EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Thanks to a donation from smart home security company Ring, 1,000 Ring devices were donated to Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) for distribution in Texas communities with the goal to enhance safety planning of domestic violence survivors.
Ring is donating up to 1,000 devices (video doorbells and security cameras) including a free Ring Protect Plan subscription for the life of each device to TCFV, which will be distributed among local domestic violence service providers Fort Bend Women’s Center in Fort Bend, Grayson County Crisis Center in Grayson County and the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence in El Paso to give to survivors as they deem necessary.
On Monday, December 13, TCFV hosted a joint press conference with , and the Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (HCDVCC), featuring U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, to announcing the new statewide collaboration with Ring.
“On the heels of releasing our annual Honoring Texas Victims report noting the highest number of domestic violence fatalities in the history of the report, we must look to innovative partnerships and approaches. The Texas Council on Family Violence is inspired by the safety planning model HCDVCC has set forth with Ring’s support as a pilot program,” said Gloria Aguilera Terry, CEO of TCFV. “This donation program will be shared with our member organizations, further empowering survivors and advocates to use these devices to amplify safety for survivors at highest risk.”
The collaboration was seeded last year in Harris County – consistently ranked No. 1 in cases of domestic violence homicides in Texas annually – when HCDVCC began purchasing Ring cameras for high-risk survivors who were identified by the Harris County Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT).
Following the successful execution in providing these tools as part of the safety planning for survivors, HCDVCC contacted Ring for a subscription donation and instead received 500 video doorbells/cameras and a free Ring Protect subscription plan for the life of each device in response.
The combination of successful anecdotes and Ring’s involvement became the impetus to HCDVCC’s Supplemental Safety Planning Tools Project.
This month, Ring’s donation is expanding statewide, thanks to TCFV’s lead in identifying localities most in need of these safety tools and in developing resources for advocates and survivors to reference as part of their comprehensive safety planning and one-on-one work with survivors.
“We are thrilled that TCFV is able to take this project statewide,” said HCDVCC’s Executive Director Barbie Brashear. “We’ve seen tremendous success with Ring’s products in our community as survivors can add an additional safety tool to their safety plan. We look forward to hearing how other survivors around the state might be able to use this as one more tool in their journey to becoming safer.”
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was also present at the press conference to represent District 18 – the birthplace of the initiative.
“Each year, millions of people across our nation are victims of domestic violence,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. “It remains one of the most challenging things anyone can go through. Domestic abuse is a serious issue that impacts people of all genders. No one deserves to be abused, and no one should stay with an abuser. Technology like Ring can be helpful to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking, and I’m excited to work together with TCFV, HCDVCC, and Ring to help further solutions and initiatives to combat and educate against domestic violence and keep families and children safe.” “Collaborations, donations and collective passion such as found in this initiative give me much hope for a safer, healthier Texas. Let’s move onward together,” Terry added
Additionally, TCFV recruited the expertise of EndTAB, a victim service provider focused on online abuse, to conduct an independent review and to create resources for survivors and advocates that walk through best privacy practices and survivor-specific circumstances when using home security technology.