The mission of TVSA is support, education, and recognition for victim service providers.

Texas Victim Services Association

Spring 2021

TVSA Honors National Crime Victims' Rights Week


In This Issue


Message from the Executive Director

President's Column

Membership Matters

Spring 2021 Elections

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI) 

Professional Development and Training Committee

Board of Directors

Welcome New Members

Supporting TVSA Through Amazon Smile

Thank You Donors

Board Spotlights

Volunteer Spotlight

Save the Date

Board of Directors

Brooke King, MA

Rose Luna, MSLC

Misty Biddick, MS

Jessica Serrano, MPA

Region A Coordinator

Region B Coordinator
Julie Jesperson, BA

Region C Coordinator
Jennifer Sterling, LCSW

Region D Coordinator
Stacey Manigold, MS
The Woodlands

Region E Coordinator
John Dominguez, BA
El Paso

Region F Coordinator
Angela Luna, BA, NACP
Corpus Christi

At-large Member
Mary Breaux, PhD

At-large Member
Cortney A. Franklin, PhD

At-large Member
Lacy Hensley, LMSW, MA
Fort Worth

At-large Member
Amanda Elkanick Oder, BS

Ex Officio

Executive Director
Natacha Pel
áez-Wagner, M.Ed.

We welcome the following new members who have joined TVSA this quarter:

Kathy Broussard, Austin

Kortney Estep, Bellville

Megan Humphrey, Austin

Charlotte Hypolite, Pasadena

Cassie Janish, Bellville

Jack Manigold

Lavzia Matthews, Amarillo

Angelica Meza, Edinburg

Denise Murski, Bellville

Ellen Peveto, Cleburne

Sarina Rios-Scamardo, Edinburg

Jessica Seymour, League City

Glyn Sloan, Groesbeck

Maritza Vasquez

New Agency Members:

Abigail's Arms Cooke County Family Crisis Center, Gainesville

Ginger Johnson

Yvonne Knowland

Maria Najera

Rosina Salsman

Brighter Tomorrows, Irving

Isabel Camacho

New Members of Communities in Schools, Southeast Harris and Brazoria County Agency Membership:

Joseph Garza

LaToya Jordan

New Member of Hand Up Network Agency Membership: 

Hannah Massenburge

New Member of Travis County District Attorney's Office Agency Membership:

Neva Fernández

And a special welcome to our newest lifetime member!

Isela Marin, Mission

Supporting TVSA Through AmazonSmile

Now when you shop on Amazon, your purchases will support TVSA! Through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of every eligible purchase to TVSA. 

How to shop and spread the word:

1. Visit Amazon through TVSA's unique link:

2. Share TVSA's unique link on social media.

Shoppers that use the generic link are asked to select one of over a million organizations to support. Be sure to use and share our unique link, so shoppers can skip the selection process and give to TVSA!

This quarter we wish to recognize and thank our supporters whose donations and in-kind gifts have supported the prize drawings for our Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance students in the Class of 2021:

Proforma Printing and Promotional Products

Dr. Michelle Richter, St. Edward’s University 

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

TVSA Board Members and Staff:

Dr. Mary Breaux

Dr. Cortney Franklin

Brooke King

Angela Luna

Rose Luna

Stacey Manigold

Natacha Peláez-Wagner

Jessica Serrano

Board Spotlights

Dr. Mary Breaux, PhD

Dr. Mary Breaux currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Victim Studies at Sam Houston State University and as Director of the Crime Victims’ Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Master of Arts in Human Resources and Management, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership. Her background includes work in community relations and engagement, family, adult and protective services, case management training and human resources in victim services programs, research, and community social diversity. She is published in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to book chapters. She was recently elected to another term as an at-large member of TVSA’s Board of Directors and is currently serving on the program review team for the 2021 biennial training conference.  “With my diverse educational background, experience, and commitment to serving victims directly and indirectly, I feel that I can enhance the needs of the TVSA organization and board.”

Stacey Manigold, MS

Stacey Manigold serves as the Region D Coordinator on the Board of Directors and was recently re-elected to her second term of service. A long-time TVSA member and an alumna of our advanced academy in management and leadership, Stacey presently serves as an advocate with BCFS Health and Human Services. Her professional experience includes work with many diverse populations of victims in various settings, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and family violence organizations. Stacey holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and is LCDCi licensed.

