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Home | Tag Archives: Center Against Sexual and Family Violence

Tag Archives: Center Against Sexual and Family Violence

David Chayer Named New Director for Center Against Sexual and Family Violence

On Friday, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) named David Chayer its new Executive Director.

“It’s a great win for our community and the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence that we were able to hire someone with as much experience and passion as David Chayer,” said CASFV Board President Debbie Hamlyn. “We know that his leadership and experience will help CASFV to continue to provide hope and assistance to families in need.”

Chayer has over 19 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience including over 14 years with the American Red Cross in multiple senior leadership positions across the country.

Most recently he served as the Executive Director for the El Paso and Southern New Mexico Chapter. He has also held positions as Regional Chief Operating Officer in Dallas, Regional Chief Executive Officer in Tallahassee, Florida, Senior Director of Chapter Operations at the Red Cross National Headquarters, and Executive Director in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Chayer began his Red Cross career as the State Director of Government and External Relations in Illinois. In 2006, he was selected to serve on the Red Cross Presidential Advisory Council, providing chapter insight and policy recommendations to the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

In addition to his time with the American Red Cross, Chayer has also served as the Executive Director for The ALS Association Texas Chapter where he led statewide efforts in the battle against Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Chayer succeeds Stephanie Karr, who is retiring as CASFV’s Executive Director at the end of the year. Karr has been Executive Director since 2008. Karr spent more than a decade helping thousands of families in crisis, raising tens of thousands of dollars to support CASFV’s work.

“David is more than qualified to take the reigns for CASFV in 2019 and beyond,” Karr said. “I’m extremely proud of the work we’ve done and I’m proud of the fact that CASFV’s board of directors was able to recruit such a strong candidate to fill the position.”

Before joining the nonprofit world, Chayer worked for six years in state and local government in Illinois, including positions with the Office of the Lt. Governor, and the Illinois General Assembly. In 2000, Chayer was elected to the Divernon Village Board. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor at Blackburn College where he taught state and local government.

“I have a deep appreciation for the work that CASFV does, not only providing assistance, but also hope, to families in the El Paso region,” said David Chayer. “I look forward to serving as Executive Director on behalf of the CASFV board and picking up where Stephanie left off to help continue the hard work being done for families in crisis.”

Originally from St. Anne, Illinois, Chayer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Blackburn College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
He has one daughter, Katelyn, and two grandsons, Wesley and Owen.

CASFV Awarded $10K to Assist Immigrant Survivors of Sexual and Family Violence.

The Texas Bar Foundation awarded the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence $10,000.00 in support of legal and immigration advocacy for survivors of sexual and family violence.

“We are honored to once again receive the generous $10,000.00 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV executive director. “We know that those impacted by sexual and family violence face many challenges that become more complex as an immigrant. Their support of our Legal and Immigrant Advocacy for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program serves as encouragement that immigrant survivors will continue to have a safe place to seek assistance.”

The immigration advocacy program recently received full accreditation as the only family violence center and non-profit that is accredited by the Board of the Immigration Appeals (BIA). With this accreditation, CASFV is able to expedite services to clients as it relates to assistance via the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and U-VISA’s

CASFV impact (fiscal year 2016-2017):

  • 952 people sought emergency shelter
  • 2,877 sought support through our Family Resource Center
  • Together CASFV served 3,829, of which 1,101 individuals received support from the Legal and Immigrant Advocacy for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program

CASFV is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to confront and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault as an advocate for safety and justice through intervention, education, and community collaboration.

24-Hour Crisis Hopeline is 915-593-7300 or 1-800-727-0511.

Video+Story: El Paso ISD, Partners Join Forces to Fight Dating Violence

EPISD has partnered with the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso and the El Paso Child Guidance Center to provide resources for students who have been exposed to or engaged in domestic violence or sexual assault.

The initiative is made possible through a $750,000 grant from the Department of Justice and the Office of Violence Against Women for the collaborative effort at four campuses: Andress High School; and Terrace Hills, Charles and Richardson middle schools.

“What we’re aiming to do with the grant is engage boys and young men into having coping skills to develop healthy relationships with females,” said Manuel Castruita, director of counseling and advising. “We’re targeting particularly young men but not excluding females that have been exposed to or engaged in violence – domestic violence, gang violence or have been bystanders.”

