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Since 1979, The Women’s Center of Tarrant County has been a strong advocate for victims of violence and poverty. In fact, The Women’s Center has played a big role in helping to make these issues a priority for our community. Today, the agency operates one of the most comprehensive rape crisis and victim services programs in the country. It’s also a leader in programs that help unemployed or underemployed people and it serves as a constant source of support for families in crisis and transition. Because of its strong management and responsible money use, The Women's Center has even been incorporated into the infrastructure of local government and criminal justice organizations. With a budget of $4 million, 80 staff members, and hundreds of volunteers, it serves thousands of women, men and children each year.
Last year, Blue Cross Blue Shields of Texas (BCBSTX) helped The Women’s Center reach more than 91,000 kids and teens in Tarrant County. Through a $20,000 Healthy Kids, Healthy Families (HKHF) grant, we sponsored a child sexual abuse prevention program called Play it Safe!® By working with one classroom at a time and only using age-appropriate material, Play it Safe!® teaches youth to recognize abuse, resist abuse (if possible) and report abuse to a trusted adult. Thanks to this remarkable outreach, 142 children and teens reported past or current abuse to a Play it Safe!® instructor and were able to begin the healing process. (It’s worth noting, of course, that this statistic underestimates the impact of the Play it Safe!® program because it does not include children who, as a result Play it Safe!® told another trusted adult like a parent or teacher about their abuse.) Specifically, BCBSTX funds provided salaries and benefits to Play it Safe!® Instructors who traveled throughout Tarrant County delivering the curriculum to more than 200 schools in 16 local districts. The Women’s Center says it could have not delivered the program to so many people without HKHF. In fact, they told us, “Most significantly, without BCBSTX support, one of the 142+ children who reported abuse because of Play it Safe!® may not have had an opportunity to tell a trusted adult, stop abuse and begin to heal.” It doesn’t get more real than that.If you’d like to volunteer for The Women’s Center of Tarrant County, donate or learn more, visit their website: http://www.womenscentertc.org/
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