KENDALL COUNTY, Texas — Crisis hotline calls come in throughout the day at the Kendall County Women's Shelter, which keeps up to 32 women and children safe in an undisclosed location.
The shelter has a locked bedroom, access to a kitchen and a laundry room. There's even space for the family pet.
It's as close to home as they can get when they have no choice but to leave their own.
"We have people from all walks of life," CEO Hattie Allen said. "Whether it's emotionally, verbally, physically or sexually abused by their intimate partner."
Allen spoke on behalf of the women in her care because they don't feel comfortable being interviewed on-camera.
"It's just not worth the risk. The abuser cannot find and locate them," Allen said. "It really can be a life or death situation for them and their kids."
We've seen the worst of it in our area this past month. On July 9, Jessica Sanchez was found dead nine days after police said she was abducted by her ex-boyfriend in Devine.
On July 31, San Antonio police said Mary Lou Rodriguez's common-law husband confessed to killing her.
"Know the red flags," Allen said. "So extreme jealousy, quick involvement, just isolating you from your friends and family."
Allen said the shelter has been at capacity for the last six months. On average, women and children stay anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
In the meantime, they're still providing other resources to people in need. Guidance is being offered over the phone.
"They can utilize our non-residential services," Allen said. "Our counseling, our legal advocacy, our case management."
Victims are also connected with nearby shelters that have space to take them in.
"There's programs in Kerrville and New Braunfels, Seguin and San Antonio."
Allen knows making the call can be scary, but it's the first step to a fresh start.
"The most dangerous time for a victim is when they're leaving," she said. "So we try to walk through it with them."
The shelter is currently in need of volunteers and donations. For more information, you can call (830)331-1001.
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