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September 28, 2005

Updates on DAWCAS

From: DAWCAS - Sep 28, 2005

For Immediate Release

September 27, 2005
Contact: Mary E. Wambach, E.D. or
Vonnie Basham, Prog. Director

DAWCAS (Deaf Abused Women and Children Advocacy Services, Inc.) announces its resumption of direct services to women, children and others who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind and late deafened. Located in Austin, TX, and providing a range of services to the Deaf Community in Texas, DAWCAS was temporarily unable to provide counseling or advocacy due to discontinuation of its VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) funds in July.

Effective September 1, DAWCAS was awarded VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) funds to continue advocacy and related services to deaf women and others who are victims or survivors of domestic violence and or sexual assault. Although this particular funding restricts DAWCAS to serving adult deaf females, the organization is utilizing unrestricted funds to continue services to the full community, including men, teens and children (at a reduced volume) until additional funds can be obtained. DAWCAS also continues to creatively perform its popular community forums, workshops and seminars in the 4-county Austin area, as well as in San Antonio, Houston and Harlingen/McAllen. The agency's professional trainings to domestic violence/sexual assault providers and law enforcement professionals continue to take place both in Texas and at out-of-state conferences and training events.

Women, children, youth, teens, men and others who are deaf or with hearing loss should feel free to contact DAWCAS through our web site , on our TTY ( 8 – 5 Monday through Friday) or through direct email to Vonnie Basham ( for direct services and general information. For those in the Austin area only who are experiencing crisis or emergency related to domestic violence or sexual assault, the DAWCAS Hotline pager number is

DAWCAS' Board, staff and many community supporters are actively involved in fund raising, grant writing and networking to rebuild the organization's capacity to at least the former staff cadre of 8 individuals plus over 25 volunteers. Those interested in volunteering, obtaining information or offering much-needed donations are urged to contact DAWCAS through our web site or at, for a direct response.

Over the past two months, DAWCAS has received an enormous amount of verbal, written, in-person and other positive supports from our local communities, our professional colleagues, and our associates/providers at C-S-D, SafePlace, Communication by Hand, Travis County Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, and Austin Police Department/Victims Services. We are humbled by this moral and tangible assistance, and we are very appreciative on behalf of those we serve.