came to The Family Place in the spring of 2016, she says she and her three children were trapped in a toxic cycle of abuse.

    “Not only did the counselors at The Family Place help me get out of my situation, but also they helped me grow as a person,” she says. “With the counseling I received, I have became stronger and can make better decisions. The Family Place helped me see and focus on the things that once were impossible.”

    With guidance from The Family Place, Myrna received a scholarship to get her Real Estate license and is now involved in Toastmasters. She has learned to speak about the struggles she went through and the strength she and her family have found.

    “I wish every woman or man that is going through a tough time like we once did could get the help we got at The Family Place,” she says. “I wish I could change the way I came to The Family Place, but I will forever be a strong and valuable person thanks to the people there who helped me.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Meshelle Osborn

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 26, 2018

    Throughout her life, Meshelle experienced numerous unhealthy relationships. She felt like it was the norm to fight and defend herself, and each abusive encounter ended in hurt, pain and even self-destructive behavior.

    After having her first child, her partner started psychologically abusing her. What could have been a joyful start of a new family turned into a frightening family dynamic. All of her children were witnesses to the family violence, which eventually led to a CPS investigation. Meshelle was willing to do anything to help her family, so she sought counseling at The Family Place. 

    “The thought of losing my children brought out a strength that I didn’t know was in me,” she says. “My life had spiraled out of control, but The Family Place taught me to see the unhealthy parts of my relationship, learn to protect myself, and to heal in many areas of my life.”

    Meshelle is no longer a victim of family violence but a strong survivor and advocate. She says she is now able to lead her family in the way God intended her to, and she serves on The Family Place’s Ladies of Leadership.

    “I'm proud to say that I'm here today because of The Family Place, “ Meshelle says. “I still have miles to go on this journey, but I now understand that I to deserve to live and enjoy my life.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Laura Wetselline

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 16, 2018

    Laura is a survivor of both domestic violence and human trafficking. For five years she was abused psychologically and physically while being sold for sex, and she says she lost all sense of worth.

    In December of 2014 the Frisco Police Department responded to a domestic violence call at the apartment where she was living with her abuser. The officers rescued Laura and her two children and brought them to The Family Place where she and her children received counseling for the trauma they had experienced.

    Laura says at that point in her life she didn’t know how to truly live, only how to survive. She felt hopeless and defeated. Laura began individual counseling, received Section 8 housing and other available resources so that she could rebuild her life. Today, she has regained her sense of worth and knows that her life is priceless.

    Laura is now active in The Family Place’s leadership program, a member of Partners Auxiliary and a manager at Tom Thumb. She surrounds herself with strong, successful women because she believes the people around her influence who she is.

    “Today I have a life beyond my wildest dreams,” Laura says. “I didn’t do this by myself, God transformed me. Don’t ever let your past destroy your future. It’s your life. You have the power to change yourself and your future.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Margie Heilbronner

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 13, 2018

    Margie Heilbronner started working at The Family Place in January 2003 as an adult case manager. About a year ago, she became a resident advocate for men in our emergency shelter services. The job was familiar to her since she had worked with the men in the military in California prior to coming to The Family Place.

    “That was my first exposure to male victims,” she said. “I learned that it took a lot of courage to get help when you’re a male victim. It’s really something to have a young marine come to your office because he couldn’t tell his sergeant that his wife had put a knife to his throat.”

    When The Family Place opened a men’s shelter in 2017, it was the first in the state. Since that time, Margie said she has seen a lot of amazing dads. One of the first shelter residents was the father of two girls, a 17 year old and a nine year old, who had cerebral palsy. He had been the sole caregiver for the younger child, who used a wheelchair and had severe allergies—all while working in IT for Verizon.

    When they came to the shelter, he had to prepare all of her meals because of her allergies. She also suffered from debilitating seizures, but his wife did not believe in medical care. This was a constant source of conflict for them, Margie said. While at our shelter, he was able to get his daughter on medication that controlled her seizures.

