HISTORY

The Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation was founded in Dallas TX in 2006 by former award-winning news reporter and advertising, public relations and political consultant J. J. Smith.

He did so as a memorial to his loving mother, Lillian Smith.

In 1958, when J.J. was 10 years old, he witnessed his abusive father shoot and kill his mother and then himself in a horrific murder-suicide in Denver CO (see the newspaper articles below). His desperate act concluded several years of emotional and physical abuse inflicted upon their family. He was apparently suffering from what we now know as PTSD, after being seriously wounded fighting in Europe as a US Army tank commander in World War II.

Since 2006, our volunteers have provided a variety of services to help dozens of domestic, dating, child and sexual abuse victims and their families.

We have:

  • Initiated passage of a new law in the 2011 Texas legislature
  • Wrote and arranged dozens of news stories
  • Been interviewed by the news media
  • Hosted a talk radio show on AM 1400 in Dallas
  • Produced TV/radio public service announcements
  • Organized and spoken at many public meetings
  • Provided emergency services for victims
  • Obtained legal assistance for victims
  • Held fundraising walks/races
  • Organized meetings
  • Attended conferences
  • Collaborated with other organizations

J.J. initially established the Foundation in 1999 but the events of 9-11-01 dried up funding and made it impossible to continue until the economy recovered sufficiently.

 

We exist to ensure that victims of family violence crimes and their families get the help and support they need to overcome the violence they have experienced.

When victims and family members contact us for assistance, we refer them initially to crisis centers and other agencies in their area. If no resource agencies are available, then our Victim Services Team attempts to provide the help they need.

Through the money we raise, we are able to provide food, shelter, transportation and clothing. We also arrange legal services, healthcare and employment. We offer emotional support for victims and their families in courtrooms, hospitals and at funerals. We represent victims and families with the news media, as well.

We raise money for and donate to such resource agencies as women’s shelters, children’s advocacy centers and sexual assault crisis centers. We fund conferences, educational campaigns, promote community resources, and assist policymakers and employers.

We also organize community meetings, media interviews, and provide speakers to churches, clubs, schools, workplaces and other organizations.

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Our story began in 1999 in Dallas TX when family violence survivor and TV/radio advertising account executive J.J. Smith founded the non-profit Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation to help family violence victims, increase awareness of the epidemic and promote victim resources.

He did so in memory of his mother, Lillian Smith, whom her ex-husband and his father threatened, stalked and then shot and killed in a murder-suicide in 1958 in Denver CO (see news clippings below).

By 2001 over 40 abuse survivors and volunteers were actively participating and their public service announcements were being broadcast on TV and radio stations across Dallas-Ft.Worth.

Unfortunately, due to the tragic event on 9-11-01, funding sources dried up as the nation’s economy plunged. The organization was then forced to disband until funding could once again be secured.

In 2006, with an improved economy, J.J. reestablished the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation, with the support of many former volunteers. We held our first fundraiser, the “Lillian Smith Race To Prevent Family Violence” 5K/Walk, in October, 2006, at Pizza Hut Park, which attracted over 150 runners and walkers. We also held the Lillian Smith Race To End Abuse 5K/Walk in 2009 and 2010 in Rockwall TX, attracting hundreds more participants. In addition to raising several thousand dollars, awareness of the family violence problem was increased and relationships with community leaders were built.

Beginning in 2007, J.J. and domestic violence survivor Katie Clemens hosted a weekly Saturday morning talk radio show called “When Love Hurts” on KGVL 1400 AM Radio in Greenville TX. They interviewed dozens of abuse victims, attorneys, mental health professionals and community leaders to teach listeners how to deal with family violence problems and promote community resources. The show ended when the station was sold and changed formats in 2008.

During those same years, we organized and held meetings with a broad-based community coalition of law enforcement & health care professionals, educators, elected leaders and survivors to protect women and children from abuse across DFW.

In 2011, we achieved passage of our first law, after Board member and State Senator Bob Deuell MD and State Rep. Cindy Burkett introduced House Bill 1344 to make it illegal for parents, spouses or guardians to show porn to their children. It was passed unanimously by all 181 state legislators, signed by Gov. Rick Perry in June and became effective Sept. 1, 2011. In 2014 Rep. Burkett became a Board member of Americans Ending Abuse.

While the legislation was moving forward, we arranged broadcast & print news stories showing the need for the new law, which were printed and broadcast by hundreds of news media nationwide. They featured Crystal Buckner, the Dallas mother whose ex-husband forced their two young daughters to view porn. It was due to her perseverance and that of Amarillo District Attorney James Farren that the law was passed. Her ex-husband was eventually jailed for two counts of Child Endangerment.

In 2015, we launched our present website and expanded our news media operation outside of the DFW Metroplex.

Besides continuing to help victims, our major efforts currently include helping to open a Rockwall Co. Children’s Advocacy Center and helping the Cook family in Cleburne to obtain justice after they were falsely jailed for child abuse and their seven children were sexually, physically and medically abused while in foster care.

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OUR STORY:

Former news reporter turned radio & TV advertising account executive J.J. Smith founded The Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation in 1999 in Dallas TX to aid and support family violence victims, plus increase awareness about the family violence epidemic.

