Domestic violence. Sexual assault. Stalking. Not issues typically discussed at cocktail parties or over the water cooler. For many, they fit in with the “never discuss politics or religion” category that could potentially create uncomfortable debate. People squirm, fidget, and more often than not, desperately try to change the subject. And yet, in 2012 in the state of Texas alone, there were over 188,000 instances of domestic violence, 114 women killed at the hands of a family member or domestic partner, and over 25,000 adults and children sheltered for protection (Texas Council on Family Violence). These are not numbers that can be ignored. Thankfully, Texas Advocacy Project, among the many services it provides, removes the stigma of shame from victims and survivors, and brings these topics out of the shadows and into the light. In doing so, clients feel empowered to step forward and change the trajectory of their lives. Granted, that is a difficult step to take, but they are not alone.
For over thirty years, Texas Advocacy Project has been providing free legal services statewide to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. That is a strong mission statement, made even more powerful when you begin to think of the specific women, men, and children whose lives are literally saved by The Project. The purpose of our blog is to provide insight into the “what it looks like” of the mission statement. Readers will hear from clients, survivors, and attorneys who are working tirelessly to advocate for our clients. You will also hear the voices of community leaders, volunteers, and guest authors from legal and political professions around the state. You will hear about success stories, as well as stories that didn’t have the ending we had hoped for. It is our goal to create a community of readers who are interested in a dialogue about the issues surrounding domestic violence, and the role the legal system plays in protecting its citizens from being victimized in this way. We will break down the cycle of violence, answering questions like, “Why don’t they just leave?” We will examine moral dilemmas, explore policy issues, and discuss the importance of partnering with other agencies statewide. It is also our hope that you will bring up other topics for further discussion and exploration by participating in the conversation.
We so look forward to hearing from you and sharing with you the work we do at Texas Advocacy Project. Please subscribe, leave comments, suggestions, questions, and please spread the word about our mission to end domestic violence. We encourage a healthy, honest dialogue, and often debate. Check back in often. We’ll be here!
For more information about The Project, please visit our website at www.texasadvocacyproject.org.