    Like so many female victims we see, his abuser not only physically abused him but also controlled him and isolated him from friends and family. Seeing his children suffer was a strong motivation to leave. While at our men’s shelter, he reconnected with his family and eventually was able to move to Florida where his mother lived. He has since found a school to accommodate his younger daughter’s special needs, and his older daughter tested out of high school and is attending Florida State.

    “He was a dedicated dad,” Margie said. “It really impressed me that he was able to do his work and take such good care of both daughters while healing and moving beyond his victimization. “It’s hard for people to understand that men are victims, too. Female abusers use power and control the same way male abusers do.”

    Margie said her favorite part of her job is being a voice for male victims who need services.

    “I enjoy being able to advocate for them—in the office, in the courts and in the community,” she said.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Robin & Norm Bagwell

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 25, 2018

    Bank of Texas has been a supporter of The Family Place Partners Card for 10 years, but Bank of Texas Chairman and CEO Norm Bagwell and his wife, Robin, have followed the work of The Family Place for nearly 20 years.

    “It is a tremendous organization,” Norm says. “A true difference maker in our community. In another time, family violence was a tough topic to fully understand. It was a troubling issue, and people in general struggled with how to talk about it and even worse what to do about it. The relentless advocacy of The Family Place helped bring this problem out of the dark and into mainstream discussion. I think The Family Place changed the conversation, increased public awareness and acceptance, and offered help and hope to those impacted.”

    Norm says Partners Card has been an incredible partnership for Bank of Texas. Over the years the relationship has grown into a multifaceted one where Bank of Texas provides the agency with advocacy, facility support, banking, and volunteers if needed.

    “This has become one of our most impactful relationships, and we are proud to partner with The Family Place,” he says.

    Norm and Robin are also dedicated users of Partners Card and mark the week on their calendar every year without exception—even the year Robin gave Norm a kidney.

    “I was only in the hospital a couple of nights,” Robin says. “Norm’s stay was longer, and he was released on our anniversary, November 4th.  On the way home from the hospital, he and my dad stopped at Bachendorf’s to pick up an anniversary present. They couldn’t believe Norm was stopping on his way home from the hospital and asked why he didn’t get the present ahead of time, especially since this was a planned surgery. The answer was simple—it wasn’t during Partners Card!”

    Join us in thanking Norm and Robin Bagwell and Bank of Texas for their commitment to Partners Card and The Family Place.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: The Crystal Charity Ball

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 17, 2018

    The Crystal Charity Ball has supported the mission of The Family Place by providing transformational funding at three critical junctures of our growth. In 1986 we received support for our Children’s Therapeutic Program, in 2010 for Faith and Liberty’s Place, and in 2016 to name the Children’s Counseling Center at Ann Moody Place. The three gifts total $2,148,450 and have had an enormous impact on the safety and well being of thousands of children.

    “Being able to be in on the ground floor of Ann Moody Place was a huge privilege,” says Claire Emanuelson, current chairman of The Crystal Charity Ball. “Our donors have great respect for The Family Place and were very supportive of the capital campaign to fund the Children’s Counseling Center. Our beneficiaries must serve children in Dallas, and our investments must be used specifically to benefit youth under the age of 18,” she explains.

    Over the years many members of The Crystal Charity Ball have served in leadership roles at The Family Place. Claire is an excellent example. She serves on The Family Place Foundation board of directors, is a lifetime member of The Family Place Partners, and she and her husband, Dwight, a previous board member of The Family Place, helped launch our ReuNight fundraiser in 2013.

    “Dwight and I got introduced to The Family Place many years ago through Pepsi KidAround and then Palm Night,” Claire says. “We were incredibly impressed with Paige’s leadership and vision for the growth of the organization. We ended up chairing Palm Night and then helped Paige launch ReuNight. Paige is dynamic in sharing her deep passion for The Family Place and has cultivated loyal relationships in the Dallas community and beyond.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Lizbeth Cooley

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 10, 2018

    Lizbeth Cooley came to the United States to get her master’s degree after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in her home country of Venezuela. She fell in love with the United States, and also fell in love with a man named Robert. His charming personality and beautiful blue eyes caught her attention and her heart.

