Every 9 Seconds A Woman Is Abused In The United States
Every 9 Seconds a Woman is Abused in the United States
To strengthen and empower families, individuals and communities through accessible counseling services, shelter services, education and advocacy.
All services at Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter are confidential and totally free of charge. Services through Family Services Counseling Center are based on a sliding fee scale so that they are accessible and affordable to everyone.
Family Services Women & Children’s Shelter
Crisis Intervention 24 Hour Hotline
We provide confidential support services and information for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors and their friends and family through our 24-Hour Hotline. If you call the hotline here are the services you can expect:
- Intake services for our safe house protection and information about supportive services such as counseling.
- Information and referrals for survivors and their concerned friends and family members.
- Immediate assistance in English and Spanish. (Other languages and the hearing impaired are accommodated through a language line.)
- Emergency transportation for domestic violence survivors to achieve personal safety.
- Accompaniment to the hospital for SANE examination.
Safe House Protection
The shelter is dedicated to women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. The shelter is located at an undisclosed location and has 24-hour security surveillance. There are 65 beds plus cribs in the facility, and residents can stay there for 30 to 90 days while they prepare to make a fresh start apart from their abuser. Not only are housing needs met at the shelter, but residents are also provided with three meals a day through cafeteria-style food services, clothing, personal care items, access to libraries and computer labs, and age-appropriate play areas for children.
Case Management & Advocacy
Shelter staff assists women with safety planning, goal setting and referrals to additional community services. Survivors also receive help with financial and career planning. A Legal Advocate is available to help identify the legal rights and options of family violence and sexual assault survivors.
The legal advocate can assist you with applying for Crime Victims’ Compensation if you qualify under the program’s eligibility requirements and have reported the crime to law enforcement. The Crime Victims’ Compensation Program can help provide you with financial assistance for crime related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources. This may provide you with assistance on expenses such as medical care, hospital stays, counseling and relocation expenses.
The legal advocate can assist you in applying for a protective order. A protective order legally requires an abuser to stay 500 feet away from the victim’s home or workplace. It also prohibits them from stalking, assaulting, harassing and threatening the victim. It can also prohibit the offender from going near a school or daycare center that a child protected under the order attends.
Sexual Assault Advocate
A 24-hr crisis hotline is answered seven days a week, 365 days a year. The hotline is the first step in seeking help for sexual assault. Our hotline advocates can provide crisis intervention, help you create a safety plan, find emergency shelter, help you access counseling and legal advocacy, arrange for a SANE exam, and provide you with referrals to other resources in the community. Advocates will also accompany survivors of sexual assault to the hospital for their SANE examination.
Our advocates maintain a strict policy of confidentiality, but if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can use a nickname when you call the hotline.
How to Protect Yourself Against Sexual Assault
These tips can help reduce your chances of being sexually assaulted:
- If you think you are being followed, go to a lighted area where there are other people. Call the police.
- Never hitchhike or accept a car ride from a stranger.
- If you are going anywhere at night, go with a friend or group.
- Plan your outings. Always tell a friend or family member where you are planning to go and when you will return.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. If the area looks deserted or poorly lit, don’t risk it.
- Walk confidently and with a steady pace. Don’t stop to talk to strangers.
- Walk on the sidewalks when possible. Stay close to the curb, avoiding doorways, bushes, or other spots where an assailant could hide.
- Walk facing traffic. A person walking with the traffic is easier to follow and to force into a car than a person walking against the traffic.
- If possible, carry a cell phone at all times.
- After dark, park as close as you can to the building you are going to. Have your keys in hand when you return to your car.
- Don’t go for walks or jog alone early in the morning or after dark or in remote places. Try to plan your activity during daylight hours when others are around.
- Headphones and earbuds can be dangerous when you are alone because they make you less aware of your surroundings.
- Avoid carrying large quantities of money. Try not to show how much money is in your wallet when purchasing items.
- Go to ATM machines during daylight hours and be aware of who is behind you.
- If you are attacked, yell, scream, shout or do anything to attract attention.
- Do everything possible to keep an assailant from getting in your car, or forcing you into their car.
- Do not leave a bar, club, or party with someone you do not know.
- Only drink from unopened drinks, or drinks that you have watched being made.
- Be aware of how much you are consuming, whether alcohol or drugs.
- If you feel overly intoxicated for the amount you have consumed, get someone to take you home
- Never leave your drink unattended at a bar, club, party, or restaurant.
- Never be the only girl or gay person at a party of men you do not know well.
- If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, LEAVE. Do not be bullied into staying.
- If you are abducted, drop a personal item that can be traced to you.
- Self-defense classes can improve your confident in your ability to avoid physical conflict and defend yourself if necessary.
What to Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
- DO NOT BATHE, DOUCHE, SHOWER, OR CLEAN GENITALS.
