• Run or walk or Volunteer at the 2014 Too Cold to Hold

    by Emily Roberts | Jan 08, 2014

    2014 Too Cold to Hold benefiting The Family Place

    Brave the cold and run, walk or volunteer at the 2014 Too Cold to Hold 5K, 5M and 10M on Sunday February 2nd, 2014 at Norbuck Park (Northwest Hwy & N. Buckner Blvd.), White Rock Lake! Stick around for all the after-race fun.  Live music and a beer garden will be waiting for you after the race, as well as coffee, massages, and lots of samples and treats.

    Registration Fees:

    TooColdtoHold Registration Fees 
    Register online at http://www.runproject.org/too-cold-hold-5k15k!

    Race Schedule:
    7:00 AM - Packet Pickup
    8:30 AM - Start 5K/5M/10M
    10:00 AM - Awards

    Interested in volunteering at the run?
    Click here to sign up to be a volunteer.

    For more information about the event or sponsorship, please contact Nicole Farrar at 214-443-7717 or events@familyplace.org.
  • Check out The Family Place Video courtesy of the Giving Library

    by Emily Roberts | Jan 08, 2014

    The Family Place Video provided by Giving Library

  • Read Deadly Affection - Part 1 of Series in The Dallas Morning News

    by Emily Roberts | Jan 08, 2014

    Deadly Affection: January 2014 - A look back

    January 5, 2014
    by Sarah Mervosh
    The Dallas Morning News

    When Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings first began publicly denouncing domestic violence a year ago, he asked police to focus on serving arrest warrants to the most chronic, dangerous abusers.

    In two months, police reduced the 877 outstanding warrants by about half — even as new ones arrived. But by year’s end, the backlog remained. About 500 warrants are waiting to be served.

    That’s just one example of the difficulties in effectively fighting domestic violence, even when the city’s mayor is leading the charge. For all Rawlings accomplished in 2013, the vast and complex problem continued to destroy families throughout the city and North Texas.

    Still, the mayor and others promised not to give up.

    “There’s too much momentum, and this is too important,” Rawlings said last week. “This shouldn’t fade away.”

    The measurable impact of last year’s work was a mixed bag: There were 23 murders in Dallas, which is about in the middle of the two previous years’ totals. Overall domestic offenses remained level at around 13,000. Local shelters, though, saw an increase in clients, and more victims were willing to take their abusers to court, which experts say is encouraging.

    “This is a big issue. It isn’t something that is going to change overnight,” said Paige Flink, executive director of The Family Place shelter in Dallas. “We just have to look at the wins we have.”

    Experts say there are many reasons eradicating domestic violence is so hard: An effective approach must intervene when abuse occurs and also create social change so the cycle doesn’t continue. Success is also dependent on a coordinated commitment from all the key players, from police to prosecutors to advocates.

    Ultimately, though, it is the abusers who have to change their behavior, Flink said.

    “As a community, we’re going to try to make it hard to get away with it and we’re going to give the victim the support when it happens,” she said. “But in the end, we’re talking about people being different than they are right now.”

    Advocates hope that a series of changes rolling out in the next few weeks — from the police station to the courthouse — will help make a lasting difference.

    “What we’re going to see is more coordination, more collaboration, more education,” said Jan Langbein, executive director of Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas. “I’m excited about 2014.”

    Dallas police have added five family violence detectives, beefing up the unit to 34. Police also will begin making home visits to the highest-risk victims, which they hope will help prevent some deaths.

    “There are a lot of things we’ve fixed in the last year and a half, and my biggest goal is to make sure they work the way they’re supposed to,” said Lt. Miguel Sarmiento, who oversees the family violence unit.

    Dallas police said they are working on reducing the outstanding warrants. More officers are on the job, but there are still more than 300 new warrants each month to keep up with, police said.

    Flink, of The Family Place, said police should consider a dedicated domestic violence warrant squad to expedite the average of 70 days it takes to serve them. Police said they could consider that, but staffing limitations pose a challenge.

    At the criminal courthouse, state District Judge Rick Magnis has pledged to personally supervise felons who get probation as part of a plea bargain. Starting in mid-January, offenders will have to report to him in person each week, and may be subject to ankle or alcohol monitoring to ensure they don’t abuse again.

    “It’s going to be a zero-tolerance program,” Magnis said.

    Authorities also are trying to get the most egregious cases through the system faster. In February, advocates, police and prosecutors will start screening Dallas County domestic cases for the 15 most deadly. Those will then be fast-tracked to be prosecuted within six months, Magnis said.

