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August 21, 2008
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Grant funds domestic violence prevention

A grant from the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation helps Douglas County administer its domestic violence prevention program.

Suzy Stockdale, the Smallwoods' niece who administers the family foundation, has partially funded the position of Connie Richardson, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office domestic violence intervention coordinator, for three years.

Last year, the district attorney's office established a special victims unit response team to provide additional assistance to victims of domestic violence and their families.

"I used to be assigned to all the domestic batteries, but with the creation of the task force and the grant, it gives me the opportunity to intervene before a battery takes place when that is possible," Richardson said.

Richardson said her work involves immediate follow-ups to verbal domestic reports in an effort to prevent the situation from escalating to a battery.

"Intervention can be prevention," she said.

Members of the response team meet weekly.

It includes representatives from the district attorney's office, probation department, sheriff's office, Family Support Council and the Partnership of Community Resources.

The county earned a $500,000 federal grant a year ago to fund the team.

The Smallwood foundation was established in 1968 on the death of William P. Smallwood, a Fort Worth native, who co-founded First Southwest Co. investment banking firm.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 21, 2008 07:13PM Published Aug 21, 2008 07:13PM Copyright 2008 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.