May 17, 2012
By Diane Jennings
Courtney Underwood-Newsome’s unwavering commitment to her longtime cause was evident even on her wedding cupcakes.
“In lieu of a gift, you can also make a donation to DARCC,” the labels printed on the favor boxes read.
That kind of resolve, as a tireless advocate for victims of sexual assault, has come to define the 29-year-old co-founder of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center.
Those who don’t know her, though, might be tempted to regard her as a society dilettante, especially when she answers the door of her Highland Park home in sky-high heels, a dress, pearl necklace and a practiced smile.
Or after her dogs — one clad in a ruffled dress with a shiny red belt — scamper out.
But appearances can be deceiving.
Underwood-Newsome has “that little sweet girl approach,” said Charles Terrell, chairman of Safer Dallas, Better Dallas, a public safety support group. “But she’s tenacious as a bulldog.”
After almost a decade of pushing for better services for sexual assault victims, Underwood-Newsome now points proudly to the recent opening of the rape-crisis center’s second location and the establishment three years ago of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE, program at Presbyterian Hospital.
Establishing those services was not easy, Underwood-Newsome said....
She didn’t tell her mother about the attack, she said, until she left home to attend Southern Methodist University....