Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a Pasadena nonprofit whose mission is to stop domestic violence and support victims, won a portion of a $381,000 grant awarded by the Texas Council on Family Violence as a result of the work done by its domestic violence high-risk team.

The backstory

The nonprofit, which has served the community for over 45 years, launched its domestic violence high-risk team in 2020 to better serve domestic violence survivors who have a higher risk of becoming a homicide victim, said Olivia Rivers, CEO of Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

To achieve its mission, the team works with the Pasadena Police Department and district attorney offices in the Houston area to provide criminal justice support, such as arresting the offender or getting a protective order, Rivers said.

“We're seeing cases from beginning to end be a lot more successful, and of course, the goal being to eliminate additional homicides related to domestic violence,” Rivers said.

Why it matters

The Texas Council on Family Violence, which monitors domestic violence cases, counted 216 homicides in Texas as a result of domestic violence in 2022, according to a Jan. 10 news release.

The grant funds will solely fund the work of the high-risk team, which referred 134 high-risk domestic violence calls in 2023. Funds will further be divided into supporting the team and buying essentials for survivors, such as Ring cameras for security or new tires if their abuser tampered with their car, Rivers said.

Because a high-risk domestic violence case often includes a victim who has already had an attempt made on their life, the process to get them both criminal justice and general support requires a team of advocates who are more specialized and equipped with more time, compared to other domestic violence cases, Rivers said.

Rivers said she hopes the additional funds will help provide those needed operational resources for her team to better serve high-risk survivors.

“We’re very excited and honored to be a part of the funding, you know, part of this grant because the work is necessary, but it’s also more timely and can be a lot more stressful for our advocates,” Rivers said.