“I appreciate the opportunity of being elected as the Region D Coordinator serving the Beaumont, Houston, and College Station areas. This opportunity allows me to work with other professions within the community to better serve and take care of the victims who need help. If we don’t stand up for the victims, then we don’t stand for much.”

Volunteer Spotlight

This issue we especially wish to thank our volunteers who gave of their time for our practice sessions for our first ever virtual Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance, to help us be fully prepared to host an online academy for our class of 2021:

Gloria Barrett
Austin Independent School District (ret.)

Jasmine Chavira
Sam Houston State University

Sarah Corbett-Imeny
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice – Victim Services Division

Alyssa Linares
Sam Houston State University

Lisa Lynn
Sam Houston State University

Nicolis Ortiz
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice – Victim Services Division

Mary Targonski
Cecil Community College Maryland

All listings below are for virtual events.

Annual Membership Meeting
May 6, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Biennial Training Conference
August 17-18, 24-25, 2021
Registration will open in early summer.

Upcoming Regional Meetings

Region B Meeting
May 12, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region F Meeting
May 19, 2021, 10-11 AM CT

Region D Meeting
May 19, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region C Meeting
May 21, 2021, 12-1 PM CT

Region E Meeting
May 21, 2021, 12-1 PM MT


Message from the Executive Director

By Natacha Peláez-Wagner, M.Ed.

Every year, millions of Americans are affected by crime and Texas, as the second most populous state in our country, naturally accounts for a large number of crimes. As victim service providers, we know that many crime victims will need ongoing care and resources. April 18–24 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), a time to celebrate the progress achieved, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with our families, neighbors, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime. The theme of this year’s NCVRW is a simple, yet powerful one: Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. Every day we, as crime victim services professionals, go to our workplaces, we resolve to reach out, listen, and support the victims we serve as they press forward on a path to recovery. We commit to better supporting victims by earning and building their trust through service delivery in a trauma-informed manner and working to ensure our organizations and agencies from where they seek services are “victim-friendly” spaces where they can feel safe and nurtured. And we engage our communities in response efforts by building collaborative partnerships, so those we serve can receive the continuum of care and the supports they need. This National Crime Victims’ Rights Week let us all show victims they are not alone by recommitting ourselves to TVSA's vision of the delivery of a full range of consistent, high-quality, professional services to crime victims, their families, and our communities here in Texas.

President's Column

By Brooke King, M.A.

Last spring, I started my column with “The Coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to rethink how we live, work, play, and support each other. These are challenging times and I hope you’re giving yourself grace as we all attempt to navigate these unchartered waters.” Though I am grateful that there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, I never imagined that a year later we would still be navigating life around the pandemic.

Our director, Natacha, our TVSA staff, and our regional coordinators have worked diligently over the past year to ensure we continue providing you support, quality educational opportunities, and space to connect with others in your regions during our regional meetings. I know these opportunities are not the same as our in-person chances to connect and learn together but we have worked hard to make them just as impactful. At TVSA we remain committed to creating a space for victim service providers to learn, share, and network. Thank you for your commitment to the families you work with, strengthening your community, and to TVSA. As I complete my two terms as TVSA board president in May, I wish to close this message to you by saying that being your president has truly been a humbling experience.


By Brooke King, M.A.

We have Regional Coordinators for Region B (Julie Jesperson), C (Jennifer Sterling), D (Stacy Manigold), E (John Dominguez), and F (Angela Luna). If you are interested in filling the open coordinator positions in Region A please reach out to myself and Natacha. We would love to have all regions covered!!

We hope you have been able to attend a regional meeting, but if you have not we encourage you to make time to attend an upcoming one. We are committed to provide you support and opportunities for staying connected in your regions. As the Membership Chair and Board President, I urge you to contact your Regional Coordinator with any ideas you have that will support you or your agency needs. Whether you may have thoughts, desire a virtual regional training, or want to provide support to a virtual social do not hesitate to contact us. We are always looking for opportunities to spread the word about the benefits of joining TVSA and keeping you connected to each other!

