35 Years of Serving Victims of Abuse

Chris B Cropped

Chris Banbury: The namesake of our Volunteer of the Year Award, Chris was one of the early Board Members. She shared her personal story of domestic violence with the networking group, which had a great impact on their decision to create a shelter. Chris worked tirelessly for victims of violence and was also one of the original advocates for the Austin Victims Assistance Team.

This year our website will highlight milestones and fun facts from HCWC’s past.  Here are just a few!

1978.  Forty women met at a “brown bag” lunch series to discuss the creation of a community program to benefit women in personal and professional growth. The result was the founding of the Hays County Women’s Center. An office was opened at 322 Love Street.

1979.  The first staff was hired including Sarah Whittaker, Director, and Elva (Enriquez) Gonzalez as Bookkeeper. More than 30 volunteers were trained at the first Volunteer Training.  HCWC became one of the original six shelters to receive state funding.

1980.  Shelter for victims of Family Violence opened at 717 Georgia Street. HCWC assisted 14 rape victims that year. In June, reports indicate HCWC served 8 women, 20 children, 1 male and 1 battered cat.

1981.  First Annual Women’s Center barbeque coincided with a major flood! HCWC had 169 dues-paying members.

1982.  Since its inception, the Center has served over 275 victims of family violence and 53 victims of rape, incest and child sexual assault. That year, 45 public presentations were delivered to 1,919 people.

1983.  The Center received an offer from the McCoy family to build a new shelter.