$574,674 grant to provide resources for abuse victims in Hays County

Staff report

 

A two-year grant totaling just over $500,000 awarded by the St. David’s Founation to the Hays Caldwell Women’s Center gives victims of sexual abuse and family violence access to vital resources.

The grant, totaling $574,674, allows St. David’s to provide professional counseling and advocacy for victims of family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse who reside in Hays and Caldwell County.

Counseling and Advocacy Program Director Jennifer Vasquez said in a statement funding from the St. Davids’ Foundation goes toward providing services for victims of abuse by licensed, professionally trained clinical staff with Master’s degrees in Counseling and Social Work.   

“Our Counseling and Advocacy staff have extensive education and training on the impact of trauma and abuse on the clients we serve,” Vasquez said in a press release. 

The funding gives victims access to six months of free individual counseling and ongoing support groups facilitated by licensed professionals who help them work toward their goal of living a life free of abuse, Vasquez said. 

HCWC has benefitted from support from the St. David’s Foundation, which dates back to 2006. This grant allowed HCWC to expand counseling and advocacy services outside of its two main offices in San Marcos and Caldwell County. That includes offsite locations in Lockhart, Dripping Springs and Luling. 

The center also provides additional support in its family violence shelter and expands services with the children’s advocacy center, Roxanne’s House. 

In addition to individual counseling and advocacy, HCWC counselors are currently providing seven adult groups. Those groups include a six week Domestic Violence Psychoeducational class and two children’s groups on a regular basis.

Last year, HCWC provided professional counseling services to 951 victims who benefitted from 8,045 counseling sessions and 1,957 advocacy days all provided free-of-charge and confidential.

In total, HCWC provided free face-to-face services to 1,743 victims of abuse in 2015 and responded to 2,490 HELPline crisis calls.  

According to a press release, clients of the HCWC cited counseling and advocacy as the most valuable resource. 

“I don’t feel isolated anymore, individual counseling was awesome, life changing,” one person said.

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