Most Recent News
27/06 : Spring 2011 Update!Welcome Members and Visitors to the spring 2011 update for Jennifers Hope for the Prevention of Teen Dating Violence!
Jennifers Hope has remained active in Austin area organizational programs for the Prevention of Teen Dating Violence, as well as related recovery and educational programs. 2008 until now has seen much continued community and national involvement, including the events listed below:
Jennifers Hope (JH) continues to sit on the advisory board for Start Strong Austin. Start Strong Austin, the recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, collaborates with school and community partners to promote safe and healthy teen relationships. Its lead partner, Safeplace, through the Expect Respect program, provides school-based counseling and support programs. JH was a presenter during their six week course for the Communities in Schools Program. www.startstrongaustin.org/about/
Austin/Travis County observed the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 10-16, 2011) with an incredible collaborative event titled Reshaping the Future: Honoring the Past, with participation of over 25 organizations and associations. JH attended this event, including a candle lighting ceremony on April 14th honoring victims of crime. www.tcfv.org/tcfv-content/category/releases/
Ongoing, JH is sharing the story of Jennifer and Justin with teens involved in classes (often court-mandated) at La Fuente Learning Center. Then the teens write a note as if they are texting to Jennifer and Justin, stimulating questions and a mixed-gender discussion, which results in the teens’ exposure to different perspectives. http://www.fuenteaustin.org
Jennifers Hope participated in the Travis County Sheriff’s Crime Victims’ Services Division panel to help educate Crime Victims’ Counselors in best practices in treatment of victims upon notification of violent crimes. Very often this counseling continues up to and through criminal court proceedings. More Victim Services Assessment information can be found at www.co.travis.tx.us/download.asp?filename=/health.../Victim...2003. Key findings in their Summary are that victims of violent crime tend to be under age 20 and that these crimes are drastically underreported.
Other ongoing participation has been at the Austin Recovery Center’s women’s recovery classes with Cathy Collins, the intake specialist at For the Love of Christi Grief Center. We can report that the groups usually have a lot of focus on being the best parents they can be. www.austinrecovery.org | www.fortheloveofchristi.org
JH President, Elizabeth Crecente, teamed up with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in September, 2008 as the AG’s office announced funding assistance and support for Liz Claiborne’s new Love is Respect program and National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline. www.loveisrespect.org
Jennifers Hope looks forward to the summer season, more activities, and welcomes your feedback and support. If you would like to volunteer, please know that there are many levels of opportunity. Thank you for your support!
02/09 : Prees Conferences!I am honored to be speaking at the Texas-wide press conference for the National Liz Claiborne Love is Respect Campaign (www.loveisrespect.org). It will be September 18th. The TX Attorney General, Sheryl Cates (advocate) and I will be speaking. This is an amazing campaign with a fantastic new look (upcoming on their website). Teens can contact them
I am also working behind the scenes on the local Travis County Teen Dating Violence/Healthy Relationships Campaign. The press conference will be October 5th. This campaign highlights SafePlace and the TX Advocacy Project-both incredible local resources.
Please check out both of these incredible press conferences, and moreover check out their websites on the 'links' or 'resources' page.
27/05 : Welcome New Members!I want to extend a warm welcome to our new members, and thank our wonderful long-term members. I appreciate all of you so much.
For those of you who have recently signed up and are local, keep your eye on your email for news of upcoming events and needs.
For those of you nationwide, you DEFINITELY CAN help! It doesn't take money to help either. We need and want to extend our community to a global community and there are needs in your area.
IF YOU NEED HELP!!!!! Please go to the links page and contact the Teen Violence Help Line or Domestic Hotline!!!!! We want to help, but we are not counselors (yet), we are an awareness and advocacy group who works with other agencies. PLEASE GET CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE AGENCIES. There IS help for you.
Please know if you have emailed me and I haven't been able to return your email it is because I have an ISP that has not been able to be corrected by the company and I am not able to access the email/site from my home office. I have been really ill lately, so I apologize! I will definitely answer all of your emails, however, at the earliest time possible.
Thank you again and love to you!
16/05 : Jennifer's Story on E! NetworkWe are proud to have Jennifer's story be told on E! Entertainment because we want to spread the news about this potentially dangerous topic. Please know that abuse is not only a punch or kick, it is also emotional abuse; moreover, it is about power and control. It doesn't have to end in tragedy. Once you see behaviors (such as those described at www.healthyteendating.org or other links on our site), that is the time to address this issue with teens; not once it becomes physically dangerous. But it must be addressed early and by the entire community.
Please see our Press Release below:
E! Entertainment Television’s “True Hollywood Story (THS): Dating Nightmares” to tell the story of murdered Austin teen
Austin, TX—E! Entertainment Television will tell the story of any family’s worst nightmare—the murder of their loved one at the hands of their dating partner.
