• Report: #262977

Complaint Review: Williamson County Battered Women's Shelter

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  • Submitted: Tue, July 24, 2007
  • Updated: Sun, July 04, 2010

  • Reported By:Chicago Illinois
Williamson County Battered Women's Shelter
211 Commerce Blvd. #103 Round Rock, Texas U.S.A.

Williamson County Battered Women's Shelter Why Do They Get Money? Who Do They Protect? Round Rock Texas

*Author of original report: OLDER WOMEN WITHOUT ANY CHILDREN ARE BEING BATTERED MORE & MORE --GET READY TO SERVE THEM!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Probably 100% True

*UPDATE Employee: CEO

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I was in a very bad relationship when I was living here! I lived in rural Wiliamson County, Texas in a place that was so remote that it was 15 miles to the neartest public telephone. The abuser had disabled my vehicle and was going to get a shotgun. I ran and made it to the one public telephone and I dialed the 800 number.

The lady on the phone told me there was nothing they could do for me because I did not have any children and they would not come and get me.

Excuse me? My life was in danger and I am a lady and elgible for this service and you people who are sucking the United Way Funding are NOT going to help me when I asked you for your help urgently!

I hung up the phone and spent a very scared and lonely night hiding behind a rural convenience store that had long since closed. No point in calling the sheriff's department in this good ol'boy county because it is always the woman's fauolt--SHE is the one who makes the alcoholic drink and SHE is the one who is responsible for all of the alcoholic's set backs and personality conflicts at his jobs and for his job losses by their way of thinking. And besides, women NEED to be slapped around just to show them who is boss.
So the deputy sheriffs and constables in Williamson County used to laugh at the courthouse whenever a case involving family violence or child and spousal abuse would cross their path.

After one particuliar bad blowup, I rode in to the nearby larger town with the abuser, promplty jumped out of the vehicle at the first opportunity and caught the public bus with money he never knew I had. I went to a pay phone and I dialed the HELP number again. This time a lady told me that if I could get to Williamson County, a peace officer would come and pick me up and bring me to the shelter where I would be safe.

There WERE no buses running to Williamson County at that time except one that ran about two miles from the county line --a hefty walk in the blazing Central Texas sun. So I took that bus, got off where the driver told e to, went to a rather unsavory convenience store and called the Williamson County Sheriff's Department. They laughed at me and referred me to the local police in Cedar Park, Texas. They said they were not a taxi service for women stupid enough to be in my situation.

The police officer was baffled as I was. I believe he at least had the courtesy to call his dispatcher and have her contact the battered women's shelter. Whoever the liar was who had told me I could get transport to the Battered Women's Shelter if I could get to Williamson County had apparently gone off duty and the woman who had replaced her laughed like I had told the best joke of the year. I was not getting any transport to that facility and the Cedar Park police officer had no authority to take me there anyway --wherever there was. Locations of Battered Women's Shelters aren't exactly plastered on every TV screen to keep the abusers from finding out where they are so they can' t get their gallon of whiskey and six-shooter nd do reprisals on everyone for taking their chew toy and punching bag, aka the human being who used to be the one person they pledge to love and cherish, away.

And so he drove away, leaving me feeling confused, angry and rather dizzy from the sun --it was about 102 degrees Fahrenheit that day. I had no choice but to go back where I came from and maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

The WILLIAMSON COUNTY SO-CALLED BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTER IS A JOKE like almost everything else in that insular, secretive little place and NO MORE MONEY SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THEM UNTIL IT IS ASCERTAINED HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY ASSISTED BY THEM TO ESCAPE ABUSIVE HELL SITUATIONS!

They are NOT serving the rural areas of the county at all and so the inclusiveness indicated by their name COULD constitute FRAUD!

I am glad I am not there anymore but every so often when I can't chew my food very well because my teeth were knocked out of alignment ( all present, however, because I fought backl!) or my back aches because it was kicked with a steel-toed work boot, and I have nightmares, I remember this place. It was less than a year ago!

Anonymous
Chicago, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/24/2007 06:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Williamson-County-Battered-Womens-Shelter/Round-Rock-Texas-78664/Williamson-County-Battered-Womens-Shelter-Why-Do-They-Get-Money-Who-Do-They-Protect-Rou-262977. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

OLDER WOMEN WITHOUT ANY CHILDREN ARE BEING BATTERED MORE & MORE --GET READY TO SERVE THEM!

AUTHOR: Helene - (U.S.A.)

   I HAVE NOTICED THAT EVERY TIME THE BOOM AND BUST CYCLES THAT MAKE UP THE AMERICAN ECONOMY TURN TO BUST, THE FAMILY VIOLENCE STATS SKYROCKET.

   NOT ONLY ARE THERE YOUNG MOTHERS IN CERTAIN ETHNIC GROUPS WHO ARE HAVING THE STUFFINGS KNOCKED OUT OF THEM BECAUSE IT IS MACHISMO PART OF THEIR CULTURE FOR THE MEN TO TAKE OUT ALL OF THEIR FRUSTRATIONS ON THESE WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN --NATIVE AMERICANS AND CERTAIN MEXICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN GROUPS ARE FAMOUS FOR THIS BUT WHITE AND AFRICAN AMERICANS CAN BE JUST AS BAD --AND IT HAPPENS IN ALL SOCIOECONOMIC LEVELS OF SOCIETY.

