The Texas Advocacy Project’s mission is to prevent violence through free legal services, access to the justice system, and education for victims.
Jon Andrews of Accenture joined Studio 512 Co-Host Rosie Newberry to talk about the 15th Annual Black and White Ball presented by Accenture, which takes place on October 22 at the new Austin Marriott Downtown.
The event will be an evening of live music, auctions, and awards celebrating 37 years of service that will benefit the Texas Advocacy Project.
Accenture has been a big supporter of the Texas Advocacy project for years. Why is their support so important?
“Accenture has aligned with TAP for so many years in part due to our mission of corporate citizenship and the ability for our people to participate in things they are passionate about beyond just the legal services that TAP provides. We are involved with so many hands-on serving opportunities at Texas Advocacy Project like Handbags for Hope, Teen Ambassadors of Hope, and the Education and Outreach Department at TAP that aims to stop domestic violence before it starts.
Why is it important that Accenture is involved again in 2021?
“This year is a double pandemic going on between COVID and domestic violence. The persistence of the current COVID-19 pandemic makes now a critical time for the agency to raise funds to help support all Texans who are trying to leave abusive situations. Prolonged stressors such as job loss, housing instability, and intensified conflict from the stress of stay-at-home orders have all been attributed to domestic violence increases. We have learned now that the uniform crime report has come out that domestic violence-related homicides have increased 30%, therefore, we also know the lethality for our clients has increased. Based on a review of 12 U.S. studies, most of which included data from multiple cities, domestic violence incidents increased 8.1% after jurisdictions imposed pandemic-related lockdown orders in 2020.”
“While we know those are difficult topics to discuss it is why we are all back here at the table again to support Texas Advocacy Project.”
In what ways have, being involved with TAP affected you personally?
“The impact TAP has had on individuals and hearing their stories. [This is] a result of being on the board and as well as what is recognized by the organization as individuals whose lives have been changed. I am one who likes to see the actual impact and difference an organization has on the people it services. For me, that’s the ultimate goal.”
What is the #1 thing you look forward to at the Black & White Ball every year?
“Of course, there’s lots of glitz and glam in the ballroom, and we are thrilled to be back together in person to celebrate. But the highlight of the program is when the Courage Award honoree takes the stage. This is a former client who has demonstrated the courage to leave her abuser and create a healthy and secure life with TAP by her side. Hearing the survivor’s story in her own words reminds us all why we are in attendance and so involved with Texas Advocacy Project. I encourage everyone to attend this year to hear Madison’s story.”
“Madison was excited for a new chapter in her life: starting college at her dream school. Leading up to the first day, she met and began messaging a classmate. They chatted and she felt she got to know him well. On her first night at college, her roommate invited him and one of his football teammates over to their dorm. It was during this first in-person encounter that Madison’s classmate cornered her in her dorm room and sexually assaulted her.”
“The Trauma from the assault was life-altering and Madison knew she needed legal help. She decided to open a Title IX case against her school and asked Texas Advocacy Project to represent her. Title IX requires schools to combat sex discrimination in education. In Madison’s case, she needed to use this statute to hold her abuser accountable for sexually assaulting her.”
“Due to delays in the investigation lead by her school and her abuser appealing the school’s decision in Madison’s favor twice, the case was drawn out and began to seem hopeless. But Madison and her TAP attorney never let up. She didn’t let delays, appeals, or even leaving her dream school get in the way of her fight for safety — a fight that she was taking on not only for herself but for others who could potentially be hurt if her abuser didn’t face the consequences of his actions.”
“Madison’s TAP attorney was with her every step of the way, but ultimately it was her own strength, courage, and perseverance that brought her to justice.”
How to get involved
To help out a great cause, don’t miss the 15th Annual Black and White Ball presented by Accenture, which takes place on October 22 at the new Austin Marriott Downtown. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TexasAdvocacyProject.org/Black-White-Ball.
This segment is paid for by Texas Advocacy Project and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.