The mission of Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. is to break the cycle of violence and to strengthen families by providing the necessary tools for self-sufficiency through delivery of emergency shelter, effective therapy, parenting education, housing and specialized intervention with children, youth, the elderly, including services for those who perpetrate the abuse.
In 1977, Ann Whitehead, a local social worker, realized the pervasiveness of domestic violence in San Antonio. She envisioned an environment where victims of abuse could find respite from fear. Whitehead enlisted the help of Reverend Don Baugh, Director of the San Antonio Community of Churches, and together with faith, determination, and $400, opened the Battered Women’s Shelter of Bexar County. The three-bedroom house on San Antonio’s north side was immediately filled to capacity. Concerned citizens raised money, collected food, clothing, and diapers, and operated the shelter on a day-to-day basis for the first year. The Battered Women Shelter of Bexar County later relocated to a converted church building, where it remained for 23 years.
In 1987, the needs of both women and children were identified due to victims having witnessed violence in their homes as children. Programs were established to meet these needs and a new name, Battered Women and Children’s Shelter (BWCS). In May 2002 BWCS moved to a new complex that is able to accommodate 220 people.
Today, BWCS offers individual and group counseling services, parenting education, legal services, and later expanded programs to include transitional housing, medical, dental clinic and specialized children’s services. Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. operates the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, along with its location at 7911 Broadway where non-residential services and program staff are housed.
FVPS served over 9,000 victims of domestic violence, primarily women and children, in FY17. FVPS provides access to mental and physical health services, legal services, housing and educational assistance, with the goal of fostering long-term stability and freedom from violence. Intervention with children is a priority, in order to heal families and stop the inter-generational cycle of violence.