The four entities, known together as the Youth without Violence Collaborative, announced the partnership and united effort during a news conference at Andress last week.

“Thanks to our partnership with CASFV, we have been able to address boys in efforts to reinforce respect and advocacy for young girls and women,” Superintendent Juan Cabrera said. “When men advocate for women, we create safe havens for all.”

The collaborative will form a coordinated care team to develop, expand, and strengthen prevention strategies and intervention services that target children, youth and young adults who are victims of and/or exposed to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, including support for non-abusing parents and caregivers.

“We are excited for this opportunity to form a collaborative with our community partners,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV executive director. “Each institution, including CASFV, are the experts in their line of work.  Our partnership will provide youth with an array of services in domestic violence, mentoring and trauma informed care.”

Cabrera added: “This grant will help us further our efforts to prevent dating and sexual violence against girls and boys. And in the unfortunate case that an incident occurs, it also will help us provide resources to the victims and their families.”

The grant will provide specific training to teachers and counselors at the four campuses to identify at risk behaviors. The campuses will then work with CAFV which will develop support strategies and interventions to help the students learn coping skills and how to redirect.

The El Paso Child Guidance Center will be providing the campuses with training on trauma informed care to help the schools identify and talk with students who may have experienced dating or domestic violence.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of El Paso’s support includes training and matching at risk students with mentors.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to collaborate with EPISD, CASFV and Child Guidance Center on this project to provide mentoring support to youth who have been affected by domestic violence,” said Bobbi Jo Ortiz, Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso president.  “Mentorship is a powerful tool to help respond to the overwhelming issues associated with domestic violence. We are proud to come together with our partners to deliver an innovative and progressive approach to addressing a major concern in our community.”

The grant also pays for the support of two full-time therapists.

“It really is a plethora of resources for kids but another way to look at it is that we’re providing this tight web for kids,” Castruita said.

The program has already received referrals since the soft launch of the program a few weeks ago – especially after El Paso Child Guidance Center made presentations at the four campuses.

“Teachers have really taken to identifying and working with the kids,” Castruita said. “Our teachers are integral to anything we do as a district. They’re the eyes and ears because they spend so much time with students.”

The grant is specific to the four campuses because when the CASFV began the proposal they looked at El Paso Police Department data and found a preponderance for a higher number of domestic calls in the area.

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence Awarded $750k for Prevention Strategies

On Thursday, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) was awarded $750,000 from the Office on Violence Against Women.

CASFV, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso, the El Paso Child Guidance Center and the  El Paso Independent School District, will initiate new and continue and enhance existing strategies to provide intervention services and prevention work targeting youth. Collectively they will be known as the Youth Without Violence Collaborative.

“We are excited for this opportunity to form a collaborative with our community partners,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV executive director. “Each institution, including CASFV, are the experts in their line of work. Our partnership will provide youth with an array of services in domestic violence, mentoring and trauma informed care.”

The collaborative will form a coordinated care team to develop, expand, and strengthen prevention strategies and intervention services that target children, youth and young adults who are victims of and/or exposed to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, including support for non-abusing parents and caregivers.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to collaborate with EPISD, CASFV and Child Guidance Center on this project to provide mentoring support to youth who have been affected by domestic violence,” said Bobbi Jo Ortiz, Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso president.

“Mentorship is a powerful tool to help respond to the overwhelming issues associated with domestic violence. We are proud to come together with our partners to deliver an innovative and progressive approach to addressing a major concern in our community.”

EP Electric Interns Raise, Donate $11k to Center Against Sexual & Family Violence

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of El Paso Electric’s (EPE) summer interns, an emergency center for victims of sexual and family violence is expanding.

EPE’s Summer College and High School Interns chose to address the community issue of domestic violence for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative.

As part of their initiative, the seven college and 16 high school interns  held an educational Awareness Week to teach EPE employees about a wide range of topics related to domestic violence. The project included a partnership with the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV), and fundraising efforts that will go towards furnishing a new emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Earlier this week, the EPE Summer Interns announced they surpassed their fundraising goals. They presented a check to Stephanie Karr in the amount of $11,092.76, which will furnish 33 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, and four kitchenettes for the CASFV’s new emergency shelter.

