Domestic Violence Day news conference

I would like to provide a brief statement regarding Domestic Violence Day news conference held at Casa de Misericordia on October 12, 2016. The Texas Council On Family Violence based in Austin, Texas, Chief Executive Officer, Gloria Terry, chose Casa's Laredo location as one of only two sites in Texas for a news conference on this very important day. I personally was so impressed by the attendance of so many dignitaries and community leaders. The 2nd floor meeting room was packed with attendees, with standing room only. From County Judge, Police Chief, CEO's from most major medical facilities, news media from TV stations, and local newspapers. Ms. Terry stated in her presentation that she had never seen anything like it in all her experience across the State of Texas such positive response for a news conference which spoke very highly of how the community looks at Casa de Misericordia and its leadership.
 
When the news conference ended Cynthia Haynes Ramirez and I were standing together talking about the events of the day. Ms. Terry came up to us and asked what our involvement was with Casa. We responded that we were on the Board of Directors. She began to describe her experience with Sister Rosemary and her tour of the shelter. She said that Casa is the "best" shelter that she has had the opportunity to tour, the "best" in every way, staff, organization, cleanliness, leadership. She said that Sister Rosemary sent one of the staff to take her on the tour, that Sister Rosemary felt comfortable that she did not have to be right there to answer any questions, confident that all the staff, no matter who it was, being well trained and familiar enough to show off the shelter and address any questions that might arise. Ms. Terry could not have been more pleased or complimentary with Casa de Misericordia.

– Cathey Moore

Comments re Casa and Texas Coalition on Family Violence

 

I have known for some time the effectiveness of Casa de Misericordia and Mercy Ministries of Laredo in Laredo. However, when The Texas Council on Family Violence, based in Austin, Texas, chose Laredo as one of the two sites in Texas to announce the Council's successes in the state. I realized how highly regarded Casa and its staff are regarded statewide.
Casa's success rates, management, and ability to leverage assets, well known to Laredo, are also recognized by statewide professionals as a "True Leader" in the field of addressing and dealing with Family Violence. Our local secret is not a secret but an example to how to deal with Family Violence.

       

Media Advisory 

Honoring Texas Victims: 158 Women Killed in Texas in 2015 –– The Highest Number of Women Killed in Texas Since the Inception of the TCFV Project 25 Years Ago- Three Women Murdered in Webb County an Increase Over Last Year When Two Women Were Killed in Domestic Violence Homicides. TCFV Travels to Laredo to Highlight Health Care Professionals for National Health Cares Day to Show the Role Health Care Professionals Can Play in Domestic Violence.


For Immediate Release

Sister Rosemary Welsh, 956-744-5312, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Angela Hale, TCFV, 512-289-2995, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please Join Us During Domestic Violence Awareness Month for the Official Unveiling of the Honoring Texas Victims Report
When: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.
Where:
News Conference and Community Event
Lamar Bruni Vergara Education Center
1000 Mier Street
Laredo, TX 78040
956-726-0151
Who:
  • Sister Rosemary Welsh, Executive Director Casa de Misericordia 
  • Gloria Terry, CEO, Texas Council on Family Violence 
  • Enrique Gallegos, President and CEO of Laredo Medical Center
  • Domestic Violence Survivor 
Why: A new statewide report from TCFV will be released with the latest domestic violence statistics and we will be joined by health care professionals to raise awareness on Health Cares about DV Day to reach members of the healthcare and advocacy communities 
###
Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 non-profit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/
On July 7, 1998, Casa de Misericordia opened its doors. The mission of Casa de Misericordia is the empowerment of women and children, the accountability of the batterer, and commitment to work with the Laredo Community. The vision of Casa de Misericordia (Casa) is that battered women, despite all they have endured, can reclaim their lives by receiving comprehensive, holistic services, and consistent long-term support.
Casa de Misericordia’s emergency shelter is available 24 hours a day to victims of domestic violence and is staffed by trained personnel and volunteers. The shelter offers more than just the basic services of shelter, food and clothing. In the shelter, clients can feel secure and receive information on possible alternative for their future. Through the shelter Casa provides counseling and support groups; legal, child and other types of advocacy and intervention services; information and referral services; and assistance with developing a personalized safety plan and many educational opportunities.
Casa provides services to victims of domestic violence without regard to race, national origin, age, physical handicap, religion, or sexual preference. Casa is committed to changing the way domestic violence is perceived, as well as the way battered victims and their families' needs are responded to. http://www.casa-de-misericordia.org

Haydee Carrillo, Program Reporting Coordinator

Good afternoon,
It was an honor and a privilege for me to have met Texas Council on Family Violence CEO, Gloria Aguilera Terry in person. She guides and directs the activities of the TCFV and has participated in the Texas legislative session and in other DV committees. She is a passionate advocate for victims of domestic violence. 