    “The more we figure out how to make the system better, the better the results are going to be for victims,” Flink said.

    At Dallas City Hall, Rawlings is relying heavily on the domestic violence task force, headed by City Council member Jennifer Staubach Gates. Her committee is planning an awareness event for the spring, though it will likely be different than last year’s rally.

    Rawlings said he would personally like to increase his fundraising for shelters, while maintaining his talks to young men and regular meetings with players from the criminal justice system.

    “This [movement] has got a life of its own, and I am part of the life of it,” he said. “I’ve got to do my part.”

    While many of these upcoming changes are the result of work done because of the mayor’s campaign, pressure to improve the city’s response to domestic violence has been building for at least a year and a half.

    Domestic violence murders doubled to 31 in 2012. One of the victims was Deanna Cook, who police say was killed by her ex-husband while on the phone with 911. The circumstances of her death sparked changes within the 911 call center, including new police procedures for handling domestic disturbance calls.

    That same year, police started doing lethality assessments with victims to determine who was most in danger of being killed.

    Then, 2013 began with a string of domestic violence slayings. Karen Cox Smith, one of the first victims of the year, was gunned down Jan. 8 in a UT Southwestern parking lot by her estranged husband. Police had planned to arrest him the next day.

    Her death got to Rawlings, who said he couldn’t stand to think of her being killed in the same garage he had been in while visiting his sick mother at the hospital. He launched his Dallas Men Against Abuse campaign and in March he hosted a rally where about 5,000 men committed to nonviolence.

    Meanwhile, change rippled throughout the criminal justice system.

    Dallas County state district judges started prohibiting alcohol and deadly weapon possession as a condition of bond for family violence felonies. They also agreed to freely exchange cases so victims don’t have to wait on a particular judge’s schedule to go to trial.

    Looking back at 2013, Rawlings said he’s happy with the progress made, particularly in putting domestic violence on the community’s radar. But he said the work isn’t done.

    “I like what we accomplished last year on the awareness level,” he said. “I probably give us lower grades on how much substantive work we did. … That’s what we’re moving to in this next act.”

    Notable domestic crimes in 2013

    January: Karen Cox Smith was gunned down in a UT Southwestern parking lot, the night before police planned to arrest her abusive estranged husband. Ferdinand Smith was sentenced to 50 years in prison for her death.

    February: Former Hunt County Constable Anthony Dewayne Lewis killed his former girlfriend in Rockwall and then led police on a three-county chase along Interstate 30. He is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

    April: A man who police say fatally shot his pregnant girlfriend and killed her unborn child led police on a lengthy, high-speed chase throughout Dallas. Tyrone Christopher Allen is awaiting trial.

    June: Lydia Soto of Plano fatally shot her 4-year-old son and then herself in what experts say is the rare act of a mother killing her family. Police say she was unhappy with her identity as a single mother.

    July: A mother of two was killed by her ex-husband just hours after she called Grand Prairie police twice, complaining that he was harassing her. The man also killed her boyfriend and then himself. The incident was one of several domestic slayings in Grand Prairie this year.

    August: A grenade-wielding veteran went on a shooting spree in Dallas and DeSoto, killing his estranged wife, an ex-girlfriend and their two daughters. Erbie Lee Bowser, a former Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs performer, also injured four others. He is awaiting trial.

    Read the full article at Dallasnews.com.

  • Happy New Year from The Family Place

    by Emily Roberts | Jan 08, 2014

    Wishing all our friends a Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year from The Family Place

  • Volunteers Needed at our Holiday Donation Center

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 12, 2013

    Volunteers Needed at our Holiday Donation Center

    We need volunteers to help us receive, sort and organize donations our Holiday Donation Center.

    If you have a few hours to spare, click here to sign up for a shift.

    We really appreciate your time to help us get these gifts ready to go out to our families in need in time for the holidays!

    The Family Place Holiday Donation Center
    Located at 4560 Mockingbird Lane, Suite 104, Dallas 75209
    (The Shops of Mockingbird Lane, east of Lemmon/Mockingbird Intersection)

    Open M-F through Thursday, Dec 19
    Monday 9:30am- 5:30pm
    Tuesday 9:30am- 5:30pm
    Wednesday 9:30am- 5:30pm
    Thursday 7:30am- 7:00pm
    Friday 9:30am- 5:30pm


  • Please take a moment to read this letter from Jeanne

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 11, 2013

    Read Jeannes letter to The Family Place

    I received this letter today from a client we helped in 1978 who is filled with appreciation for the change The Family Place brought to her life.

