News Channel 6 City Guide: Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse
VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - The News Channel 6 City Guide is a segment that shines a spotlight on local businesses, events, and nonprofits across Texoma. In this episode, we’re giving you a closer look at the May recipient of the Give Light Award presented by the Junior League of Wichita Falls. The Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse works to eliminate family violence in our community through outreach, intervention programs, and victim services.
“We serve three different counties; Wilbarger, Hardeman, and Foard counties. Those three counties also happen to be counties that are in the 46th Judicial District that I serve as district attorney,” Staley Heatly, 46th Judicial District, District Attorney, and board chairman for Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse said.
This organization often referred to as TASA, got its start in 2013.
“It’s really the result of a horrible case that I prosecuted where a man killed his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter. But he had so much power and control over her [the mother] that she gave a false confession to having committed the crime herself,” Heatly said. “That case involved a lot of investigation on our part. [And] what we discovered was that this man had been beating, abusing, sexually assaulting women for two decades. He had been getting away with it over and over because he had so much power and control over the victims.”
Through that case, Heatly realized his district was lacking in services for victims and abusers. Heatly and a group of supporters founded Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse as a 501c3 nonprofit. Since then, TASA has been helping to end family violence in a number of ways.
“The services that we offer are free victim services. That includes counseling, safety planning, court accompaniment, protective order assistance, and really anything that the need might be,” Rachel Lira, executive director of Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse said.
They have a Batterer’s Intervention Prevention Program, also known as BIPP, and a domestic violence high-risk team, also known as DVHRT. TASA representatives are thankful to be one of the recipients of the Give Light Award.
“It has really allowed us exposure to be able to outreach and reach more victims. Domestic violence thrives in silence and so the more exposure we can get to let victims know there is help and support out there the less power we give to abusers,” Lira said.
You can reach out to Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse by calling (940) 473-5072, the Texoma Alliance to Stop Abuse Facebook page, or their website, TexomaAlliance.org. If you would like your business, event, or nonprofit featured on the News Channel 6 City Guide, contact us at CityGuide@KAUZ.com or (940) 757-0691.
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