District Attorney brings services to victims


Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer and Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke joined other city and police officials in standing beside Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson as she announced the Irving Family Advocacy Center and Genesis Women’s Shelter now house the District Attorney’s Office’s newest Community Satellite Offices. The Irving office is the first Community Satellite Office established in an advocacy center.

The satellite offices focus primarily on crimes such as family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Personnel working in the offices will provide victims of domestic violence greater access to applications for protective orders while making the crime reporting, investigation and prosecution processes as efficient, successful and comfortable for the victims as possible.

“We are taking the office to them rather than people having to come down to the Frank Crowley Courts Building,” Johnson said. “People can actually get there protective orders right here in the community.

“We already had 11 locations in the city of Dallas, but Irving wanted us to come out here, and Cedar Hill wanted us to go there, so we said, ‘yes’. We are trying to take the office to the people, so that the people won’t have to worry about coming to Dallas County.

“We want to encourage people to take advantage of these services, because we have them in mind. We need to know that these services are needed, and they do appreciate being able to come right here in their community to be served, but if it doesn’t make that much of a difference we need to know that too. We are spending our DA time and our advocates’ time and effort, so we want them to come,” she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Alan Meagher believes the inviting atmosphere of the Family Advocacy Center will support people seeking justice.

“A lot of people are scared to go downtown,” Meagher said. “They might not have the money for the parking and everything. It’s intimidating to go downtown to the courthouse.

“If you come here, this is an inviting place. It is a safe place. People will come here and get the process done, where they wouldn’t before. I think people will be more comfortable coming here to Irving. It helps out our city a great deal. Any resident of our city can come here and get what they need taken care of by the District Attorney’s Office and not have to go to downtown Dallas.

“The Family Advocacy Center does an unbelievable job. If you are ever a victim of any family violence, you can come here and you will be safe. They will take care of you. A lot of people feel they can’t leave an unsafe environment, because there is no place to go, or no one will help them; the Family Advocacy Center does help them. It gives victims of domestic abuse a place where they can get away from their abusive situation,” he said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, or you simply someone to speak with, contact the Irving Family Advocacy Center, located at 600 W Pioneer Drive, Irving, or call 972-721-6521.

About the Author

Jess Paniszczyn

Jess discovered an aptitude for writing in high school. After earning a B.A. degree in English he joined the ranks of the working class where he quickly found he did not work well in a corporate environment. He took a series of technical writing contract jobs working for such companies as AT&T, Sykes Enterprises – where he worked on IBM projects – and Lomas Mortgage. To support himself during lulls between contracts, he began working with the Dallas Morning News in operations where he worked part-time for several years, eventually migrating to the Irving Daily News in its final year of publication.
Jess was the first writer hired by The Rambler Newspapers and has been with the company since the publication of the initial Irving Rambler Newspaper. He has found a home at the newspaper that as a young writer he never thought would ever find working ‘in the real world.’