Tag Archives: dating violence

“Date-Rape” happening nearly every weekend in Heath TX?

I met a business owner last week in Rockwall who told me the sad story of how her teenage daughter was “date-raped” last year at a teen party in Heath.

Since two weeks went by before her daughter told her about the tragedy, there was no evidence. However, this business owner said that when she reported the incident to the police, she was told that this type of thing happens nearly every weekend in Heath, but that people there are so affluent that they pay people off to keep it quiet!

If true, this would be a bombshell!

I called my friend with the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office and asked what she knew about it. She’s the child abuse/sex crimes investigator there. She said she’d never heard that before but, if true, we’d better do something quickly to bring an end to it.

I’ll be seeing the business owner again this week and will ask for some more details. She’s currently considering joining our community efforts to prevent dating violence in Rockwall and would be a great asset.

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Rockwall ISD PTA president will begin scheduling dating violence dangers presentations for parents

The vice president of the Rockwall ISD PTA Council agreed today to begin working on scheduling Lillian Smith Foundation “Dating Violence Dangers” presentations for parents at each of Rockwall ISD’s three high schools, two middle schools and twelve elementary schools, in a meeting with Foundation leaders J.J. Smith and Tanya Pankz.

Denise Smith, who is currently the director of programs for the Rockwall ISD PTA (Parent-Teachers Association), as well as the PTA president at J.W. Williams Middle School, told Tanya and J.J. that she will immediately schedule a 45-minute presentation at Williams, Nov. 19.

Next, she said she will contact the other RISD school PTA leaders, plus the Texas state PTA Council, in hopes of arranging even more presentations statewide.

Denise said she had already heard so many good things about Tanya’s presentation from RISD officials that she agreed it’s a story that parents need and will want to hear. After listening to Tanya tell the story about the murder of her daughter, she said she was even more convinced of the importance of this message.

Tanya’s daughter, Jennifer Pankz, was murdered in 2002 by a boy she was trying to stop dating at UNT after graduating from Rockwall High School in 2001. Jennifer was also tormented by another boy whom she dated in high school when he became violent, which required the intervention of Tanya and her husband Brian Pankz.

According to a 2006 survey of 16 to 24-year-olds by the Texas Council On Family Violence, 75 percent of that age group has either been personally involved in dating violence or know someone who has. At least 50 percent of those interviewed also admitted to being personally involved in dating violence.

For more Rockwall County News, please visit our website news/magazine at www.rockwallrocks.com.

Mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall H.S. grad to speak about dating violence dangers

Jennifer Pankz

(Click on photo to enlarge; double-click again if image is too large)

The mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall High School graduate Jennifer Pankz will speak to the community about the dangers of dating violence, Oct. 29, 7 pm, at Rockwall ISD’s ADministration Building, room 600, 1050 Williams St/Hwy 66 (next to Helping Hands).

Rowlett resident Tanya Pankz, the former branch manager of all three First Convenience Bank locations in Rockwall, will join family violence survivor and Rockwall resident J.J. Smith, plus a law enforcement officer to speak, in hopes of preventing further injuries or deaths from occuring among local teens.

Seventy-five percent of teens have either personally experienced dating violence or know someone who has, according to a recent study by the Texas Council On Family Violence.

The presentation is also an effort to recruit volunteers to join the new Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence, initially organized by Smith, founder of the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation.

“Jen,” the daughter of Brian and Tanya Pankz of Rowlett, was murdered Dec. 27, 2002, by a boy whom she had been dating at the University of North Texas (UNT), after she told him she didn’t want to continue dating anymore because she had just learned that he was taking steroids. She had just completed her first semester in college.

The killer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, although he becomes eligible for parole after 22.5 years.

For more information, contact J.J. Smith, either by phone at 214-256-4071 or email jj@lilliansmith.org.

Rockwall ISD Superintendent pledges to help develop family, dating violence presentations

Rockwall ISD Superintendent Dr. Gene Burton pledged today in a meeting with members of the Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence to contribute RISD technology to help develop video and powerpoint presentations to combat family and dating violence across Rockwall County.

Dr. Burton said he agreed that public education can be of great benefit in the community to help prevent the growing problems of family and dating violence, and that he and RISD will do whatever is possible to assist.

RISD Communications Director Sheri Fowler will assist Lillian Smith members with the technology to organize the presentations.

Also discussed at the meeting were alternative options to best educate students at all grade levels, including the Expect Respect curriculum currently being used in Hunt County by the Women In Need Women’s Shelter, as well as the Love Is Not Abuse program created by the Liz Claiborne Foundation, which is being used by hundreds of school districts nationwide.

A dramatic presentation called “The Yellow Dress,” was recommended for consideration by Lillian Smith members.

Attendees at the meeting were representatives from Women In Need, Rockwall Presbyterian Hospital, RISD, the Lillian Smith Foundation, plus the incoming Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper.

AFter the meeting, she said she was very excited to learn about the Coalition and it’s workings. She added that she is anxious to take office so she can also help prevent and reduce family violence through the courts and criminal justice system.

For more news and information about Rockwall County, please visit our website newsmagazine at www.rockwallrocks.com.

Mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall H.S. grad to speak about dating violence dangers

Jennifer Pankz

(Click photo to enlarge)

The mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall High School graduate Jennifer Pankz will speak about the dangers of dating violence, Sept. 10, 7:30-8:30 am, at Presbyterian Hospital of Rockwall, 3150 Horizon Rd.

Tanya Pankz, the former branch manager of all three First Convenience Bank locations in Rockwall, is joining family violence survivor J.J. Smith and law enforcement officers to speak and help start organizing volunteers to join the Rockwall-based Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation, which is spearheading the efforts of the new Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence.

“Jen,” the daughter of Brian and Tanya Pankz of Rowlett, was found murdered Dec. 27, 2002, by a boy whom she had been dating at the University of North Texas (UNT), after she told him she didn’t want to continue dating anymore because she had just learned that he was taking steroids.

The killer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison, although he becomes eligible for parole after 22.5 years.

For more information, contact J.J. Smith, either by phone at 214-256-4071 or email jj@rockwallrocks.com.