- Call someone you trust, a friend, parent, he police, or a sexual assault advocate
- Do not clean up the bedding, couch, car or anything that may have DNA materials on it
- GO TO THE HOSPITAL and tell them you need a SANE examination. This is a specially trained nurse who knows how to collect forensic data to prove the assault. Wear or bring the clothes you were assaulted in with you. Do this, even if you think you do not want to report the assault. DNA evidence must be collected within 72 hours of assault
- If you think you were drugged before the assault, ASK FOR A BLOOD TEST FOR DRUGS. This will prove what drugs were in your system. Even if you have ingested drugs on your own, but believe someone may have slipped you something else, GET THE BLOOD TEST. You will not be in trouble for the other drugs you willingly ingested.
- If you are not on birth control, as the nurse about your options to prevent pregnancy. You can have a procedure called a D&C or take the Plan B pill
- If you want to press charges, call the police and make a report. You do not have to do this right away if you want to think about it. Get through the immediate trauma of the situation and get health care right away.
- You will need counseling. Counseling is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL through Sexual Assault Advocacy Programs like Family Services of Southeast Texas 409-832-7575.
- Sexual Advocacy Programs will help you get the resources you need. They will accompany you to the hospital, the police station, or to the courtroom if needed.
- Sexual Advocates will help you tell your parents or your employers if you want them to.
- If you feel you need to leave your place of residence to be safe, a sexual advocate can help you find placement at a shelter, free of cost.
Family Services of Southeast Texas, Inc.
HOTLINE 409-832-7575 FREE &CONFIDENTIAL
Sexual Assault Advocacy, Domestic Violence Advocacy, residential shelter services, food, clothing, hygiene products, counseling, group therapy, legal advocacy, protective orders
If you have recently been sexually assaulted, Family Services can send a certified sexual assault advocate to meet you at a local hospital for help and support. Our advocates are compassionate and supportive, and can provide crisis intervention and/or even be in the room with you, your family and/or friends at the hospital while medical and forensic examinations are conducted. The advocate will help you understand your rights as a victim of violence and let you know what other resources are available to you.
Please remember that if you are sexually assaulted, your first call should be to 911. Once you are safely away from your attacker, if possible, ask a friend or family member to wait with you until the police arrive. In order to preserve evidence, DO NOT BATHE, DOUCHE, SHOWER, brush your teeth or hair, change clothes, go to the bathroom, eat or drink, or clean your wounds until after you have been examined by the SANE nurse or have been given the okay by law enforcement.
It is your choice to report the assault to the police, but you can have a SANE exam done as a “non-reporter” and make the decision to press charges or not at a later time. Even if you decide not to report the assault, you should seek medical attention from a hospital or clinic and it is never too late to call the Family Services hotline for support. The SANE exam is available to adult survivors of sexual violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Youth & Children Support Services
Family Services Children’s Advocate works with parents on issues concerning their children and helps young people in adjusting to shelter life. The advocate ensures that all children and youth have adequate arrangements and supplies to attend school and works with the students on homework and other school projects. In addition, foster grandparents are available to help supervise children while their mothers are in the shelter facility taking care of other responsibilities. A secure playground is available, and activities are planned often to ensure that children and youth are thriving during their shelter stay.
In addition to Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter, which is located in Jefferson County, we also operate Piney Woods Safe House in Jasper County. The Piney Woods Safe House can be accessed by calling the 24-hour confidential hotline or by contacting the service directly at: Piney Woods Safe House: 409-384-1225
Family Services also has a speaker’s bureau and would love to come and speak to your group about domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. We also attend community events and enjoy having an informational booth for provide information about domestic violence and sexual assault and the free services available at Family Services of Southeast Texas. To arrange a speaker, please call 1-409-833-2668 and ask to speak to the community relations department.
Court and Law Enforcement Accompaniments
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
Victims of intimate partner violence lost a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year.
Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
How You Can Help
“I never thought that this class would change the way I live my life. I was wrong. This has been a blessing in every aspect of my life.”
— Battering Intervention and Prevention Participant
“Ms. Judy has truly saved my life.”
—Women’s Anger Management Group Participant
“We love Laura. She is genuine, caring, and so helpful. She makes us feel good about ourselves instead of us feeling belittled or weird. She has been a true gift to our family.”
—Counseling Center Client
“Let me start by saying I am VERY thankful to have had this experience. With that being said, I don’t’ have the words to describe my counselor. This man is, without a doubt, the most genuine, caring and understanding individual I have ever encountered. He showed me it was OK not to be perfect but to strive for it every day. I believe now that I can help others like myself.”
—Men’s Anger Management Group Participant
“Judy has been very compassionate and understanding but also straightforward, which I appreciate. She gave me practical ways to handle my issues and I am so happy with the progress I have made.”
—Counseling Center Client
Women’s Battering Intervention and Prevention Program
This program is limited to women who have been identified as the aggressors in an intimate partner domestic violence incident. The program will be held virtually in accordance with the current restrictions and needs of our clients during this pandemic. The program includes an intake/orientation session as well as 19 groups sessions which participants will be required to attend in order to complete. This program will include a $60 intake/orientation fee as well as a fee of $25 per group session (19 in total). Group times and days have yet to be determined. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us at (409)833-2668 ext 108.