The THS includes the real-life story of the Crecente family from Austin. Two years ago, Elizabeth Crecente and her 18-year-old daughter, Jennifer, lived a quiet life in their suburban home in south Austin. Jennifer attended Bowie High School where she met her boyfriend, Justin. The two broke up, but still kept in touch. Even though physical abuse was not seen during their relationship- Justin seemed troubled. But no one suspected how troubled he truly was. The relationship would end in Jennifer's murder. Jennifer was shot to death in a field near her home. Her killer: her ex-boyfriend, also only 18 years old.
There are two tragedies here: One, that Jennifer could not be saved. Her mother tried very hard to help her and attempted to help empower Jennifer to get out of the relationship, but could not do so alone. She went to many professionals to try to get Jennifer help, and no one knew what to do. In the current cultural climate (as a recent study funded by Liz Claiborne illustrates) many teens accept abuse as the norm in relationships. Jennifer and her mom spoke often about healthy relationships, but it was not enough. The second tragedy is that Justin did not receive the appropriate help. His mother also tried very hard to help him; she tried many avenues. Now we know that there are many very good programs to which Jennifer and, perhaps, Justin could have been referred that were not given as possible solutions when Jennifer and Justin's mom were looking for help.
"I wish I had known sooner how and where to get help. It is really a matter of community education and awareness," says Crecente.
Elizabeth Crecente agreed to airing Jennifer's story on the E! in order to put a face on what the CDC and Surgeon General have termed “an epidemic.”
“I want to continue to put a face on what’s teen dating violence. E! Networks felt that the audience would really connect with Jennifer’s story. It will be one of seven or eight real life stories they’ll show. Some are horrific and sad; I wish that shows like this one weren’t a part of our culture because I wish our loved ones weren’t dying. But my hope is that the segment will not only illustrate what can happen, but more importantly, how people can prevent themselves or their loved-ones from getting into abusive relationship,” she said.
Crecente continued. “Did you know that according to a recent survey, 81% of parents either believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know it’s an issue? This isn’t because they are out of touch with their kids. It is simply very difficult to know how pervasive this issue truly is. It is vital that we work together as a community to raise awareness about what is happening to our teens, and to understand how to prevent the violence. Our greatest resource is our teens. They are passionate, in the know, and best able to tell us how to help. Teen involvement is the most important of any. But we, as advocates, must empower our teens to become involved. Intervention is important, but it means that the abuse has already occurred, which may come too late for some teens. It was too late for my daughter. We’re after prevention.”
Prevention is why Crecente started Jennifer’s Hope (www.jennifershope.org), an organization devoted to revealing teen dating violence that only communities acting in concert can solve. She believes teen violence prevention requires involvement, support, knowledge, and understanding across the community at-large. “Information and perspectives on preventing dating violence that teens get at school or through other avenues must be reinforced by their peers, the media, law enforcement, parents, social services, and the judicial system… the entire community. It is only when we act together that this epidemic can be stopped.” Crecente said.
“Jennifer’s hope was to help others as a criminal psychologist. I want ‘Jennifer’s Hope’ to help others now. This is what Jennifer would have wanted,” Crecente said.
“True Hollywood Story: Dating Nightmares” will air on Austin Cable Channel 30 at 7p.m. CST Friday, May 16. Additional airings of the two-hour show can be seen Sat., May 17 at 4 p.m., and Sun., May 18, at noon.
12/11 : House Bill 121 and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Toolkit TrainingThe Texas Team has presented training for both the house bill 121 and the toolkit. The slides for this presentation can be found at http://tcfv.org/hb121. Please keep in mind that the videos that accompanied the slides are not included. If, within the next 30 days, you would like to view the entire video conference presentation, please contact Elizabeth at email@example.com.
24/10 : DonationsWe are very proud of Jennifer's Hope! We have funded the posters (put up in schools and organizations) for all 200 of the toolkits that are going out to Texas schools, as well as additional production of Red Flags cards. If you have questions about these items, please let me know. We were able to donate $1500 this year as a result of our benefit.
Starr & Sheldon Perkins have donated an external hard-drive for our business computer, which was donated by Esther Roberts. We would like to thank you for these very important donations!
Elizabeth Crecente has joined the Texas Team, The Austin Task Force and several committees and action teams.
It is time to begin planning our 2nd annual benefit! We have a plan in the works, but definitely need your help. Please check out our volunteer section!
31/07 : UpdatedTrial News
On August 1, 2007 Justin Crabbe admitted to the murder of my daughter, Jennifer Crecente. He was offered and took a plea deal of 35 years. He will be eligible for parole in 16 years. Justin was transferred to Huntsville prison on August 29th for assessment. He is now in the Texas Prison System.
A second suspect's indictment was unsealed on the day of the sentencing for Justin, August 1, 2007. His name is Ricardo Roman. His bond was reduced to $50,000, down from $100,00 but he was housed in the Travis County Jail for approximately six months. His case has now been dropped due to Justin Crabbe refusing to testify in the case.
Thank you so very much for your support. Our family has been blessed with people like you!