   WELL, GET READY FOR THE OLDER WOMEN WHOSE HUSBANDS BATTER THEM IN THE HOPES THEY WILL FILE FOR DIVORCE SO THE HUSBAND CAN HAVE THE NEWER AND YOUNGER CUTE TROPHY WIFE.  MANY OF THESE WOMEN WERE FORMER PROFESSIONAL WOMEN WHO WERE PUT OUT OF WORK WHEN THEY BECAME 40 OR MAYBE OLDER AND CAN NO LONGER GET A JOB. IT HAPPENS. AND IF THEY WERE RAISED IN THE 1960S TO 1970S, THEY PROBABLY NEVER HAD CHILDREN OR NEVER WANTED ANY OR DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO RAISE THEM AND NEVER SAW ANY REASON TO HAVE ANY. ESPECIALLY IF THEY DID NOT THINK THEY COULD PROVIDE FOR THEM; OR THEY DID NOT WANT THEM TO HAVE THE HELLISH DISCRIMINATION OR FAMILY SITUATIONS THAT THEY HAD HAD.

   I KNOW A LOT OF WOMEN MY AGE WHO ARE NOT LESBIANS AND HAVE NO CHILDREN AND HAVE NEVER WANTED ANY.... WE ARE MORE THAN JUST BREEDERS. BIOLOGY NEVER DETERMINED MY DESTINY...

   I NEVER DREAMED I WOULD EVER BE OUT OF WORK, OVER 50 AND NEEDING A JOB AND NOT GETTING ONE AND THAT THIS PERSON WHO SWORE TO LOVE AND CHERISH ME IN SICKNESS IN HEALTH AND IN PROSPERITY AND POVERTY UNTIL DEATH DO WE PART WOULD BECOME A MISERLY, DEAF, ABUSIVE MONSTER WHO WOULD CALL THE COPS TO TRY AND GET ME PUT IN JAIL SO HE COULD SPEND TIME WITH HIS SWEETIE. UNFORTUNATELY FOR HIM, COPS HAVE CHANGED THE WAY THEY ARREST FOR ALLEGATIONS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE AND WE WERE BOTH ARRESTED AND TAKEN IN FOR THE COUNTY COURT AT LAW JUDGE TO SORT IT ALL OUT. HE DID AND THE CHARGES AGAINST ME WERE DISMISSED. BUT NOW I HAVE AN ARREST ON MY RECORD AND IN THESE DAYS, WHEN JOBS ARE SO HARD TO GET, I MIGHT AS WELL HAVE A PRISON RAP SHEET THREE FEET LONG JUST BECAUSE OF THAT ONE ARREST.

SMART GUY HAS REALLY HURT MY CHANCES OF GETTING A JOB. HIS BOSS JUST LAUGHED AND TOLD HIM THAT "YOU HAVE TO KNOCK THOSE BITCHES AROUND TO SHOW THEM WHO IS BOSS." WINK.WINK.NUDGE.  IT DID NOT HURT HIS EMPLOYMENT POSSIBILITIES AT ALL. WE WERE GOING TO THE TARGET RANGE SO I COULD REQUALIFY WITH MY PISTOL TO GET MY SECURITY OFFICER COMMISSION BACK AND THE COPS SEARCHED OUR VEHICLE WITHOUT A WARRANT AND TOOK MY PISTOL BUT THEY LEFT  THE TWO SHOTGUNS AND HIS PISTOL. AND THEY WON'T GIVE IT BACK TO ME AND IT IS HOW I MADE MY LIVING FOR 20 YEARS. THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL UNDER SEARCH AND SEIZURE LAWS. LAWYERS HAVE TOLD ME I SHOULD GET IT BACK BUT THEY WON'T HELP ME PRO BONO AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. MY SPOUSE WILL NOT LET ME HAVE ANY MONEY TO PAY THE LAWYER TO HELP ME AND HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ME LOSING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

OK. GO TO THE BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTER AND THEN WHAT? HOW IS A WOMAN IN HER LATE 50S GOING TO START OVER AGAIN WHEN WOMEN IN THEIR 40S CAN'T GET WORK IN THIS TOWN WITH OUT SOME SORT OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION OR LICENSE LIKE CPA OR RN OR MD OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT???????? MUCH LESS GET ANOTHER PARTNER?

THIS ATTITUDE ABOUT ALL WOMEN ARE GOOD FOR  IS HAVING CHILDREN IS JUST AS OFFENSIVE TO ME AS ANY OTHER  STEREOTYPE. HITLER BELIEVED THE ONLY PLACES FOR WOMEN WERE IN THE CHURCH, KITCHEN, HAVING CHILDREN --"BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT EVERY NINE MONTHS..."

