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It Makes a Difference to This One

Providing Hope and Support for Victims of All Ages, Genders, and Race

Deaf Smith County Crisis Center in Hereford, Texas is a nonprofit crisis center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We have a 24-hour hotline and we advocate for victims of all ages—we do not discriminate.

Our center is a safe place for anyone who needs protection and support. We offer a range of services as well as education programs to help prevent others from experiencing the cycle of violence.

About Us

Our center has been helping victims of abuse since 1996. We are the only crisis center offering services in English and Spanish in the local area, which is a very rural community. Apart from us, the second nearest crisis center is 50 miles away. Our team has a combined experience of more than 50 years in handling various situations related to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower victims/survivors and to improve their quality of life through crisis intervention, support, counseling, advocacy, and education.

Statement of Philosophy 

Deaf Smith County Crisis Center believes in the right of all persons to live without fear, abuse, or oppression.

We believe that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are best served by locally based programs that are supported

by their communities.

We believe that service should be available to victims without regard to race, national origin, age, physical handicap, religion,

sex, or sexual preference.

We believe that the Deaf Smith County Crisis Center board members, staff, volunteers, and concerned others (United Way) working collectively within the community can change our societal attitudes about, and response to, family violence and/or sexual assault.

The Starfish Story by Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out, if I don’t throw them back they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish. You can’t make a difference.”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it back into the surf. Then smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

Victim Rights

A victim of crime is defined by Chapter 56 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as, (1) someone who is the victim of sexual assault, kidnapping, or aggravated robbery, or who has suffered bodily injury or death because of the criminal conduct of another, (2) the close relative (spouse, parent, adult brother or sister, or child) of a deceased victim, or (3) the guardian of a victim.

The law also applies to victims of juvenile crime, including victims who suffer property loss. The State of Texas intends that victims of crime receive the following safeguards, assurances, and considerations:

  • Receive adequate protection from harm and threats of harm arising from cooperation with prosecution efforts;
  • Have their safety considered by the magistrate when setting bail;
  • Receive information, on request, of relevant court proceedings, including appellate proceedings, of cancellations and rescheduling prior to the event, and appellate court decisions after the decisions are entered but before they are made public;
  • Be informed, when requested, by a peace officer about the defendant’s right to bail and criminal investigation procedures, and from the prosecutor’s office about general procedures in the criminal justice system, including plea agreements, restitution, appeals, and parole;
  • Provide pertinent information concerning the impact of the crime to the probation department prior to sentencing;
  • Information about the Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund and payment for a medical examination for a victim of sexual assault, and, on request, referral to social service agencies that provide additional assistance;
  • Information, on request, about parole procedures; notification of parole proceedings and of the inmate's release; and the opportunity to participate in the parole process by submitting written information to the Board of Pardons and Paroles for inclusion in the defendant’s file for consideration by the Board prior to parole;
  • A separate or secure waiting area at all public court proceedings;
  • Prompt return of any property that is no longer needed as evidence;
  • Have the prosecutor notify, upon request, an employer that the need for the victim’s testimony may involve the victim’s
     absence from work;

  • On request, counseling and testing regarding AIDS and HIV infection and testing for victims of sexual assault;
  • Request victim-offender mediation coordinated by the Victim Services Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice;
  • Be informed of the use and purpose of a victim impact statement, to complete a victim impact statement and to have the statement considered before sentencing and acceptance of a plea bargain and before an inmate is released on parole.

A victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim may be present at all public court proceedings, with the consent of the presiding judge.

A judge, attorney for the state, peace officer, or law enforcement agency is not liable for a failure or inability to provide a service

 enumerated herein.

Victims should also know that they can have a victim advocate accompany them during the sexual assault exam if an advocate is available at the time of the examination.

Please call your crime victim services contacts in law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office for more information about victim services in your community.

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