Residents of Hays and Caldwell Counties can contact HCWC 24-hours a day: 512-396-4357 or 1-800-700-4292.
Sexual assault victims have a variety of services available to them. All services provided by HCWC are free and offered in both English and Spanish. We serve male and female victims of sexual assault, and welcome individuals regardless of gender identity or expression.
A trained advocate from HCWC can speak to you on the phone 24-hours a day, meet you at a local hospital or see you at our main office (during business hours) to let you know all your options so that you can decide what to do.
Call 512-396-HELP(4357) 24-hours a day to speak to an advocate.
If you’ve recently been sexually assaulted, you may CHOOSE to do or NOT do any of the following:
- have a medical evaluation at the hospital*
- have a SAFE exam in which a specially-trained nurse collects forensic evidence after the assault*
- during the SAFE exam, the patient can choose to accept or decline any part of the process
- most SAFE exams must be conducted within 96-120 hours after the assault
- report to law enforcement
- speak to a counselor or attend a support group
- speak to a legal advocate about Crime Victims Compensation Assistance and protective orders
- break a rental agreement (learn more here)
- seek emergency shelter or referrals for shelter
- receive information and referrals for additional services
*some medical care may cost money. Our Advocate and the medical personnel will do their best to inform you of costs ahead of time.
All of the above options are up to you. Call 512-396-HELP (4357) to talk to an advocate about your options.
What is sexual assault? Sexual assault is any unwanted, non-consensual sexual contact against any individual by another using manipulation, pressure, tricks, coercion or physical force. It is any act a person is forced to perform or receive that includes touching of the genitals or breasts. This includes rape, sodomy, touching or oral sex where the victim is unwilling or unable to give verbal consent, including being under 17 years old, intoxicated, drugged or unconscious.
HCWC’s Hospital Emergency Advocate Response Team, or HEARTeam, provides 24-hour crisis response to Hays and Caldwell County hospitals for survivors of sexual assault and family violence.
HEARTeam advocates (trained volunteers and staff) can provide support for the survivor as well as friends and family. HEARTeam advocates can help explain the evidence collection process, listen to the survivor, or even sit nearby as a silent support.
HEARTeam advocates can also provide information on the effects of abuse as well as offer information on other services HCWC provides to help during the recovery and healing process. If you or someone you know is in need of hospital accompaniment please call 512-396-4357 or 1-800-700-4292.
The HEARTeam in action. Volunteer Advocate Catherine Shellman, right, assists a sexual assault victim (middle) as she undergoes an exam from the SANE Nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), Moira Foley, left.