Newsmakers for Jan. 27: Domestic violence epidemic

HOUSTON – Domestic violence in our region has reached epidemic levels, says Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Two guests on this week’s "Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall" didn’t need that reminder because they live it every day.  Emilee Whitehurst is President and CEO of the Houston Area Women’s Center that for more than 40 years has been working to end domestic and sexual violence.

“We have a 120-bed shelter for women and children who primarily are fleeing their abusers,” she said. “We have a 24-hour hotline for people to call and access services and then we provide ongoing counseling and then prevention education to try and stop the cycle of abuse before it starts.” 

Sherri Kendall is the CEO of AVDA, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse and says while they encourage women and men in abusive relationships to leave, the timing is critical.

“That needs to be a secret,” Kendall said. “We saw time and time again last year that those fatalities that we studied that occurred, the individual had announced that they were leaving.”  

What are the biggest challenges for those in abusive relationships? What is the safest way to get out? What services and protections are free to make it easier to start life over? We discuss these topics and more on this week’s "Houston Newsmakers."

Community colleges request more funding 

The state of Texas provides between 24 percent and 28 percent of the revenue for the state’s community colleges. It’s one reason Dr. Brenda Hellyer, chancellor of San Jacinto College is spending a lot of time in Austin these days to convince Texas lawmakers to maintain or increase funding levels to community colleges. 

She is a guest on this week’s program and says the Texas Association of Community Colleges is providing a proven method to show lawmakers how their money is being spent.  

“We’re the first sector of higher education to come forward and say we believe performance funding is important,” she said. “So we’re paid around enrollment points but then we’re also paid around these student success points.”

What does that mean for your community? Find out the answers to that question and more on this week’s "Houston Newsmakers."

More Information

Sherri Kendall, CEO, AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse)
Twitter:  @AVDA_TX

Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, President, CEO, Houston Area Women’s Center
Domestic Violence Hotline: 713-528-2121
Sexual Assault Hotline: 713-528-RAPE (7273)
Twitter: @hawctalk 

Brenda Hellyer, Ph.D., Chancellor, San Jacinto College
Twitter: @SanJacCollege

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