    Dear Paige,
    I could write a book about how much gratitude I have for The Family Place, what I have gotten out of group counseling, and the many 'ah hah' moments that presented themselves there. I’ve been in the house the last few days with this ice storm trying to put my thoughts into words. As I walked outside, I realized I was recalling the ice storm of 1978 and how horribly trapped and beaten I was, shot and battered, just hoping to find a place to rest my head.
    You gave me a safe place in 1978 to tend to my wounds and sleep without fear. But later in life, once again, The Family Place became my place to explore why I couldn’t find a good relationship. The last relationship I had was seven years long. After the first year or two, he started the process of isolating me from my friends, talking down to me, and eventually twisting off and disappearing to punish me. Thankfully I had my group at The Family Place to help me work through it from A-Z and realize that I was repeating another abusive relationship in my life—the relationship I had with my dad. I joked about it in group, but these men even looked alike and had the same first name. Odd but true.
    Counseling helped me learn about trauma bonds and triggers and how to begin to move beyond them. I am so grateful that The Family Place was there for me.

    Every day The Family Place provides safe shelter
    and caring counselors for women like Jeanne,
    helping them make powerful discoveries that
    positively change their lives and their children’s lives.

    There are many places you can make a contribution,
    but few will have the lasting impact of
    breaking the cycle of violence in someone's life.

    Please help change a life today by giving generously.

    I Want to Change a Life Today

  • Vote for The Family Place in the CultureMap Dallas Charity Challenge

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 09, 2013

    YOU BE THE JUDGE - Vote for us in the CultureMap Dallas Charity Challenge!

    12 Charities. 2 Weeks of Voting. 1 Winner.

    CultureMap is partnering with Briggs Freeman to bring you the first-ever CultureMap Charity Challenge. Here's how it works:

    * We've selected 12 charities, including The Family Place!
    * You vote for your favorite everyday, once a day, from December 9-December 20.
    * The winner will be announced on January 6.

    The winning organization will become CultureMap's community service project for 2014, with $2,500 cash donation and an advertising package.

    Now it's up to you. Ready, set, vote!


  • Still not sure what to give your loved ones - Give a gift that means something

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 09, 2013

    2013 Holiday Tribute Giving - The Family Place

    'Tis The Giving Season

    Still not sure what to give your loved ones and coworkers? Give a gift that means something this holiday season. Make a donation in honor of your loved ones at The Family Place, and we'll do the rest.

    The Family Place will send a embossed card to your recipient letting them know that you have made a donation in their honor, and your gift will help victims become survivors.

    Happy Giving »

    Each holiday tribute gift of $15 or more will be delivered on a beautiful embossed card with a holiday message. We can send the Holiday Tribute Card(s) to the person being honored or to you if you would prefer to present your special Holiday Tribute Card(s) in person.

    Please mail/fax this form with your donation to:
    The Family Place
    Attn: Holiday Tribute Giving Program
    PO Box 7999, Dallas TX 75209
    Fax 214.443.7795

    *For multiple gifts, please attach a list of names and addresses with this form.

    *Order no later than December 20 to allow delivery by Christmas.

  • Read how we were there to help Julia 35 years ago

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 06, 2013

    Family violence victims need your help. We are so glad that The Family Place was there to help Julia 35 years ago. Read her story below...

    Dear The Family Place,

    In June of 1978 —35 years ago— I married an attorney and moved to Kansas. The marriage became almost immediately verbally abusive and ultimately physically and sexually abusive. I returned to Dallas at the end of October that same year, totally broken in spirit. My husband’s behavior was something I’d never before experienced. Someone told me of a new agency that was dealing specifically with domestic violence—a new buzzword with which I was unfamiliar. It called itself The Family Place. I called the telephone number and there—and only there—received a blunt assessment of the situation. The person on the other end firmly told me that if I did return and my husband refused to deal with his behavior that there was a 100% chance that the violence would recur - and that it would escalate.

    That phone call likely saved my life and absolutely saved my sanity. When I insisted on my husband getting counseling before I agreed to return, predictably he attended only 3 sessions before declaring that he had no problem needing solving. Rather than returning, I filed for divorce. I don’t believe that there was much more to The Family Place at that time other than the hotline, but even the hotline alone made an impact. This is not only the 35th anniversary of this organization but my survival as well.

    I am so very grateful for what this organization provided to me with only the information given in a single phone call.  Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of phone calls taken—not to mention those provided with shelter and counseling; the impact of The Family Place is nothing short of staggering.