News from the Regions:

Region A (Panhandle - Amarillo/Lubbock/Wichita Falls): Coordinator: Vacant. Please contact us if you are interested in serving as Region A Coordinator! 

Region B (Central-Austin/Waco/San Antonio): Coordinator: Julie Jesperson, TDCJ Victim Services Division, (512) 406-5920. Region B held its March meeting virtually. The meeting was a round-table discussion regarding resiliency, self-care, and wellness. The group discussed what self-care means to each of us, how it is often hard to make the time for it in our busy lives, and shared how we do (at least some of the time) find the space and energy to actually practice resiliency and care for ourselves. We discussed practical, real-world answers to self-care questions and had a fruitful, engaged discussion regarding real-world ideas and practices for self-care and resiliency.

It was a great conversation, and it was wonderful seeing everyone who attended the meeting. I look forward to connecting with everyone at our next meeting on May 12, 2021.

Region C (Northeast - Dallas/Fort Worth/Tyler): Coordinator: Jennifer Sterling, University of Texas at Arlington Police Department Victim Services,; (817) 272-9254. Region C had an awesome March meeting learning about the Henderson County HELP Center and all of the work that they do to serve victims in East Texas. Our next regional meeting will be on May 21. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there are any topics or organizations that you would like to highlight in our region.  

Region D (Southeast - Beaumont/Houston/College Station): Coordinator: Stacey Manigold, BCFS Health and Human Services,; (832) 948-3841. I had the opportunity recently to hold a regional meeting with a great group of professionals who share the passion, diligence, and hard work to ensure education and safety to people who have been victimized. Several topics were discussed and led by our guest presenter, Indrani Goradia of RAFT Cares, such as resources for victims and resiliency for those working with victims. Staying connected during this pandemic is difficult though many advocates have pushed forward through continued networking and working hard for the victims in our region. As we move forward with our regional meetings, our goal will remain to uphold our Texas Code of Ethics as victim advocates. Our next region D meeting will be held on May 19. Also, we are holding a membership drive, with two gift cards valued at $50 each, for the two members recruiting the most fully registered new members. It is my desire to build up our membership in region D. 

Region E (West - El Paso/Midland/San Angelo): Coordinator, John Dominguez, El Paso County Attorney’s Office Victim Services;; (915) 303-6069. As the board member representative for Region E, I held a virtual meeting in March with a special presentation from Ms. Laura Moreno, Victim Assistance Specialist with the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Division for West Texas and New Mexico. She discussed the different many ways HSI assists victims of crime. Afterwards, we had a round table talk with our attendees/TVSA members to discuss the future goals for region E. Our next regional meeting is scheduled for May 21, 2021.

Region F: (South-Corpus Christi/Laredo/McAllen): Coordinator: Angela Luna, Victims' Assistance Coordinator at Nueces County Juvenile Justice;; Direct Line (361) 562-6019, Office (361)855-7303. Welcome to Region F South Texas. Our advocates in Region F are amazing. We started the year highlighting our agencies and the work we do. In January, Ana Sanchez Brown, a Community Educator from the Purple Door, shared with us about her agency. The mission of The Purple Door is to empower the community and those affected by domestic violence and sexual assault to transition to a safe and healthy environment. They also service the following counties: Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kennedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio. In March, we got to meet Brenda Escobar, Victim Coordinator with the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department. She shared with us about their new VOCA counseling program and the work they are doing to provide counseling services, free of charge, to victims up to the age of 18.

Come join our next meeting on May 19th when we hear from Brenda Fuentes of the Domestic Violence Unit of the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.

Spring 2021 Elections

By Brooke King, M.A., Nominating Committee Chair

As your President and Nominating Committee chair, I am excited to announce the results of our 2021 board elections. The following individuals were elected to serve a two-year term on the TVSA Board of Directors, 2021-2023, and will be installed at our annual membership meeting on May 6th:

  • Rose Luna, President (Austin)
  • Julie Jesperson, Region B Coordinator (Austin)
  • Stacey Manigold, Region D Coordinator (The Woodlands)
  • John Dominguez, Region E Coordinator (El Paso)
  • Dr. Mary Breaux, At-Large Member (Huntsville)
  • Lacy Hensley, At-Large Member (Fort Worth)

I hope you will all join our annual membership meeting and help me congratulate and thank Rose, Julie, Stacey, John, Mary, and Lacy for their time and dedication to TVSA! Congratulations again, TVSA is lucky to have you all!

