The mission of the Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. and the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter is to break the cycle of violence and to strengthen families by providing the necessary tools for self-sufficiency through delivery of emergency shelter, transitional housing, education, effective parenting education, and specialized intervention with youth and the elderly.
Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. (FVPS) has been helping victims of domestic violence in San Antonio since 1977. FVPS began as an emergency shelter for women and children and we now offer a complete array of shelter, transitional housing, counseling, children’s, and legal services to help individuals and families recover from the pain and long-term effects of domestic violence.
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.