    Before they married in 2002, Lizbeth noticed he was a little controlling, but she thought she could handle it. After six months of marriage, arguments started. Lizbeth’s parents had been married for 47 years before her dad passed away, so she never considered divorce an option. Instead she focused on trying to make the marriage work. As time passed Robert gained power over her, to the point that she didn’t feel like herself and began isolating herself to avoid confrontations with him.

    After two years of marriage Lizbeth wanted to have a child and hoped that a baby would help. After trying to get pregnant and failing she started seeing doctors, but nothing was working. Lizbeth began saving money to pay for in vitro fertilization treatments. During this time her husband and his mother told her she wasn’t getting pregnant because she didn’t deserve to be a mom. She begged for one last treatment and, though she didn’t consider herself to be religious, started praying for a miracle baby. After eight years, Lizbeth finally got pregnant with a baby girl.

    Having a baby brought joy back to Lizbeth’s life, but unfortunately it did not help her marriage. There were new arguments about the baby disrupting her husband’s sleep, or Lizbeth not doing more around the house. He started smoking again, drinking more and coming home late. That’s when the abuse turned physical.

    In September of 2016 Lizbeth received a text message from a woman who said she was having an affair with her husband. Although she didn’t directly confront him about it, she did question his faithfulness to their marriage when he refused to let her borrow his cell phone one day. He then tried to strangle her in front of their four-year-old daughter.

    “He had me held by my neck against the wall, then he put me on the floor, holding me by my neck with one hand with his other hand in a fist saying he was going to break my face. I could hear my daughter screaming in the background saying, ‘No, Daddy, no!’ As soon as he released me, I got up, grabbed my daughter’s hand, and ran through the back door to the neighbor to call the police.”

    After the incident, Child Protective Services referred Lizbeth to The Family Place where she and her daughter began counseling. Her daughter had been afraid of everything from loud noises to using the bathroom by herself because she thought her father might be hiding there, but counseling helped her overcome these fears.

    “This organization helped me get back on my feet after a difficult situation that destroyed me emotionally. Everything I endured brought me closer to God, and now I believe in Him,” she says. “I want to thank the Family Place for staying with me and giving me support through this entire difficult journey.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Tamica Battie

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 02, 2018

    Tamica Battie grew up the oldest of three sisters and a brother. Like so many of our clients, throughout her childhood, she watched her mother go through many abusive relationships. Her mom suffered from both mental illness and substance abuse, so Tamica, her sisters and brother were shuffled in and out of foster care and stayed with various family members. When she was only 12, Tamica was left by herself to care for her siblings, who were all under age 10. She experienced sexual assault for many years, victimized by those close to her, but she never received help.

    As a teenager Tamica longed to be loved, so she began to look for that in men. At 17 she had her first run-in with the law, was charged as an adult, put on probation, and kicked out of DISD. She became depressed and tried to commit suicide, writing a note and taking a bottle of Tylenol. When she woke up, she decided to move in with a 27-year-old man.

    Still Tamica was determined to finish high school. She started online classes but was moving from one bad relationship to another. She had her first child in 2004. A few years later, she was introduced to The Family Place after an altercation with her boyfriend. Working to move forward, she continued her studies at El Centro College and Cedar Valley College.

    In 2012 Tamica married an abuser, thinking he had changed. After six months, the abuse began again, and she knew she had to get out of the relationship for the sake of her children. She came back to The Family Place for counseling, filed for divorce, and started her own janitorial service. Her business grew to serve many clients, including Parkland Hospital.

    Tamica says counseling at The Family Place helped her heal from the inside out and gave her the tools she needed to become victorious over abuse. She is now a strong advocate for victims of domestic violence. The Illustrious Angels of Faith have honored her as Survivor of the Year. She is a member of Toastmasters and is continuing her education at Paul Quinn college studying Business Administration and Fundraising and Philanthropy.

    In the future, Tamica hopes to start a nonprofit to help those suffering from domestic violence, homelessness and mental illness. She likes to say, “When you learn to dance in the rain, no storm can rain on your parade!”