Texas Victim Friendly Initiative (TVFI): Surveys rate agency "victim-friendliness"

By Torie Camp, M.Ed., TVFI Program Specialist

An important tool incorporated into the TVFI program is the TVFI Staff Survey. Administered at baseline, mid-year and year-end, the survey measures staff knowledge, attitudes, and practice related to trauma-informed care (victim-friendliness!).  A 25-item, online and anonymous survey, the TVFI staff survey is designed to give insight on what staff know and how much they prioritize trauma-informed care.

This staff survey is in addition to the organizational self-assessment which is completed by the agency’s victim friendly workgroup during a separate two-hour working meeting at the outset of the year-long TVFI process.

Across the six current pilot sites this year:

85.5 % of staff indicated a strong interest in creating a more victim-friendly agency.  

This high level of interest creates a strong foundation for needed changes. Instead of spending time convincing staff that being victim-friendly is a good idea, the agency can get right to work.

38.5% of staff rated their agency as very ‘victim-friendly.’

While being victim-friendly is the goal of the TVFI program, lower scores on this item indicate room to grow.

The scores will evolve as the six pilot sites continue through the 12-month TVFI program.

“I enjoy reviewing these scores and hearing about the progress the pilot sites are making,” said TVSA Executive Director Natacha Peláez-Wagner.

Ms. Wagner also made an observation during the most recent Texas Advanced Academy for Victim Assistance.  An instructor outlined best practices for agencies that included comparing one’s own agency to the Office for Victims of Crime Model Standards. Doing so would allow a program to see what areas of the program are already strong and which have room for growth and improvement.

“That is exactly the mission of the TVFI program, commented Ms. Wagner. “Being grounded in the OVC Model Standards, Texas’ Constitutional Victims’ Rights, and the TVSA Code of Ethics, the TVFI organizational self-assessment and staff survey tools provide a structured process for victim service agencies to determine their own path forward in becoming even stronger and more victim-friendly.”

TVFI’s goal is to create a more welcoming experience for victims at agencies across the state of Texas. The Texas Victim Friendly Initiative is meant to inspire and support organizations to improve their interactions and response to victims. Not only is that good for victims, but when victims’ needs are recognized and respected, victims are more likely to seek and participate in services, including the criminal justice system.

Who are the six pilot sites?

  • Collin County District Attorney’s Office (Plano, TX)
  • St. Mary’s University Police Department (San Antonio, TX)
  • Manor Police Department
  • Winnsboro Police Department
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
  • Abigail’s Arms (Gainesville, TX)

The next application window for the TVFI program will open in October or November 2021, contingent upon funding.  If you are interested in receiving notification regarding TVFI application dates, please email:

Professional Development and Training Committee 

As many of you know, the oldest and still most popular of TVSA’s programs and services in its close to 25 years of operations is our statewide training conference. Every two years, professionals from across all victim services disciplines join us for a week of outstanding training sessions on South Padre Island, where we also practice self-care through various networking and bonding activities in relaxing settings. After much deliberation, our board and staff reached consensus that, yes, we would hold the conference this year as slated, while realizing that this year’s setting would have to be a virtual one.

That said, we are committed to providing the same high-quality training you have come to expect from our conferences. The pre-conference will have its usual start, with our three-hour ethics class, on the afternoon of August 17th, with Derrelynn Perryman, LCSW, MSSW, who always provides an engaging and instructive session.

The official conference opening and plenary session will take place on the morning of August 18th, followed by our program of workshops in four tracks: Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities; Equity and Justice; Innovations in Victim Services: Pandemic and Beyond; and Management and Leadership in Victim Services. Workshops will be scheduled across three dates: the 18th, the 24th and 25th. We have scheduled the conference on dates over two consecutive weeks to support you in minimizing online fatigue, understanding that, since you will be attending the conference remotely, you will also need time to tend to workplace and family responsibilities.

Registration will open in early summer and will be announced through our social media, website, and direct emails. We hope to see you virtually in August!


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