“This project – this year and years prior – is important because we have an opportunity to make a positive difference in the company and in the community,” said Erin Wells, EPE’s Environmental Department college intern. “Not many people our age have the resources and support to make such a big impact on a societal issue like domestic violence.”

EPE interns took the opportunity to educate themselves about domestic Violence and met with the Executive Director of CASFV, Stephanie Karr.

“We learned that domestic violence is a really pressing issue pressing in the border community. It’s important for us to understand the causes and effects of domestic violence as well as existing resources for victims in our community,” said Christopher Ramirez, Renewable Department college intern.

The summer college internship program was created to provide a unique opportunity to local college students studying outside of our region in hopes that they will return after receiving their degree.

Seven college interns started on May 22, and the 12 week program helps in EPE’s effort to give back to the community by providing students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a career setting.

In its sixth year, EPE’s high school internship program consists of 16 local high school students from various high schools. This unique program provides students with the opportunity to work with various departments throughout the company while also providing them with leadership development trainings that teach them professional behavioral skills in the workplace.

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

On May 31, 1977 four courageous El Paso women founded the organization that would grow into the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV). Now, officials with CASFV invite the community to join with them as they honor our 40-year history and pay tribute to the countless individuals whose efforts have transformed generations of El Paso Families.

“We are truly honored to have served the community for 40 years,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV executive director. “However, our work is a reflection of the thousands of people whom we have guided on their own path to independence and empowerment. As our future unfolds we will remain steadfast in our commitment to provide a safe haven and advocate for justice for those affected by sexual and family violence.”

El Paso County Judge, Veronica Escobar, will give the keynote address to help CASFV commemorate 40 years of service to the community.

CASFV’s Founding Day Breakfast will take place at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at The Venue located on 511 Western Street.

For more information on Founding Day Breakfast or to purchase tickets, please visit www.casfv.org and R.S.V.P. by Monday, May 29, 2017. Tickets are available for $10 per person.

Founding Day Breakfast:
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Keynote: 8 a.m.
Place: 511 Western St. El Paso, Texas 79901

Program helps Andress Students Identify, Prevent Dating Violence

EPISD is working hand-in-hand with the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) to bring an educational program for students at Andress High School.

The empOURment program is focused on teaching students primary prevention, which addresses inequality as the root case for sexual violence.

“The goal is to teach students how to build skills around healthy communication and empathy,” said CASFV Primary Prevention Coordinator Kacie Fountain. “It’s important for us to start having conversations that help students understand each other better, respect each other and build empathy sooner. If we do that, we’re able to create a sense of equality for both boys and girls that will ultimately reduce sexual violence in our communities.”

CASFV and EPISD worked together to choose a community that had the elements to help the unique program thrive.

“While primary prevention would have been equally successful in any school, Andress was uniquely suited due to their capacity to sustain long term programming and the enthusiastic welcome that the Northeast has given to CASFV,” Fountain said.

The program is divided into three different parts, starting with a nine-week session at the school for phase I. CASFV facilitators visited with students twice a week for one hour during health class to talk about different topics, such as building community, relationships and communication.

CASFV staff noticed a marked change in the students after the first phase of the program neared completion.

“The students have shared that they feel more confident that there are adults in their lives who truly care about the difficulties and challenges they face as young people,” Fountain said. “Through difficult discussions they were able to understand that while their life experiences may be different, some of the challenges they face have similar impacts on their lives. This helps us all build a stronger understanding of what equality means, thus reducing sexual violence in our communities.”

Phase II will kick off next semester with a student-led club, which will choose a project geared at creating community awareness to prevent sexual violence.

“The goal is to work with community members, parents and the school to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom,” Fountain said.

The third part of the program will be to continue community level work, with students reaching out to local stakeholders and fostering community ownership of prevention programming.

The program began in October and is wrapping up in November with a recap of everything they learned over the course of the nine weeks.

More than 100 Andress students participated in the program.

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence Rallies in Support of Survivors

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence will recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a public demonstration at noon on Oct. 24, in front of the El Paso County Courthouse.

CASFV will gather to shed light on the 79 people who live in our emergency shelter every day.

