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News 12 launches partnership with nonprofit aimed at preventing violence

Focusing on celebrating women who redefine success, HER Story is a targeted approach to stopping violence before it happens by creating a community that values strong, supported women.
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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Watch March’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch April’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch May’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch June’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch July’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch August’s edition of HER Story here.

Watch September’s edition of HER Story here.

If you have someone who you think should be highlighted for the way she has redefined success, you can find a link to the Crisis Center’s nomination page here.

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KXII) - Domestic violence and sexual assault have long been a part of our community and there are several places someone can go if they find themselves needing help.

But one local group is playing offense, not defense, aiming to stop the violence before it begins.

News 12 is partnering with the Grayson Crisis Center to bring you a monthly feature called HER Story.

It’s an epidemic.

“Having healthy individuals in our community affects all of us,” says Mickinze VanHerpen, community education coordinator for the Crisis Center.

And a hard cycle to break.

“To talk about sexual assault or to talk about dating violence,” says Rhonda Duckworth, prevention coordinator for the Crisis Center. “Who wants to really talk about that?”

In 2019, the Grayson Crisis Center took 800 hotline calls.

In 2020, they took 1500.

“It is a serious issue. We are seeing more of it in our community,” says Duckworth.

So, with the help of a CDC grant, the group decided to go back to the root cause.

“How do we stop violence before it happens,” asks VanHerpen.

She says having a new definition of what it means to be successful is an important part of that.

“Anybody that is working hard and striving for success and just doing the right thing, even if they’re the only person that is doing the right thing, is a role model,” says Stephanie Foley, a Crisis Center board member and mother of three girls herself.

It’s called primary prevention.

The process requires evaluating risk factors like substance abuse, exposure to family violence and high emotional stress that make someone more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of violence.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are protective factors … like connectedness, empathy and belonging that make violence less likely.

“Which is why this project has been born, so women in our community understand that regardless of where they’re at, there’s still something in their life that they have done successful or are doing successful,” says Duckworth.

She hopes it will change the way women in the community see themselves.

Foley thinks it will.

“I think it’s important for young women and young ladies and young girls to see that,” she says.

The project will highlight one woman once a month who redefines success, by achieving HER goals in HER way, with this result in mind:

“That women are supported for different ideas of success and celebrated for different ideas of success,” says Vanherpen.

It’s an important reminder to the whole community that HER Story deserves to be told.

“There’s so many different ways we are successful as women,” says Duckworth.

HER Story will air once a month on News 12.

This publication was supported by the Cooperative Agreement Grant # 6 NUF2CE002508-02-02, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas Department of State Health Services or the Texas Office of the Attorney General.

Copyright 2021 KXII. All rights reserved.

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