    Forever Grateful,

    The Family Place continues to help victims become survivors.

    Today, we have 30 women & 60 children at our Safe Campus.

    Imagine where they can be in 35 years if you give today.

    Every dollar counts. Please help us save lives.

    Every dollar counts. Give today

  • Partners Card Once Again Bypasses the Million Dollar Mark

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 06, 2013

     2013 Partners Card Surpasses the Million Dollar Mark

    Partners Card Once Again Bypasses The Million $ Mark For The Family Place

    December 4, 2013
    by Jeanne Prejean

    Congrats to the Partners Card Co-Chairs Annika Cail, Sara Rastegar Friedman and Katy Wilson Duvall. This year’s effort raised $1,150,884 for The Family Place.
    Not only did they bring in the cash, they may have changed the marketing plans for some in the hood.
    The announcement was just made at Museum Tower before the cold weather hit.  Only goes to prove that spending does save money and changes lives.

    Read more at MySweetCharity.com.

  • We are thankful for you

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 28, 2013

    Today, we have 74 women and children at The Family Place Safe Campus.

    We are thankful for you. You have given each one of them a safe place to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal.

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

    2013 Thanksgiving - We are thankful for you. You have given each of these women and children a safe place to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal. Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Dallas has become Global Leader on Stopping Domestic Violence

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 26, 2013

    How Dallas Has Become a Global Leader on Stopping Domestic Violence

    November 26, 2013
    by Dan Solomon
    Texas Monthly

    Last March, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings made headlines after hosting a major rally against domestic violence in the city. The event took place at the AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play, and featured major names among the speakers—Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Dez Bryant, and Brandon Carr all spoke, representing the football team, and the non-sports names included religious and political leaders from throughout the area.

    The event, part of Rawlings's Dallas Men Against Abuse initiative, came shortly after the mayor spoke to the UN about domestic violence. And his statements as part of human rights organization Breakthrough's "Ring The Bell" campaign, which puts the onus on men to end domestic violence against women, are concise and convincing:

    “Make no mistake: men’s violence against women is a men’s issue- It’s our problem. And I’m here to say we’ve had enough of women being disrespected, and we won’t tolerate it any longer. It’s not only about not being violent; it’s about changing a culture that says ‘violence is okay.’ I promise to stop laughing at jokes we’ve all participated in. I promise to speak out against domestic violence. And I’m asking men in Dallas — and everywhere — to do the same. Let’s make our homes, and our cities, safe for all.”

    Since the rally, Rawlings has remained involved in these efforts. This month, he returned to using football as a pathway to approach men about domestic violence, calling on men at all Dallas high school football games to take a pledge at halftime to never hit a woman. Much of Rawlings's focus on the issue has centered around the idea of masculinity and challenging the notion that violence is strength. That can be a muddy point in stadiums where violence and strength are so directly intertwined on the field, but reaching men in an environment where machismo runs high has its advantages too. At the very least, it's interesting to see a civic leader address the larger cultural issues surrounding certain ideas about masculinity when advocating for social change.

    The latest part of Dallas's efforts, meanwhile, are more traditional: Attempting to shift the dialogue is admirable and may, ultimately, be the only real way to address these issues—but domestic violence is also a law enforcement issue. To that end, the Dallas Morning News reported this week about DPD's plan for ongoing home visits in cases where authorities have found previously-reported cases to be at high-risk for another incident:

    Police are considering a home-visit program where officers would personally check on the most vulnerable victims. They hope that strategy would help victims feel supported and prevent abusers from escalating the violence.

    “Just the knocking on the door … is going to send a message to both the victim and the perpetrator,” said Lt. Miguel Sarmiento, who oversees the family violence unit.

    Home visits are already part of the approach taken in New York, where 450 officers are assigned to check in with "children, elderly, and people police suspect will be abused again," according to the paper. In Dallas, meanwhile, the city is struggling with the idea of adding the program without hiring additional officers. That's something that criminal justice blog Grits For Breakfast suspects isn't viable, citing the resources DPD expends on false home burglar alarm check-ins:

    You can't get something for nothing in this world and that includes extra police resources, even if it's to implement a good idea. Policing, like every other government function, involves trade-offs. Not everything can get done in a world of limited resources. I'd rather see officers following up on high-risk domestic violence cases than chasing after thousands of false burglar alarms, but between the public's ignorance and the alarm industry's political clout, in the near term the trade-off will almost certainly continue to prioritize the latter over the former.

