New non-profit focuses on reaching survivors of domestic violence in Houston’s minority communities

HOUSTON – A new non-profit organization opened its doors in May and is working to reach more survivors of domestic violence in Houston’s minority communities. The Empowered Survivor began as a pilot project with 35 survivors and in three months time grew to more than 300 clients.

“What we’ve always known is minorities are disproportionally impacted by domestic violence,” said Carvana Cloud.

Cloud is the former head of the Harris County District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau. She is now the founder and Executive Director of The Empowered Survivor.

“This whole initiative started with me wanting to provide services to women of color specifically,” said Cloud.

According to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, more than 40% of black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner compared to 31% of all women. Cloud said for many of these survivors, help is not so easily obtained.

“I understand people don’t have access to transportation or they don’t feel comfortable leaving their communities,” said Cloud.

She also said a historical distrust of police prevents some in the minority community from seeking help.