Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Elder Abuse and Human Trafficking

24 Hour Crisis Hotline 1-877-727-3225

Provides support and guidance for callers experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, or is a survivor of human sex trafficking.

Since January 1, 2017,

The Barbara Saville Shelter has housed 81 women and 90 children who were homeless and are survivors of domestic violence

The Barbara Saville shelter has housed 51 women and 54 children who were homeless

The KCAO Legal Advocate assisted 208 victims of domestic violence with temporary restraining orders at no cost to the survivor.

Barbara Saville Shelter

The Barbara Saville Women's Shelter provides a living environment for men, women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence.   Women and children who are homeless due to unforeseen circumstances and life situations are also welcome at the shelter when space is available. Services are provided using a Culturally Responsible and Trauma Informed Approach. 

Due to the nature of the facility, intakes are conducted at the Barbara Saville Business Office which is located at 1208 N. Douty Street, Hanford; the location of the Barbara Saville Women's Shelter is kept confidential.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that is a pervasive life-threatening crime affecting people in all our communities regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, social standing and immigration status.

Abuse is not love. It is one person in a relationship having power and control over the other person.

Domestic violence takes many forms: physical; emotional; economic; stalking and harassment; and sexual.

Characteristics of Domestic Violence

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse does not always leave marks or cause permanent damage:

  • Scratching, biting, grabbing or spitting.

  • Shoving and pushing.

  • Slapping and punching.

  • Throwing objects to hurt or intimidate you.

  • Destroying possessions or treasured objects.

  • Hurting or threatening to hurt your children and/or pets.

  • Disrupting your sleeping patterns to make you feel exhausted.

  • Burning.

  • Strangling.

  • Attacking or threatening to attack with a weapon.

  • Any threats or actual attempts to kill you.

Emotional/Psychological Abuse

Emotional/psychological abuse is a behavior your partner uses to control you or damage your emotional well-being. It can be verbal or non-verbal:

  • Name-calling, mocking, intimidation and making humiliating remarks or gestures.

  • Yelling in your face or standing is a menacing way.

  • Manipulating your children.

  • Telling you what to do or where you can and cannot go.

  • Placing little value on what you say.

  • Interrupting, changing topics, not listening or responding, and twisting your words.

  • Putting you down in front of other people.

  • Saying negative things about your friends and family.

  • Preventing or making it difficult for you to see friends or relatives

  • Cheating or being overly jealous.

  • Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior by blaming others or saying you caused it.

  • Monitoring your phone calls, texts, car and computer use.

Economic/Financial Abuse

Economic/financial abuse happens when the abuser makes a victim entirely financially dependent on the abuser, with no power or say in the relationship:

  • Forbidding the victim to work or attend school.

  • Sabotaging employment opportunities by giving the victim a black eye or other visible injury prior to an important meeting.

  • Jeopardizing employment by stalking or harassing the victim at the workplace.

  • Denying access to a vehicle or damaging the vehicle so that the victim cannot get to work.

  • Sabotaging educational opportunities by destroying class assignments.

  • Withholding money or giving an allowance.

  • Denying access to bank accounts.

  • Hiding family assets.

  • Running up debt in the victim’s name.

Stalking and Harassment

Stalking and harassment can happen between strangers or in relationships, where the abusive partner or ex demands your time even after you make it clear you do not want contact:

  • Making unwanted visits or sending you unwanted messages (voicemails, text messages, emails, etc.).

  • Following you, including installing GPS tracking software on your car or cell phone without your knowledge or consent.

  • Checking up on you constantly.

  • Embarrassing you in public.

  • Refusing to leave when asked.

Sexual Abuse:

  • Sexual abuse does occur in committed relationships and marriages.

Sexual Assault Services

Trained advocates provide support and referrals to survivors and are available to accompany the survivor’s through the healing process. Professional therapy by a licensed therapist is also provided to the sexual assault survivors.

What is sexual assault? 

The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:

  • Attempted rape

  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching

  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body

  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape


What is rape? 

Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape. The term rape is often used as a legal definition to specifically include sexual penetration without consent. For its Uniform Crime Reports, the FBI defines rape as “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” To see how your state legally defines rape and other forms of sexual assault, visit RAINN's State Law Database.  California defines consent as:  “Consent” is defined to mean positive cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to the exercise of free will. The person must act freely and voluntarily and have knowledge of the nature of the act or transaction involved. California Penal Code § 261.6.  The age of consent in California is 18 years.


What is force? 

Force doesn’t always refer to physical pressure. Perpetrators may use emotional coercion, psychological force, or manipulation to coerce a victim into non-consensual sex. Some perpetrators will use threats to force a victim to comply, such as threatening to hurt the victim or their family or other intimidation tactics.

Who are the perpetrators?

