The 2015 Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ (GWIL) campaign provides support and publicity for local non-profit charitable organizations competing for GWIL matching funds during the campaign’s Week of Online Giving, April 19-26. Around Dripping Springs is pleased to feature this series of GWIL non-profit profiles to help publicize their unique missions to the community. We invite you to get to know these wonderful organizers and learn more about the important work they are each doing to enrich our community. Please share their stories, and be sure to donate to your favorite during the Week of Online Giving! Learn more at: http://www.GivinWhereImLivin.org
NOW MEET THE HAYS-CALDWELL WOMEN’S CENTER:
Established in 1978, the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) is distinguished by having opened one of the original six family violence shelters funded by the State of Texas in 1980 and by having established one of the original ten sexual assault programs funded in Texas in 1984. HCWC then established a Children’s Advocacy Center, Roxanne’s House, in 1997. In 2009 we opened a new, state-of-the-art McCoy Family Violence Shelter, and in 2012 we moved our other programs and teams into our remodeled and expanded current facilities to better serve victims. HCWC is unique in Central Texas in co-locating a shelter, counseling and advocacy services for victims of family violence and sexual assault with a Children’s Advocacy Center.
HCWC’s competent and highly tenured staff includes an Executive Director with an MBA and 22 years’ continuous service and a Director of Programs and Services with 35 years’ tenure. Our Director of Operations earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and has worked in the family violence/sexual assault field for 14 years with seven at HCWC. The Shelter Services Director has worked 23 years at HCWC. Our Director of Development and Community Partnerships earned a master’s degree in Counseling and has worked for HCWC for 13 years including 12 years as Program Director for our Children’s Advocacy Center. Our Counseling and Resource Program Director earned a master’s degree in Social Work and has worked in the field for 10 years. Roxanne’s House Program Director earned a master’s degree in Professional Counseling and has served 5 years with HCWC.
The purpose of HCWC is to create an environment where violence and abuse are not tolerated in the communities we serve. The Center will provide education, violence prevention services and crisis intervention to victims of family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse. We will seek the support and resources necessary to achieve this mission. Our philosophy is that physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse of one human being by another is unacceptable. HCWC believes that all abuse diminishes or prohibits the full expression of life and growth which is the right of every woman, child, and man.
The need for HCWC’s services is great. HCWC serves two counties with 1,227 square miles and an estimated population of 207,724 (U.S. Census, 2012). The population of Hays County has grown rapidly with a population increase of 73% since 2000 (US Census, 2012). Since 2007, HCWC has seen demand for our services increase by 68%. HCWC has continued to meet the needs of this growing community by broadening our base of local community support and using innovative approaches to meet client needs. Last year, HCWC provided face-to-face services to 1,766 victims of abuse – 955 victims of family violence, 444 victims of sexual assault and 423 victims of child abuse (please note that some are victims of more than one type of abuse). Victims from Dripping Springs receiving services included 6 victims of family violence, 5 victims of sexual assault and 24 victims of child abuse.
In addition, HCWC provided 515 educational presentations and reached 11,409 students and adults in an effort to break the cycles of abuse.
“I cannot imagine getting through this difficult journey without HCWC. At the time of the report, my 10-year-old girl wanted to commit suicide. I credit the support from Roxanne’s House for saving my little girl’s life.” – Mother of a Sexually-Abused Girl
“I no longer go as often, but from time to time, when things get hard, I send an email. Within 24 hours we have a time set up to talk. It’s been the biggest blessing to me. From my counseling sessions I have found myself, and I wouldn’t have been able to do so without the Center. I feel more empowered than ever before.” – Sexual Assault Survivor
“I feel good here. I feel safe. My kids feel safe. We are so looking forward to our new life.” – Family Violence Survivor (please note: most family violence homicides occur during the process of, or after, the victim leaves her/his abuser). In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims – American Bar Association.
One of our goals is to reach out to our entire service area and engage the communities we serve in prevention efforts, learning about self-compassion to foster healing, and supporting services for victims. We formed town teams in seven cities in Hays and Caldwell counties. In early 2015, our Dripping Springs Team worked with Dripping Springs High School, local attorneys and the Hays County District Attorney’s office to produce the Third Annual Mock Trial at the Hays County Government Center. Over 150 students acted the roles of juries, attorneys, witnesses, and alleged criminals and victims with real judges to try cases of alleged dating violence. In addition, we have partnered with a Dripping Springs organization to provide services to abuse victims in their home town. We are participating in Givin’ Where I’m Livin’ in 2015.
Supporters may visit our website at www.hcwc.org to learn more about the organization and to donate. If you would like to request a presentation for your organization or company about issues of family violence, dating violence, child abuse or sexual assault, please contact Melissa Rodriguez at (512) 396-3404 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact her about a fundraising or donation project. If you would like to volunteer, we have many ways to help. Contact Zoe Arabzadegan at (512) 396-3404 or at email@example.com. Last year 241 volunteers donated 218,307 hours of service to HCWC. For services, call our 24-hour HELPline at (512) 396-HELP (4357).