Governor’s Office Awards Grant For Domestic Violence Survivors

DEL RIO – The Criminal Justice Division of the Texas Governor’s Office has awarded BCFS Health and Human Services $54,000 to expand its current services to victims of domestic violence in Val Verde County with the PAST program, or Peers Achieving Success Together. The PAST program provides crisis intervention, victim advocacy services, and peer support groups to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking crimes in Val Verde County.

“Over the next year, we expect to serve at least 100 victims of abuse through PAST, providing direct crisis intervention services,” says Delia Ramos, interim director for BCFS Health and Human Services in Del Rio. “This grant reaffirms Texas’ view, from the highest level, that abuse, in any form, is unacceptable, and there is no place for it in our society.”

Last year in Texas, more than 23,000 adults and children sought shelter from an abusive environment, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. One in three women in Texas is affected by abuse at the hands of a boyfriend, spouse or intimate partner.

Family Violence Specialists with the PAST program provide individualized needs assessments, crisis counseling, transportation services, safety planning and referrals to other community organizations for additional support as-needed. PAST also provides peer support groups, where program staff and abuse survivors utilize the Duluth Model curriculum, Tácticas de control: La visión de la mujer. The curriculum includes the first-person accounts of six Latinas who have survived abuse, and how the experience has affected their children, their relationships and themselves.

“Del Rio has a large Hispanic population, and we are mindful of the cultural nuances within our community,” adds Ramos. “Through the stories of these Latina survivors, Tácticas de control offers insight into an abuser’s mindset and how a relationship can evole into something unhealthy and dangerous.”

The Duluth Model, named after the small Minnesota town where it was developed, is a framework of ideas and information about domestic violence that asserts involvement from the entire community is critical to ending domestic abuse for good.

BCFS Health and Human Services has operated the Domestic Violence Del Rio (DVDR) program for five years, providing safety, support and resources to victims of abuse. BCFS also operates the Services To At Risk Youth program, known as STAR, which aims to reduce family conflict and prevent delinquent behaviors, running away, and child abuse by helping youth and their families learn to resolve crises and develop coping and parenting skills.

To learn more about BCFS Health and Human Services, or to support BCFS’ work in Del Rio visit DiscoverBCFS.net/DelRio.

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BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.