Houston Newsmakers: HPD’s DART team, Houston Area Women’s Center highlighted as October’s Domestic Abuse Awareness Month begins

Also: Free family literacy festival at Discovery Green

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month (KPRC/Pixabay)

IN THIS EPISODE -- October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month.

  • Houston Police Department’s Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) highlighted
  • Houston Area Women’s Center on front lines of domestic abuse fight
  • Texas Family Literacy Festival happening at Discovery Green

HPD “Domestic Abuse Response Team” highlighted

Carvana Cloud, Deputy Director, HPD Office of Community Affairs, Lt. Julie Pleasant, HPD Victims Services (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience domestic or sexual violence in their lifetimes. That sad statistic is what helps call attention to Domestic Abuse Awareness Month and the unique program by the Houston Police Department that makes victims a priority.

It is the Domestic Abuse Response Team or DART for short and is responsible for sending extra help along with officers responding to domestic abuse calls.

“It means that we can handle the law enforcement side and we don’t have to worry about...’can we find shelter for this family of six,’” said HPD Lt. Julie Pleasant. “That’s a huge burden to an officer who knows that we didn’t arrest the suspect and that he or she may be out there waiting for us to leave.”

As a child, Carvanna Cloud watched her mother being abused. Now as the Deputy Director of the HPD Office of Community Affairs, she has made it a priority to help the abused.

“We were the provider that was there along with the Houston Area Women’s Center and others to take those survivors in, provide emergency shelter, but also to set them up in an apartment in more long term solutions,” Cloud said.


Houston Area Women’s Center on front lines of domestic abuse fight

Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, President & CEO Houston Area Women's Center (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Emilee Dawn Whitehurst has seen it before. Women who have reached their breaking point in a relationship.

Whitehurst knows it is the most dangerous time for an abused person to try to leave a relationship, but says the Houston Area Women’s Center is the safe haven they should reach for.

“We really want people to call us, especially at that point when they say ‘I have had it. This is not the life I want!’ We want them to call, or friends and family who are seeing that dynamic. We want them to call.” Whitehurst said.

On this week’s Houston Newsmakers, find out the number to call and how the women’s center is expanding to try to help even more women and men who may be abused.


Free family literacy festival at Discovery Green!

Fran-Victoria Stephens, President, Founder, Story Square (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Free family literacy festival at Discovery Green!

It’s called the “Texas Family Literacy Festival” and is scheduled for October 16th at Discovery Green in downtown Houston.

The event is the brainchild of the nonprofit “Story Square.” Fran-Victoria Stephens is the President and Founder of Story Square and says the Discovery Green event is a way to attract large groups of families with the goal of increasing levels of literacy in children.

“We are about creating the space where parent and children are having that...We call it a Rolls Royce Interaction,” Stephens said. “There’s a lot of value in that educational interaction between parent and child.”

To get more information about the Family Literacy Festival, click here.


Houston Newsmakers every Sunday at 10 a.m.

For more information about this week’s program:

· Carvana Cloud, Deputy Director, HPD Office of Community Affairs,

· https://www.houstontx.gov/police/divisions/community_affairs/index.htm

· Lt. Julie Pleasant, Houston Police Department

· https://www.houstontx.gov/police/victim_services/index.htm

· Emilee Dawn Whitehurst, President & CEO, Houston Area Women’s Center

· https://hawc.org/our-team/emilee-dawn-whitehurst/

· Fran-Victoria Stephens, President & Founder, Story Square

· http://ourstorysquare.com/

·


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