    Manpower issues may just be part of the territory when you talk about increased awareness on this issue, though. The statistics since Rawlings' began the initiative are certainly impressive: Victims are taking their abusers to court fourteen percent more frequently than they did a year ago, while aggravated assault charges in such cases are down by six percent, which Dallas Police Chief Deputy Sherryl Scott attributes to the mayor's campaign:

    “Not just our victims, but our abusers are paying attention,” she said.

    With more domestic violence victims willing to prosecute, there’s more pressure on the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors already handle about 2,000 felony cases, and up to 4,500 misdemeanor cases each year, said Tammy Kemp, who oversees the family violence division.

    Kemp said the best way to speed those cases through the system would be more manpower — and that costs money. A Rawlings spokesman said the mayor offered to speak with leaders in Dallas County — which funds the district attorney’s office — to advocate for additional funding.

    Also, increased awareness may have resulted in more victims seeking help from local shelters. Through September of this year, shelters reported hotline calls are up more than 20 percent.

    Paige Flink, executive director of The Family Place shelter, attributes that increase to the mayor’s work. “Victims saw that and thought maybe someone’s going to listen to me,” she said.

    All of this is encouraging—if it does speak to the next challenge that Rawlings and the city seem likely to face. Having decidedly masculine figures like star Cowboys players directly challenge the idea that violence is strength, and calling on men and boys directly to pledge not to hit women, are significant. Ultimately, long-term change will only come through a cultural shift, and the early returns here suggest that this is all having an effect. For Dallas to continue to earn its leadership role here, though, they'll have to figure out how to increase the resources that come at the next level.

    Read more in Texas Monthly.

  • The Family Place Announces Funding from Texas Bar Foundation

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 26, 2013

    The Family Place Announces Funding from Texas Bar Foundation 

    NOVEMBER 26, 2013 – DALLAS – The Family Place, a non-profit agency dedicated to ending family violence, recently received funding from the Texas Bar Foundation to implement Legal Services for Victims of Domestic Violence. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $15 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.


    The Family Place empowers victims of family violence by providing safe housing, counseling and skills that create independence while building community engagement and advocating for social change to stop family violence. In 1978, a group of community volunteers organized The Family Place as one of the first family violence service organizations in the state. Today, we are still a grassroots organization supported by dedicated volunteers.

    In 35 years, we have counseled more than 190,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 20,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 500,000 calls for help. We have helped more than 15,500 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior and reach approximately 6,500 students each year through our youth education programs. All of our programs are provided in Spanish and in English. For more information, visit www.familyplace.org.

  • Stanley Korshak Presents Partners Card Check to The Family Place

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 21, 2013

    On Thursday, November 21, Stanley Korshak presented a very large check (over $30,000!) to The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink from the money raised during 2013 Partners Card benefiting The Family Place.

    Thank you to Stanley Korshak! The Family Place and all our families at Safe Campus are so grateful for everything that you do.

    Stanley Korshak Partners Card Check Presentation 2013

  • Stand Up (to bullying) Awareness Week

    by Emily Roberts | Nov 20, 2013

    Be Project - 2013 Bullying Awareness Week

    2013 Stand Up! (to bullying) Awareness Week
    Join the Be Project as we celebrate Stand Up! (to bullying) Awareness Week fromNovember 17th-23rd!
    This is a week when you can join other students across the Metroplex (and the country) take a stand against bullying. Get your school, your team, your youth group, your friends & your community involved!
    Check out this Calendar (click here) complete with daily announcements, themes, and event/activity options to help you celebrate Stand Up! Week.

    There is also a Pledge (click here) you can use, a list of other ways you can Get Involved! (click here) or get creative & come up with your own!

    Tell us how you will Be More and Stand Up!

  • Honoring Texas Women

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 29, 2013

    We are honoring the 114 women who lost their lives in 2012 in Texas due to #domesticviolence for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month!


  • It is a Partners Card sighting

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 29, 2013
    It's a Partners Card sighting!! Check out Sleep Experts billboard!

    Thank you Sleep Experts for sponsoring Partners Card benefiting The Family Place!


  • Partners Card Deals from The Broadcast TV

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 29, 2013
  • Partners Card Co-Chair Sara Friedman on The Broadcast TV

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 29, 2013
  • Paige Flink on Good Moring Texas with Steve Noviello

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 29, 2013
    Watch Executive Director Paige Flink on Good Morning Texas with Steve Noviello on October 22!