The majority of perpetrators are someone known to the victim. Approximately seven out of 10 of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, such as in the case of intimate partner sexual violence or acquaintance rape.

The term “date rape” is sometimes used to refer to acquaintance rape. Perpetrators of acquaintance rape might be a date, but they could also be a classmate, a neighbor, a friend’s significant other, or any number of different roles. It’s important to remember that dating, instances of past intimacy, or other acts like kissing do not give someone consent for increased or continued sexual contact.

In other instances the victim may not know the perpetrator at all. This type of sexual violence is sometimes referred to as stranger rape. Stranger rape can occur in several different ways:

  • Blitz sexual assault: when a perpetrator quickly and brutally assaults the victim with no prior contact, usually at night in a public place

  • Contact sexual assault: when a perpetrator contacts the victim and tries to gain their trust by flirting, luring the victim to their car, or otherwise trying to coerce the victim into a situation where the sexual assault will occur

  • Home invasion sexual assault: when a stranger breaks into the victim's home to commit the assault

Survivors of both stranger rape and acquaintance rape often blame themselves for behaving in a way that encouraged the perpetrator. It’s important to remember that the victim is a never to blame for the actions of a perpetrator.

Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) 

Trained volunteers and/or staff respond as the advocate for the sexual assault survivor during the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE). Advocates also provide referrals to the survivors and are available to accompany the survivor through the legal process. Professional Therapy by a licensed therapist is also provided to the sexual assault survivors.

Human Sex Trafficking

Human sex trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of commercial sex act.

Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.

Legal and Program Advocates are available to support the needs of Human Sex Trafficking survivors.  Survivors can receive safe shelter, therapy, legal assistance to file a Temporary Restraining Order, Court Accompaniment, and other services as needed.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. (An older adult is defined as someone age 60 or older.) Forms of elder abuse are below.

Physical Abuse: the intentional use of physical force that results in acute or chronic illness, bodily injury, physical pain, functional impairment, distress, or death. Physical abuse may include, but is not limited to, violent acts such as striking (with or without an object or weapon), hitting, beating, scratching, biting, choking, suffocation, pushing, shoving, shaking, slapping, kicking, stomping, pinching, and burning.

Sexual Abuse or Abusive Sexual Contact: forced or unwanted sexual interaction (touching and non-touching acts) of any kind with an older adult. This may include forced or unwanted:

  • Completed or attempted contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration

  • Contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus

  • Penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object

  • Intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks

These acts also qualify as sexual abuse if they are committed against a person who is not competent to give informed approval.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse: verbal or nonverbal behavior that results in the infliction of anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress. Examples include behaviors intended to humiliate (e.g., calling names or insults), threaten (e.g., expressing an intent to initiate nursing home placement), isolate (e.g., seclusion from family or friends), or control (e.g., prohibiting or limiting access to transportation, telephone, money or other resources).

Neglect: failure by a caregiver or other responsible person to protect an elder from harm, or the failure to meet needs for essential medical care, nutrition, hydration, hygiene, clothing, basic activities of daily living or shelter, which results in a serious risk of compromised health and safety. Examples include not providing adequate nutrition, hygiene, clothing, shelter, or access to necessary health care; or failure to prevent exposure to unsafe activities and environments.

Financial Abuse or Exploitation: the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an older individual’s resources by a caregiver or other person in a trusting relationship, for the benefit of someone other than the older individual. This includes depriving an older person of rightful access to, information about, or use of, personal benefits, resources, belongings, or assets. Examples include forgery, misuse or theft of money or possessions; use of coercion or deception to surrender finances or property; or improper use of guardianship or power of attorney.

Legal and Program Advocates are available to support the needs of Elder Abuse survivors.  Elder Abuse survivors have unique needs and our team will assist each survivor to ensure needs are met and will include: safe shelter, therapy, legal assistance to file a Temporary Restraining Order, Court Accompaniment, and other services as needed.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was passed in 2003 with unanimous support from both parties in Congress. The purpose of the act was to “provide for the analysis of the incidence and effects of prison rape in Federal, State, and local institutions and to provide information, resources, recommendations, and funding to protect individuals from prison rape.

KCAO provides trained Sexual Assault Advocates that will help prisoners through their own healing process and ensure they obtain appropriate services while incarcerated.

Court Accompaniment

KCAO’s trained Legal Advocate, Intake Specialist assist survivors with obtaining protective orders, accompany survivors to court, police interviews or other legal settings, and provide referrals and references as necessary per each individual survivor’s case.

Legal Advocacy Program

KCAO’s trained Legal Advocate/Intake Specialists assist survivors with obtaining protective orders, accompany clients to court, police interview or other legal settings and provides referrals and references as necessary per each individual survivor’s case. The Legal Advocacy Program deals with domestic violence, restraining orders, referrals to other companies and court accompaniment.