AVDA is a nonprofit organization that has served the Houston community for 40 years with the mission to end family violence by advocating for the safety and self-determination of victims, promoting accountability for abusers and fostering a community response to abuse. AVDA is dedicated to providing multilingual, transformational, life saving services to survivors of abuse and their families.
Read more about us on GuideStar here.
AVDA believes in non-violent, non-abusive, mutually respectful, mutually satisfying, and growth promoting relationships.
AVDA believes all people have the right to live without fear of abuse, especially as members of a family.
The agency defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive and controlling behavior used to gain and maintain control over one’s intimate partner. This pattern includes physical and sexual violence, financial coercion, emotional and verbal abuse, isolation, intimidation, threats and other acts. Although only some of these actions are criminally culpable, we believe that all of them are intolerable.
While we recognize that abuse occurs in gay and lesbian relationships and that women can be abusive, we know that battering is primarily perpetrated by men against women.
We believe domestic violence perpetrators are solely responsible for their actions. We know domestic violence is not anger-driven and that batterers do not “lose control.” We reject the notion they are “provoked” into violence by their partners. Substance abuse, financial difficulties, stress or experience as a victim/witness of abuse may contribute to the use of abusive behavior, especially the intensity and severity of the abuse. However, these factors do not “cause” someone to be abusive.
We know that, throughout the ages, violence against women and the devaluation and objectification of women have been systematically condoned and codified by social, religious and legal institutions. We believe society continues to support gender inequality and male privilege and this institutionalized oppression creates an environment that encourages and excuses all forms of violence against women.
We believe abuse based on race, religion, and sexual orientation has also been condoned and codified in our society and recognize the connection between racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and all other forms of oppression.
We believe domestic violence is a community problem requiring a community solution. We believe that the agency should work as part of the Battered Women’s Movement on a local, state and national level to create and maintain a community response to domestic violence. This response should include laws, policies, procedures and funding for programs that increase victim safety and self-determination, offender accountability, coordination of services and systems’ responsibility. In addition, we believe it is important to change cultural values through education and intervention to overcome the oppression of women and others and to create an environment that will not tolerate domestic violence.