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Elsa Croucher, advocate for domestic violence victims after daughter’s murder, dies

UPDATE, APRIL 20:

Funeral services for Elsa Croucher will be held at Breiel Boulevard Church of God, 6000 N. Breiel Blvd.

Visitation for Croucher will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, April 23, followed by the funeral at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

She will be laid to rest at Woodside Mausoleum.

INITIAL REPORT, APRIL 19:

A woman who spent more than 20 years advocating for victims of domestic violence after her daughter was murdered has died.

Elsa Croucher, who along with her husband, Jim, founded Citizens Against Domestic Violence in 1996 and created a teen dating violence prevention program, Dating Violence: 101, died Thursday morning surrounded by family and friends in her Monroe home.

She battled cancer for 18 months. She was 78. Her husband died in 2013. He was 69.

MORE: Family of slain woman honored for work against domestic violence

Nationally recognized speakers, the Crouchers furthered their efforts to educate the public about domestic violence with their efforts in the passage of the Tina Croucher Act in 2009. Tina Croucher, 18, died at the hands of her abusive ex-boyfriend four days before Christmas in 1992. He then committed suicide.

Bridget Mahoney, Ohio Domestic Violence Network Chair Elect, said Elsa Croucher displayed “strength and courage” as she and her husband spoke to hundreds of thousands of students after losing their daughter.

“She saved a number of lives and helped a lot of us deal with abuse,” Mahoney said. “She brought attention to abuse. She helped us deal with the process. Heaven gained an angel today.”

The Crouchers started their campaign in 1996, years before domestic violence was a hot topic, Mahoney said. After their daughter was killed, Mahoney said the Crouchers could have taken two paths the rest of their lives. Either shut the blinds or open their doors and address domestic violence.

In 2013, the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) announced the newly established Croucher Family Award for Outstanding Advocacy. The award was presented at the Kickoff to Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Ohio Statehouse. The award was given to Elsa Croucher and Johanna Orozco-Fraser, a young Cleveland woman who survived a gunshot wound to her face at the hands of an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Individually, Elsa received the “Integrity” Award presented by the Butler County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council; the Soroptimist International “Ruby Award” for outstanding work to improve the lives of women; the AK Steel “Steel Magnolia Award” presented to women who have overcome obstacles to positively impact the community; and she was chosen as one of Nabisco’s “100 Extraordinary Women,” a national award given for excellence in development, innovation, and administration of programs and in victim advocacy.

The Crouchers were preceded in death by a daughter, Connie, 26, who died of congenital heart disease on Jan. 3, 1988. They’re survived by a daughter, Terri Evick and son, Tim.

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