Tag Archives: Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation

Eat at Applebee’s in Rockwall today and help end abuse

If you eat at Applebee’s restaurant in Rockwall anytime today from 10:30 am-11pm, the restaurant will donate 15 percent of your purchases to the Rockwall-based Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation, which campaigns in media, schools and communities to help end domestic, dating, child and pet abuse.

Once at Applebee’s, all you have to do, according to Foundation founder and Rockwall resident J.J. Smith, is to tell your waiter or waitress that you are there to help the Lillian Smith Foundation and want your purchases to count as part of Applebee’s donation.

Local Foundation Board and Advisory Council members include State Sen. Bob Deuell, Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, Walmart Store Manager Jamie Dennis, Dallas Morning News Neighbors Go Editor Dawn Redig, plus Rockwall County Bar Association President and legal columnist John Browning.

Click here to read more at TheRockwallNews.com.

For info about the event or the Foundation’s efforts, call J.J. Smith, 214-256-4071.

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Dallas mom seeking to stop parents from showing porn to kids coming to Rockwall Saturday

Parents Pornography

The Dallas mother whose ex husband forced her two young daughters to view hardcore porn and has now attracted nationwide publicity with her campaign to change the obscure Texas law that allows parents to show their children porn will be speaking in Rockwall tomorrow morning.

Crystal Buckner, 30, sought help for her cause from professional publicist J.J. Smith, who founded and directs the Rockwall-based Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation.

Both will be speaking at the new TR Cafe and Grill, 101 N.Goliad Street from 10:30 am – Noon at a regular weekly meeting of the Rockwall Co. Conservatives and Coffee, organized by Rockwall City Council member Mark Russo.

Their story has now been carried by over 450 news outlets across the nation, starting with the Dallas Morning News, CBS11 TV and Associated Press in Dallas.

Buckner’s eight and nine-year-old daughters made an outcry to their Plano counselor in June about the incident that occured in February when their father was viewing porn and drinking alcohol at 3 am.

“I don’t want to prevent parents from educating their children about sex,” Buckner says.

“But forcing children to view hardcore sex at 3 am when you’re drunk like my ex did is not sex education,” she added.

The law that allows parents to show their children porn was enacted in 1973 when the current Texas penal code was completely rewritten. At the time, authors of the legislation were more focused on giving parents the freedom to teach their children about sex or anything else however they wanted, said Smith.

“But pornography back then was not as widely available nor as visual or violent as it is today. A change in the law is definitely needed,” he explained.

“Most people we’ve talked to already assumed it was illegal for parents or any adults to show porn to children, and they wholeheartedly agree it should be.”

“State Sen. Bob Deuell, who is one of our board members, has stated that his first act of the next legislature will be to introduce a bill and change this obscure law.” 

Smith said support from citizens across the state will be needed to pass new legislation. To help or for more info, call Smith at 972-900-7575.

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.

“Dating Violence Dangers” presentation made by mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall H.S. grad

The mother of murdered 2001 Rockwall High School graduate Jennifer Pankz spoke this morning about “Dating Violence Dangers” to about 25 community leaders and volunteers gathered at Presbyterian Hospital of Rockwall for a meeting of the Rockwall County  Coalition Against Family Violence.

Her mother, Rowlett resident and former First Convenience Bank of Rockwall manager Tanya Pankz, told the audience that Jennifer was killed Dec. 27, 2002, by a boy she had been dating at the University of North Texas, where she had only been a student for one semester.

She explained that when Jennifer tried to break up with the boy and leave the apartment – after she learned that he was taking steroids – he grabbed her in a headlock, broke her neck and then stabbed her several times. The Denton County coroner later confirmed that she died instantly when he broke her neck.

The murderer, Stephen Chartier, is now serving a 45-year prison sentence for murder, although he did escape a life sentence when he plea bargained and admitted his guilt. Consequently, he will be eligible for parole after 22.5 years.

Pankz also showed a Fox 4 news video reporting about her daughter’s murder, in which she and her husband explained how devastating it has been to family and friends. Five of her friends from high school were also in attendance, and have volunteered to speak out about the dangers of dating violence, as well.

The still-grieving mother said she’ll never forget Jennifer’s last words to her on the phone, ironically asking whether the body of domestic violence victim Lacy Peterson had been found. Lacy’s husband, Scott Peterson, was later convicted of her murder.

“Then Jennifer said she had something she had to go do, and ended her phone conversation with ‘Love ya mom.”

Pankz told the group that she later was surprised to learn that Jennifer was actually involved in a prior abusive relationship in high school, even though her daughter was raised in a loving, middle-class family “where this type of violence was not supposed to happen.”

She explained that she still does not understand why Jennifer was involved with not just one but two abusive, controlling males, but has concluded that there are just so many abusive young men that it is difficult for young women nowadays not to meet and date at least one.

“Recent research conducted in Texas reveals that over 50 percent of teens have either personally been or know someone who has been involved in dating violence,” she added.

The meeting was held to help kick off the resumed efforts of the Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence, spearheaded by the Lillian Smith Family Violence Foundation. The non-profit organization is devoted to increasing public education, while promoting necessary changes in schools, governments, workplaces, churches and communities to reduce and prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assaults and child abuse/neglect.

Foundation founder and president J.J. Smith, a Rockwall resident and himself a survivor, introduced Pankz and told the audience after her presentation that the Foundation will commit to identifying, promoting and bringing together all of the resources across Rockwall County and other counties so that the various organizations involved will know what each other is doing in the battle against relationship violence.

Comments were made by most everyone in attendance stating that they recognized the need to work more closely together and welcomed the Lillian Smith Foundation’s efforts to help.

Included in the audience were Dr. Gene Burton, Superintendent of Rockwall ISD Schools; Sheri Fowler, RISD Director of Communications; Presbyterian Hospital’s Social Services Director Ruth Thomas and Chaplain Bob Reeves; Rockwall Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Detective Vickie Oldham; Women In Need Women’s Shelter Director Roger Robertson; Women In Need’s Rockwall client advocate Angie Glidewell; past president of the Rockwall Soroptimist’s Club Karen Straughan; community volunteer Marlyn Staggs; prominent Rockwall and Dallas “Superlawyer” and newspaper columnist John Browning; plus several Lillian Smith Foundation members.

Another meeting will be scheduled within 2-3 weeks in the evening, Smith said, so that more people can hear Tanya Pankz speak about Dating Violence Dangers.

Over 200 people have clicked on the website and blog stories, thus far, and dozens have expressed interest in attending her presentation during the evening.