I AGREE THAT WOMEN WHO ARE EXPECTING AND WOMEN WHO DO HAVE CHILDREN SHOULD GET PRIORITY IN ASSISTANCE FROM THE BATTERED WOMEN SHELTERS BUT THAT THERE SHOULD ALSO BE ROOM FOR OLDER WOMEN WITH ABUSIVE SPOUSES AND, YES, FOR LESBIANS TOO!

JUST BECAUSE A WOMAN DOES NOT WANT CHILDREN DOES NOT MEAN THAT SHE IS A l*****n. WHEN YOU CONSIDER WHAT A MESS THIS WORLD IS, I  THINK IT IS A  SMART DECISION NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN DEPENDENT ON ME AND BEING FORCED TO LEARN THINGS IN PUBLIC SCHOOL THAT ARE AGAINST MY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND CONSIST OF LIES, LIES AND DAMNED LIES....

GET READY FOR THE INFLUX OF OLDER, CHILDLESS BATTERED WOMEN BANNED FROM THE JOB MARKET BECAUSE OF THEIR AGE BECAUSE WE ARE COMING TO A BATTERED WOMEN'S SHELTER NEAR YOU SOON. AND SOME LAWYER IS GOING TO SUE LIKE HELL IF A THERE IS NO ROOM...

IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO GET INTO SAFE PLACE  AS A CLIENT OR AS AN EMPLOYEE UNLESS YOU ARE " A WOMAN OF COLOR" BY THE WAY.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Probably 100% True

AUTHOR: Former Volunteer - (United States of America)

My status should be "former volunteer" instead of "former employee" which was the closest choice.

I noticed that the CEO had a rebuttal that said "if" this had happened.  There was a needed change of leadership in 2005/2006 and the current CEO might not know just how bad it had gotten under the predecessor and her inner circle.  One of the typical inner circle behavior was go through the donations and price the choice designer clothing and purses for each other and "buy" them for a fraction of what they would have sold on the floor of the thrift shop that had been set up.   She also came up with an unwritten rule that lesbians weren't welcome.

In all fairness to the volunteers who answer the phones, the good staff had all been driven off and they were doing their best with the "here is the book and quickie course ... and now you too are an expert" approach at that time.  The first person probably repeated what she had been told or heard and honestly thought she would be helped.

I'm not sure why she wasn't referred to SafePlace in Austin.  A woman doesn't have to go to the shelter in their own county or even their own state.  Going to a local church and talking to the pastor might have gotten better results than law enforcement in Texas. 

For whomever is reading this, please at least try to reach out for help in Williamson County -- they do have great resources if they decide to help you.   Be aware that Williamson County is very much a fundamentalist Christian-Republican dominated culture with major issues with anybody that is different.  Austin might be a better destination for some.

One of the most ethical groups out there is the Salvation Army which does have strained limited resources in Austin to help homeless women and they do prioritize those with children.  And, there are multiple other shelters which at least will give you time to think and a chance to get on the list to move into the battered women shelters that help transition women to a new life.  
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#3 UPDATE Employee

CEO

AUTHOR: Executive Director - (USA)

Domestic violence is a crime that, unfortunately, will take the lives of more than 100 Texas women in the next 12 months.  Last year, 163 Texas women and children were taken from their loved ones by someone who was supposed to love and protect them. 

But, this is only part of the story.  There are untold numbers of men, women and children who will survive and thrive in the aftermath of their victimization.  The mission of Hope Alliance is to decrease the number of Texans lost each year to family and sexual violence and increase the number of survivors.  Thus far in 2009, the agency has provided more than 7000 nights of safety to over 350 women and children in Williamson County.  In addition, 4000 hotline callers have been assisted and over 60 survivors have been accompanied to the hospital and court. 

Yet, the success is not ours.  The indviduals we help are the courageous ones who draw upon their many strengths to overcome the limitations and obstacles they face in pursuing violence-free futures. 

It would be unforgiveable if an individual were treated as described in this report.  I do not doubt that the survivor who filed the report was feeling afraid, angry, frustrated and completely alone.  It is also true that the victim services organizations in Williamson County work very hard to make sure the system doesn't further victimize survivors and their families.  Another fact is that there are not enough resources to meet the myriad of needs victims have.  Unfortunately, 10-15 families every month have to be referred elsewhere because Hope Alliance's shelter is full.

As the CEO of Williamson County Crisis Center, doing business as Hope Alliance since 2005, I welcome any opportunity to discuss the successes men, women and children are having with the help of Hope Alliance, as well as to explore ways in which the agency can more effectively utilize its limited resources and improve its effectiveness.  That said, in 2008, 93% of adult clients receiving assistance from the agency reported that they felt more hopeful and 96% said that they felt better equipped to avoid revictimization as a result of the services they had received from Hope Alliance.  

For those interested in more information about domestic violence, sexual assault or Hope Alliance, please visit our website at www.hopealliancetx.org or contact me, the CEO, at 512-255-1212 or 1-800-460-SAFE (7233).  Services include emergency transportation, shelter, transitional housing, court and hospital accompaniment, counseling and prevention education.  All services are provided confidentially and free of charge.

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