While she visited with us, she stated she was very pleased with what she saw here at Casa De Misericordia, and that if she ever felt she needed to go to a domestic violence shelter, this would be the place she would want to come to. She felt so much at peace here and stated that the staff is what makes this shelter unique. I am glad to be a part of it.

Thank you,
Haydee Carrillo, Program Reporting Coordinator
Casa de Misericordia
Laredo, TX
(956) 727-2015

Jacklyn Orr, new child advocate

I am Jacklyn Orr the new child advocate. I started on the first day of summer camp. It was an amazing experience that I would always keep in mind.  All of the kids seemed to know each other before arriving, and those who didn't, certainly got to know each other by the second day of camp.  Summer camp is a time for kids to make great memories. Kids get to learn new things and have fun.  Each day of camp I was able to see the enjoyment in each kid’s eyes as they were having fun. By the end of camp the kids were hoping for more days of camp. Summer camp for these kids was unforgettable!

 

18th Annual Casa de Misericordia Summer Camp

What a fun-filled summer we had! For the 18th year, Casa de Misericordia had the annual Summer Camp. This year we started off with ages 5 through 10, from arts and crafts – making our very own piggybank to an outing to water slide fun! Over 160 children attended! The following week, children ages 11 through 18 enjoyed various activities. We had an amazing time jumping at Altitude Trampoline Park. However, not all was fun and games; we learned from the very informative presentation on bullying and tips on being safe LPD shared with us.
We are so thankful to all who helped in the preparations of Summer Camp and who volunteered to live these unforgettable moments with the staff of Casa de Misericordia and all the children that attended.
—Christelle Valle, Children’s Services Coordinator

Staff and Board of Directors Receive Training on Working with LGBTQ Clients

In January, Kelsey Snapp, attorney with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, gave a presentation at the monthly meeting of the Board of Directors of Casa de Misericordia. Kelsey presented on the unique challenges that face the gay, lesbian, and transgender community, not only in daily life, but also when seeking services for domestic violence. Ze1  also talked about policies for creating an inclusive and welcoming shelter for all, no matter their background, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 
Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender clients come from all walks of life, backgrounds, races, and socio-economic classes. However, they often face discrimination when seeking work, housing, or even medical care. Discrimination and rejection in the past may prevent them from seeking the services that they need. For this reason, Casa Misericordia has clear policies that welcome survivors from all backgrounds, and that we publicize our commitment to serve all who are in need. Our staff is eager to welcome all who need our help.
The training in January built on a previous training Kelsey did for the staff of Casa de Misericordia in November of 2015. Kelsey also presented on LGBTQ issues for the staff of the Mercy Clinic and at Laredo’s monthly Domestic Violence Task Force.

Ze1 is a common gender-neutral pronoun used by people who do not identify with binary gender pronouns.


Women can embrace the “and”, best selling author, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon told attendees at the Casa Misericordia Domestic Violence Shelter fund raising event.

More than 350 gathered on Thursday, April 7, as the author of “Ashley’s War” and “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana” told the story of writing about the first American Servicewomen, and how they came to serve elite Army Ranger units on the front lines in Afghanistan, when women were not permitted in combat units.

Witty, compassionate, with journalistic insight, and fervor, Lemmon shared the stories of the women she met, and why she chose to write the book whose title character, Ashley White, served her country, and embodied the ability to be fierce “and” feminine, love cross stitch and work out at Crossfit, not giving up her femininity while embracing all that means to be a soldier, embracing as Lemmon says, "the "and".

She encouraged the audience to see women from multi-dimensional perspectives, not letting one dimensional views of men and women distort the depth and breadth of human character.  During the question and answer time, she shared how her own upbringing by a single mother, and later her grandmother, and an aunt from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, herself  a survivor of domestic violence, shaped Gayle to face the challenges she encountered, while remaining true to her own character. Lemmon encouraged the audience to not allow other’s limitations to stop us from doing the work we feel called to do. And she encouraged us to see and applaud the deep patriotism of the women serving our country in difficult and dangerous places, and to remember to care for all those who have served.

The evening opened with two brave survivors of domestic violence sharing their stories, one in English, one in Spanish, serving as a reminder of the hope and healing Casa Misericordia provides, and of the need to remain committed to the cause of serving victims of violence. Topping the evening off, were the gracious hosts, International Bank of Commerce, who have generously donated their spacious conference site, as well as their catering team and meal to support this ministry. Throughout the evening, guests also had a chance to bid on a number of silent auction items, including original artwork by some of the women who have been served by Casa de Misericordia.

A big thank you to the committed volunteers who have put this event on for more than a decade, supporting the ministry and creating awareness in the Laredo community.

Submitted by: Father Paul Frey;President of the casa de Misericordia Board