He did so in honor of his mother, Lillian Smith, who was gunned down by her ex-husband in a tragic murder-suicide in 1958, in front of J.J., when he was just 10 years old. His father had threatened and stalked his mother and him for several years across the U.S. after she divorced him for his continuous physical, verbal and emotional abuse.

Great progress was made initially but, after the terrible events of 9-11-01, funding sources dried up. In 2006, with the economy much improved, the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation was reorganized with many of the same Board members and volunteers. Speaking engagements were arranged, news media interviews were conducted, and funds were raised at several 5K Races/Walks.

In 2008, J.J. and family violence survivor Katie Clemens hosted a radio talk show called “When Love Hurts,” on AM 1400 in Greenville TX. But after six months of interviews with victims and community leaders the station was sold, format changed and the program ended.

In 2011 we had our first bill passed and made into law in Texas, making it illegal for parents, guardians and their spouses to show porn to their children. Thanks to the efforts of our Board members, State Sen. Bob Deuell and State Rep. Cindy Burkett, House bill 1344 was unanimously passed by all 181 state legislators. Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill into law, effective Sept. 1, 2011.

In 2011 we donated a free website and other services to help childhood sexual assault survivor Erin Merryn with her mission to pass Erin’s Law in all 50 states.

In 2017 our current website was produced and new Board members were recruited. We then started our child abuse prevention campaign across Rockwall County, teaching children, parents and adults what they needed to know to prevent and end child abuse, and child sexual abuse in particular.

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The Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation was founded in Dallas TX in 2006 by family violence survivor J. J. Smith, as a memorial to his mother, Lillian Smith, who was killed by her ex-husband in a murder-suicide in Denver CO in 1958.

We exist to ensure that victims of family violence crimes and their families get the help and support they need to overcome the violence they have experienced.

When victims and family members contact us for assistance, we refer them initially to crisis centers and other agencies in their area. If no resource agencies are available, then our Victim Services Team attempts to provide the help they need.

Through the money we raise, we are able to provide food, shelter, transportation and clothing. We also arrange legal services, healthcare and employment. We offer emotional support for victims and their families in courtrooms, hospitals and at funerals. We represent victims and families with the news media, as well.

We raise money for and donate to such resource agencies as women’s shelters, children’s advocacy centers and sexual assault crisis centers. We fund conferences, educational campaigns, promote community resources, and assist policymakers and employers.

We also organize community meetings, media interviews, and provide speakers to churches, clubs, schools, workplaces and other organizations.

___________________

In 2011 we had our first law passed, making it illegal in Texas for parents and guardians to show porn to their children. House Bill 1344 was introduced by our Board members, State Sen. Bob Deuell and State Rep. Cindy Burkett; passed unanimously by all 181 state legislators; and then signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.

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Americans Ending Abuse was founded in Dallas TX in 2011 to bring an end to child, dating, domestic and sexual abuse.

We aim to become the nation’s leading advocate for child, dating, domestic and sexual abuse victims.

AEA represents and gives a voice to the millions of abuse victims and survivors nationwide.

not just another anti-abuse organization.

Founded in Dallas TX in 2011 by award-winning news reporter, activist and family violence survivor J. J. Smith, our fast-growing grassroots group is comprised of thousands of people who are no longer willing to settle for the status quo. We want change NOW; and we’re working for it in our culture, courts and legislatures. We’re no longer willing to stand by and watch millions of our nation’s children, women and men be bullied, maimed and slaughtered in front of us due to child, dating, domestic and sexual abuse.

What’s the greatest threat to our nation? It’s not ISIS, Al Qaeda or other international terrorists. It’s domestic terrorists – the millions of men, women, parents, guardians and family friends who are getting away with assaulting and murdering our family members physically, sexually, verbally and emotionally every single day. It has to end, and it has to end NOW!

Our Americans Ending Abuse PAC and SuperPAC are organized to raise funds for and help elect candidates who will champion our causes.

Americans Ending Abuse aims to become the nation’s leading anti-abuse organization and defender of abuse victims.

Since family violence has been an epidemic for decades, we’re convinced that if we don’t do it, then nobody else will.

Not only are we fighting to make the changes needed, we are also helping victims and their families. Since 2006 volunteers with our non-profit Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation have been helping victims and their families to overcome the abuses they’ve suffered. We’ve also held fundraising events, produced TV and radio announcements and educated many groups and organizations about the urgent need to end abuse.

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Americans Ending Abuse is a grassroots organization founded in Dallas TX in 2011 by family violence survivor and communications business owner J. J. Smith to make the changes needed in our culture, courts and legislatures to bring an end to domestic, dating, child and sexual abuse across Texas and the U.S.

He initially founded the non-profit Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation in 2006 in memory of his mother to protect and help domestic violence and child abuse victims, plus increase awareness of the need to end the family violence epidemic.

In addition to helping abuse victims and their families, we were able to get out first law passed in 2011, making it illegal for Texas parents and guardians to show porn to their children. H.B. 1377 was introduced by our Board members, State Sen. Bob Deuell and State Rep. Cindy Burkett, passed unanimously by all 181 state legislators and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.

Americans Ending Abuse aims to become the nation’s leading anti-abuse organization and defender of abuse victims.

Since family violence has been an epidemic for decades, we are convinced that if we don’t do it, then nobody else will.