The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) hosted its 32nd annual conference at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Irving, March 9-13, to strengthen awareness about sexual violence. This year’s theme was “Break the Box: Collective Action Against Sexual Violence,” with an emphasis placed on past remedies being unsuccessful when addressing sexual violence.
TAASA is a statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. A non-profit educational and advocacy organization based in Austin, TAASA members comprise a large network of more than 80 crisis centers serving rural and metropolitan areas. Founded in 1982, the agency has a strong record of success in education, legal services, youth outreach, training and advocacy.
With the mission of “Education, Prevention and Advocacy” against sexual assaults as well as domestic violence and human trafficking, last week’s conference was designed to meet the needs of a diverse audience including nurses, counselors, criminal justice personnel, educators, social workers and victim advocates.
This was a great opportunity to hear from professionals dedicated to working towards addressing this sensitive issue. These advocates have built unique partnerships within the community to better meet the needs of survivors strategizing on ideas for prevention efforts. As detailed at the event, creating social change has always been a challenge, especially when dealing with the complexities of sexual assaults and domestic violence.
The conference was well represented by agencies from the North Texas region including the Dallas Area Rape Crises Center (DARCC), The Family Place, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, The Turning Point, Parkland Health and Hospital System, Texas Health Resources and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation.
Victoria Li, a volunteer from DARCC, was awarded the 2013 Volunteer of the Year award. This was a proud moment for North Texas and a great example of the dedication of our community members. I would like to personally thank these agencies for their committed efforts in addressing this issue and making the Dallas-Fort Worth area a better place to live.