Skip to main content

Year-Long Domestic Violence Training Program Kicks Off in Chambers & Hardin Counties

By Brooke MeyerMay 27, 2020June 11th, 2021No Comments

DALLAS (May 27, 2020) –The second training cohort of the Institute for Coordinated Community Response (ICCR) kicked off last week, offering free training and assistance to help end violence against women. ICCR, a program of the Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW),provides a full year of free training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to rural, under-resourced Texas counties in order to improve their community’s response toward domestic violence.Chambers and Hardin Counties are participating in this year’s cohort, along with two counties in West Central Texas (Mitchell, Fisher) and two in the Panhandle (Deaf Smith, Oldham).

Throughout the training year, June 2020 –May 2021, ICCR will provide quarterly in-person trainings and a series of webinars for Chambers, Hardin, and surrounding counties.All trainings and webinars are offered free of charge, and anyone invested in ending the epidemic of domestic violence in their community is encouraged to attend.Upcoming events can be found at“The trainings are outstanding,” said Staley Heatly, 2018 ICCR pilot team member and 46th Judicial District Attorney.“Being involved in ICCR showed our community that we[systemic partners] are taking domestic violence seriously, and we’re not going anywhere.”

One in three Texas women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime—higher than the national average of one in four—and women in rural communities are often in even more danger due to geographic isolation, lack of resources, virtually no anonymity, and other barriers to seeking help. Recognizing this, ICCR’s goal is to empower rural communities across the state to create and sustain a holistic, all-encompassing community response that works to close existing gaps in the system to provide more comprehensive support to victims of domestic violence.

In addition to receiving robust training on collaboration and domestic violence response, teams from six rural counties—made up of a law enforcement officer, a prosecutor, and an advocate—identify their
communities’ unique strengths and areas for growth using Praxis International’s Best Practice Assessment, a structured process that uses case reviews to examine the impact of current policies and procedures on victims and determine what type of systemic, multi-layered approach to domestic violence may best serve their communities.

“Texas will never be a safe place for victims until we ensure every corner of our great state has access to consistent, high-quality domestic violence training and resources,” said Jan Langbein, CEO of CCAW and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support. “We applaud our ICCR teams for taking a stand against this epidemic and committing to looking closely at their own practices to ensure justice for victims and accountability for offenders.”

We are excited to work with each of the below 2020 ICCR team members from Chambers and Hardin Counties, and look forward to seeing their progress towards eradicating domestic violence:

  • ChambersCounty: John Leger,ChiefDeputy, Chambers CountySheriff’s Office; Eric Carcerano, Assistant District Attorney, Chambers CountyDistrict Attorney’s Office; Wykesha Dixon, Program Director, Bay Area TurningPoint
  • HardinCounty: Kendra Simmons, Sgt. Investigator, Hardin County Sheriff’s Office; Matthew Minick, Assistant County Attorney; Penny Pennison, Advocate, Hardin County Crimes Victims’ Assistance Center; Deborah Tomov, Executive Director, Family Services of Southeast Texas

About the Institute for Coordinated Community Response and Conference on Crimes Against Women: The goal of the Conference on Crimes Against Women is to create systemic change resulting in an overall reduction in the rate of crimes against women and, ultimately, eliminate all forms of violence against women. Funded by the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation and the Moody Foundation, the Institute is a primary part of CCAW’s mission to improve the way crimes against women are investigated and prosecuted, as well as to improve the way victims are treated throughout the criminal justice system. The problems of domestic and sexual violence are so pervasive and at such epidemic proportions that tangible decreases in the rate of violence against women will not be seen until huge volumes of women are safer in their homes and throughout their communities. This volume happens through culture shifts, and programs such as ICCR help create the momentum, network, and foundation necessary for change. For additional information about the Conference and the Institute, please visit