Honoring Survivors, Trailblazers, and Supporters

At Houston Area Women’s Center, we marked October by recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Together with the community, and with your support, we brought awareness to this important occasion.

On October 18, we partnered with Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City of Houston to host a press conference at 1010 Waugh in honor of DVAM. Joined by dignitaries and other elected officials, this event marked the final formal gathering at our historic Waugh location. We conducted this press conference to bring much-needed awareness to the rise of domestic violence in Houston and to share the important news of our service and facilities expansion – #HAWCFutureForward. Following the press conference, we gathered across the street at Johnny McElroy’s to celebrate HAWC’s 45thAnniversary.

Later that same week, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg awarded $180,034 to HAWC to facilitate the continued expansion of our life-saving hotline services. This locally focused hotline and chat line provides an invaluable resource to victims, their friends, and their families. The actual donation is a “reinvestment” of criminal asset-forfeiture funds, put to use to help our DVAM community in a time of rising violence.

“The communities that are harmed by crime … deserve to have that money reinvested,” Ogg told an audience of approximately 60 fellow law enforcement leaders, community advocates, and other stakeholders with roles in assisting domestic violence survivors. Of the county’s crime drivers, “domestic violence is one of our toughest to crack,” she added.

Also in October, HAWC participated in the City of Houston’s Gun Buyback event. The goal of the program is to save the lives of domestic violence survivors by buying guns, removing them from circulation, and preventing them from killing women and children in their homes. All firearms were collected with a no-questions-asked policy by law enforcement.

As our own Sonia Corrales shared earlier this month: “Three times as many victims in Texas were killed with a firearm than all other means combined. Domestic violence homicides can be prevented by ensuring that abusers do not have access to firearms.”

Finally, we marked the end of Domestic Violence Awareness Month with our Giving Day on October 27 – with donations up to $37,500 generously matched dollar-for-dollar by Apache Corporation. A total of $83,115 was raised with your generous and robust support! These critical funds help us continue HAWC’s important work in the community.

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