Special to The Dallas Examiner
Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for women age 44 and younger. Over 50% of female homicides were the result of intimate partner violence – committed by a current or former husband or boyfriend, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Black women had the highest rate of dying by homicide. Approximately 3,514 Black women were killed in 2017 – 38.7% were 18-29 years old. The most common precipitating factors were an argument and jealousy, the CDC also noted.
A recent study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas found that domestic violence incidents increased 12.5% during the mandated shelter-at-home period. With the high reports of domestic violence recently, resources organizations like The Family Place, one of the first family violence shelters in Texas, provides are more important than ever.
The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in the state, with three emergency shelters providing 177 shelter beds each night. Last year, it served 11,711 individuals – and more than 620,000 individuals in the last 42 years.
To provide counseling and case management service to victims of family violence in Southern Dallas, The Family Place recently opened its new Southern Dallas Counseling Center. The agency has had an outreach office in Southern Dallas since 1997 to bring counseling and support to victims living there who have transportation and other barriers to accessing services.
“At The Family Place, we understand that victims of domestic violence need programs that are designed specifically for their cultural and community needs,” said The Family Place CEO Paige Flink. “Being able to expand our offices to meet the growing demand for help in an area, that to date, has been a social services desert makes this an exciting time.”
The new larger office space will allow case managers and counselors to see more clients and provide expanded space for support groups and community education meetings.
The expanded counseling center is also home to the organization’s new African American Domestic Violence Council. The AADVC was established to address the high rate of domestic violence homicides among African American women in Dallas County.
The Family Place celebrated the opening with a virtual dedication on June 25, which can be viewed online. The dedication included brief messages from Flink and Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins. Theresa Little, Community Outreach Advocate at The Family Place, moderated a discussion with AADVC members Torrey Carroll, founder of TNC Psychotherapy, and Maggie Cathcart, CFO/owner of Performance Masters Career Institute. The ceremony concluded with a blessing of the building from Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Baptist Church and closing remarks from The Family Place Board Member Delia Jasso.