The Texas Council on Family Violence CEO Gloria Terry Selected to Lead a New Statewide Task Force on Domestic Violence & Women’s Health

UTMB Galveston Associate Professor, Dr. Jeff Temple Named Vice-Chair


Austin, Texas – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) CEO Gloria Terry has been named Presiding Officer of a new Texas Health and Human Services Commission Task Force on Domestic Violence. The task force is holding its first meeting in Austin today.

The Texas Council on Family Violence is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. Since 1978, TCFV, headquartered in Austin, has been a nationally recognized leader in the efforts to end family violence through partnerships, advocacy and direct services for women, children and men.

HB 2620 by Representative Nicole Collier (District 95-Tarrant County) was a key part of TCFV’s legislative priorities during the 83rd legislative session. It calls for measures to examine and address the impact of domestic violence on the health of women and children during pregnancy through the first two years of life and to help health care providers identify signs of domestic abuse. The bill was signed into law in June of 2013. The formation of the new Texas Health and Human Service Commission Task Force on Domestic Violence is the result of this bill.

“The Texas Council on Family Violence is honored to chair the new task force and work closely with vice-chair, Dr. Jeff Temple of UT Medical Branch at Galveston and the entire task force to collaborate on women’s health care and domestic violence,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “Pregnant women face an increased risk of intimate partner violence, and homicide is the leading cause of traumatic death for both pregnant and postpartum women in the US. At the same time they are at increased risk and vulnerability, pregnant women in general have repeated contact with health care providers because of standard prenatal health recommendations.“

Because of both their vulnerability to domestic violence and the health care protocols already in place for them, pregnant women represent an important and ideal focus for violence prevention and intervention.

Dr. Jeff Temple, an associate professor and director of behavioral health and research at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, has been named vice chairman of the new state task force on domestic violence. Dr. Temple, a psychologist in UTMB’s Ob/Gyn department, specializes in the study and treatment of intimate partner violence.

“I am so honored by this appointment,” said Dr. Temple. “The physical and emotional trauma caused by domestic violence can have terrible ripple effects that permeate families and communities. This task force is going to come up with concrete ways to make a difference. I am very excited about the potential of our work to turn around thousands of families’ lives.”

The Domestic Violence Task Force directive is to identify gaps, needs and opportunities across the health care spectrum to examine the impact of domestic violence on the health of pregnant women, mothers and young children. Committee members have been asked to develop ways to include domestic violence information in new protocols for health care providers and educators. The group is also expected to design health system responses to domestic violence against women who are pregnant and postpartum, including universal information, early screening and detection and public awareness efforts.

The task force expects to meet quarterly to gather information and craft recommendations to ultimately present in a report to the Legislature due September 2015, containing findings and legislative, policy and research recommendations for state leadership.

“Texas Council on Family Violence CEO, Gloria Terry and Dr. Temple have the expertise, experience and perspective to be strong assets to this group,” said Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Dr. Kyle Janek, who appointed Terry and Temple to the task force.


The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV), formed in 1978, is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the nation. TCFV promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.