When a survivor enters the legal system, the experience can be daunting.

Legal Advocacy

Our legal services program provides clients with the support and tools needed to navigate the legal system, if they choose, with the goal of regaining their confidence, developing financial independence and rebuilding their lives free from violence.

Whether it be a civil or criminal court matter, survivors of domestic and sexual violence must be informed and have every available access to services. HAWC’s legal services include assistance for:

    • Legal Advocacy
    • Court Accompaniment
    • Pro Bono and Pro Se Support
    • Onsite Legal Clinics
    • Crime Victims Compensation Application
    • Address Confidentiality Program
    • Protective Order Application
    • Termination of Lease due to Experiences of Violence
    • Danger Assessment and the Co-creation of Individualized Legal Safety Plans

“At HAWC, the counselors made me feel believed. They showed me there was assistance and made me realize I was not alone.”

- Lucina, Survivor and HAWC Client

Every child deserves safety & love.

Children's Court Services


The children we serve inspire me to do this work, day in and day out. They do not let their abuse define them. They are true survivors.

- Sabrina Swan, Children’s Court Services Manager

Since 1993, Children’s Court Services (CCS) has been assisting child victims of crime and/or witnesses to crime, and their families, as they participate in the criminal justice system. Our court advocates educate, support and accompany children and their non-offending family members as they prepare for the court process. All services are free of charge.

Children who are crime victims of or witnesses to acts of violence have special needs, especially in coping with the effects of the traumatic experiences on their lives. They require assistance in order to understand and participate in the criminal justice system without being further traumatized by its often-confusing language and procedures. Parents/guardians often need support to help their child recover from the trauma and the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

CCS provides assistance to address the family’s need for information and support, including:

    • Explanation of law enforcement and legal procedures.
    • Updates on the status of the investigation and the court case.
    • Referrals for therapy, medical services and other community resources.
    • Assistance in applying to Crime Victims’ Compensation.
    • Court orientation for children.
    • Accompaniment to the District Attorney’s Office and court.
    • Information on probation and parole.

Yes. Every family is assigned an advocate.

The client advocate provides case updates and ongoing emotional support to parents/guardians as cases make their way through the court system. If a trial becomes necessary, the court advocate establishes a trusting relationship with the family, explains the legal system in terms the child can understand and serves as a support person in the courtroom when the child testifies. Since family members are often witnesses and therefore not allowed in the courtroom during the trial, the advocate remains with the child when they confront the perpetrator and testify about their experience. No child should have to walk into a courtroom alone.

To speak to an advocate about our Legal Advocacy and Court Services, call our 24-Hour Hotline.
24-Hour Hotline: 713-528-2121
TTY: 346-295-8994

If you suspect child abuse, please visit:

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