Last year, more than 4,000 survivors of domestic violence sought our help and of that, 25% lived in our emergency shelter. Survivors of domestic violence work to overcome many challenges, from healing the scars shaped by emotional abuse to becoming independent and overcoming homelessness.

“Every year the number of people we serve who have been affected by domestic violence continues to grow,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV, executive director. “As a community it is our responsibility to answer the growing needs of survivors.”

The most pressing need is to rebuild the emergency shelter for the 79 people that live there every day. The shelter is more than 57 years old and can no longer be retrofitted or remodeled. The new building will grow from 17,000 to 36,000 square feet increasing our capacity from 21 to 36 bedrooms.

The new facility will create a space more conducive to healing and promoting healthy families. 

79 A Day Rally:

Date: Monday, October 24, 2016

Time: Noon (12 pm)

Place: El Paso County Courthouse 500 E. San Antonio

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence Unveils Plans to Rebuild Emergency Shelter

Since 1979 the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV), then known as El Paso’s Shelter for Battered Women, has provided a safe haven for those affected by violence.

On Friday, September 16 CASFV will open the opportunity for members of the public to make their individual contributions to rebuild their emergency shelter. The unveiling will take place at the El Paso Country Club during the CASFV’s Women’s Luncheon.

“In its current state, the shelter barely meets the needs of our families,” said Stephanie Karr, CASFV executive director.  “We continue to repair what is necessary but it does not make it better. Our families deserve so much more so We need our community’s contribution to make this a reality.”

The agency has raised over $4 million with the help of community partners such as Josh Hunt, Charles deWetter, Judy Robison, Debbie Hamlyn, Beth Hahn, Jack Chapman, Sandra Almanzán and many more.

Originally built as a church in 1950, the shelter has been modified to best serve the needs of the families seen on a daily basis. CASFV has been able to provide not just a shelter for women, children and men but rather a home. In the coming year, the shelter will house more than 900 individuals.

The luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. on September 16 at the El Paso Country Club. The event is free and open to the public. CASFV asks that those who wish to attend please RSVP or by calling 915-593-1000 ext. 402.

CASFV Women’s Luncheon:

Date:   Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

Time:    11:30 a.m.

Place:  5000 Country Club Pl, El Paso, TX 79922

Center Against Sexual and Family Violence awarded $100,000 to reach Latino immigrants

The Center Against Sexual and Family Violence (CASFV) was awarded $100,000 from the Avon Foundation for Women.

CASFV was one of 15 grantees from around the nation and the only organization from Texas and the southwest to be funded. The grant will fund a public awareness campaign that will engage the Latino community by providing unique bilingual resources with a wide variety of creative and educational assets.

“With the help of our local partners and the AVON Foundation for Women, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence will able to expand our services even further than before,” said CASFV Executive Director, Stephanie Karr. “El Paso is the largest community on the U.S./ Mexico border and with this grant the campaign has the opportunity to be a huge success.”

The focus on Latinos emerged from the findings of “The NO MÁS Study: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the U.S. Latin@ Community,” commissioned by the Avon Foundation for Women for Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network and NO MORE and was conducted by Lake Research Partners.

This study uncovered that 83% of Latinos in the U.S. are willing to talk with their children and the children in their lives about domestic violence and sexual assault. The strongest messages that resonated with Latinos were centered on starting young, providing a better life for their children and family values.

“I am honored to be working with a company that continues to play such a pivotal role in liberating survivors of domestic and sexual abuse,” said AVON District Sales Manager, Virginia Morales. “In just over 10 years, AVON has worked especially hard to bring awareness and services to victims of domestic violence, and now sexual assault as well. As a district sales manager for AVON and a survivor of domestic violence, I am dedicated to encouraging others to come forward, speak out and empower themselves.”

Informed by the NO MÁS Study, CASFV will develop a campaign, in partnership with Sanders\Wingo Advertising, to engage the Latino community in conversations about these issues and to take action to address them within their families and communities. To this end, CASFV has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide additional community support.

“We are proud to partner with the Avon Foundation and the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence in order to raise awareness about saying ‘No Más’ to domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso CEO Bobbi Jo Ortiz.

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