24 HOUR HOTLINE: 1.800.460.7233

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Legal Services and Advocacy

Legal Advocacy

Hope Alliance legal advocates assist victims in navigating and interfacing with the legal system. Legal advocates are not attorneys and are unable to give legal advice. However, legal advocates are specially trained and offer an expertise around legal resources, systems, and procedures.

Our advocates understand how overwhelming and complicated the legal system can be, especially for survivors. They safety plan with victims who are accessing the legal system for various types of issues including protective orders, child custody and divorce.

Advocates will also review the survivor's legal rights and options and can connect clients to other helpful agencies including legal aid support. Legal advocates also accompany clients to court who may need additional emotional and moral support. Hope Alliance advocates can also accompany you to any law enforcement interviews or criminal justice proceedings where you want the support of an advocate. This sometimes includes meetings with attorneys, trial, filing a police report, interviews with law enforcement, etc.

Advocacy is available 24 hours, 7 days/weel via the 24-hour hotline (1-800-460-7233) and face-to-face, by appointment and also on a walk-in basis to survivors of family violence, stranger and non-stranger sexual violence. Hope Alliance victim advocates can assist on behalf of survivors with third parties such as schools, employers, law enforcement, housing authorities, healthcare professional, and prosecutors.

Virtual Legal Clinic

Hope Alliance hosts a virtual clinic once a month where clients can make an hour appointment to receive legal advice from an attorney "face to face". Call the hotline for more information about the legal clinic.

Legal Resources

County Attorney - Williamson County

Assistance with Protective Orders

Texas Law Help

Legal information on divorce, custody, and protective orders. Court forms can be attained from this website.

The Attorney General of Texas

Crime Victims Compensation, Address Confidentiality Program, crime victims right and child support information.

VINE

Victims can sign up to receive notifications on the custody status of their offenders.

Texas Advocacy Project

Free legal advice and information around divorce, custody, protective orders, child support, and financial empowerment.

Protective Order Assistance

A protective order legally requires an abuser to stay 500 feet away from the victim's home or workplace. It also prohibits them from stalking, assaulting, harassing and threatening the victim. It can also prohibit the offender from going near a school or daycare center that a child protected under the order attends. In order to qualify for a protective order, family violence must have happened in the past and be likely to occur again in the future. Additionally, the abuser must be a current or former spouse, blood relative, relative by marriage, a person with whom you have a child, a household member or roommate, a foster parent or child, or a person with whom you had a continuing romantic relationship. Any adult can also file for a protective order to protect a child from domestic violence.

Every case is unique, so if you think you might be in need of a protective order, please call the hotline at 1-800-460-7233 to discuss your situation and resources that may be available to you. Our advocates can assist with filing a protective order application, attend your protective order hearing with you, or connect you with other legal advocacy services and resources.

Crime Victims' Compensation

Hope Alliance advocates can also assist you with applying from Crime Victims' Compensation (CVC) if you qualify under the program's eligibility requirements and have reported the crime to law enforcement. The CVC program can help provide you with financial assistance from crime-related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources. This may provide you with assistance on expenses such as medical care, hospital stays, counseling and relocation expenses.

Hospital Advocacy

If you have recently been sexually assaulted, Hope Alliance can send a certified sexual assault advocate to meet you at a local hospital for help and support. Our advocates are compassionate and supportive, and can provide crisis intervention and/or even be in the room with you, your family, and/or friends at the hospital while medical and forensic examinations are conducted. The advocate will help you understand your rights as a victim of violence and let you know what other resources are available to you. Our advocates are compassionate and supportive and can be in the room with you while your SANE (Sexual Assault Nurses Exam) takes place, if you so choose.

Please remember that if you are sexually assaulted, your first call should be to 911. Once you are safely away from your attacker, if possible, ask a friend or family member to wait with you until the police arrive. In order to preserve evidence, don't bathe, brush your teeth or hair, change clothes, go to the bathroom, eat or drink, or clean your wounds until after you have been examined by the SANE nurse or have been given the okay by law enforcement.

It is your choice to report the assault to the police, but you can have a SANE exam as a "non-reporter" and make the decision to press charges or not at a later time. Even if you decide not to report the assault, you should seek medical attention from a hospital or clinic and it is never too late to call the Hope Alliance hotline for support. The SANE exam is available to adult and child survivors of family violence, stranger and non-stranger sexual violence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.