Sexual Assault is a term that refers to unwanted sexual acts against or without a persons consent. This type of assault encompasses more than violent physical incidents – sexual assault refers to any sexual, physical, verbal or visual act that forces a person against their will to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention. Family Support Services provides advocacy and assistance to victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. All victims are welcome to attend the Sexual Assault Support Group, Thursdays at 5:45-7:15 p.m. These services are always provided at no charge. Full-time advocates are available by appointment, but also available for walk-in clients as needed.
We also have a Volunteer Advocate Program for immediate response and advocacy to victims of sexual assault. This program is certified through the office of the Attorney General of Texas. Volunteers participate in a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction, and an additional 10 hours of shadowing with an experienced advocate. Volunteers provide support, advocacy, information and accompaniment through a difficult and often emotional time.
We also provide community education for area businesses, educational classes and community partners, to inform on the issue of sexual violence: national and local statistics, recovery options, and services available, as well as the work being done locally to address this issue. This agency is also a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), which is a partnership of community stakeholders in the field of sexual violence: law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner’s (SANE) program, Family Support Services, and local educational institutions. We are working to improve the response to sexual violence in our community.