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Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Program


Our Story

 Coming Soon!


Mission Statement:

As a community initiated and supported agency, The Health, Opportunity, Protection and Encouragement Center, Inc., hereafter called The H.O.P.E. Center, Inc., strives to serve those members of this community whose lives have been affected by violent abuse in their home. The long range benefits of this work will be a decrease in violent acts occurring in those particular homes and interruption in the cycle of generational family violence which spills out into every aspect of community life.

Target Goals:

  • Provide 24/7 immediate response and support and availability to individuals in crisis.
  • Offer transportation to victims served.
  • Provide a safe place for victims to recover
  • Be an advocate for clients served, connected them to as many necessary resources as possible.
  • Provide a collaborative and convenient counseling opportunity.
  • Maintain support groups to help victims uplift and connect with each other.
  • Educate the community about domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as what the agency offers clients.



Our Services

24 Hour Crisis Help-Line (423-745-5289)

  • A crisis help-line is operated by the shelter staff 24/7. Upon receiving a call staff assess the severity of the situation and begin crisis intervention support. This crisis intervention method is meant to stabilize the individuals in crisis, by empowering them and listening to them, while simultaneously assessing the severity of the situation. In this way, the shelter staff act as a support system for those in crisis, and can make decision about how to move forward with the client. A collaborative plan is often formed by the caller and the shelter staff, considering options and goals to improve upon or remove the individual from the situation. From here, the decided upon steps are taken to ensure the callers safety.


  • The Domestic violence and Sexual Assault Shelter program also provides emergency crisis transportation in response to emergency crisis calls. This transportation is meant to provide an immediate removal from the dangerous situation that the client is in. Beyond this emergency transport, the shelter will continue to provide necessary transportation for the longevity of the clients stay at the shelter.

Crisis (Emergency) Shelter

  • One of the most recognized features of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault program is the shelter. The program's shelter is in a discreet and undisclosed location and is staffed 24/7 to ensure safety. Furthermore, the availability of around-the-clock staff allows for immediate and consistent emotional support and encouragement.

Victim Advocacy

  • Victim advocacy is an essential part of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program at The HOPE Center Inc. This role is not unlike the family advocate at the Children's Advocacy Center in that the advocate connects the victim with essential resources throughout their immediate crisis response and recovery. This includes: hospital accompaniment at the time of the crisis, which simply involves support throughout this medical process along with intake procedures; acting as a support broker, meaning that the advocate is connecting their client victim with services such as housing, mental health counseling, and other needed social services; informing the client about victim compensation and aiding them in filing for this assistance; advocating and supporting the victim throughout the court process; and finally managing follow-up to ensure that the victim remains stable and secure.

Inner Agency Counseling Referrals

  • The HOPE Center Inc. collaborates with Omni Community Health to provide the highest quality and most convenient counseling care possible to both CAC and DV & SA clients. Thanks to this collaborative effort, Omni is located within the CAC building in both Athens and Cleveland, and the two agencies are able to work together in the best interest of the client being served.

Support Groups

  • The staff of the Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault program also maintains a support groups that meets at the shelter. This support group allows victims of similar situations to interact and discuss their situations withe staff present for immediate emotional support. Furthermore, the staff offers child care as needed during these support group meetings.

Community Education Presentations

  • Domestic Violence
  • Teen dating Violence
  • Rape Sexual Assault
  • Agency Services



Locate Us

704 West Madison Avenue -- Athens, Tennessee

423 - 745 - 5289


---Board of Directors---

Nicole GibbsVP of Marketing/Communications-Athens Federal Bank

  • President
  • Executive Committee

Susan Tullock - Business Owner - Bargain Barn & United Grocery Outlet

  • Treasurer
  • Executive Committee

Kathy Dougherty

  • Board Member
  • Executive Committee Secretary

Carolyn Colvin - Retired Victims Witness Coordinator - TN State

  • Board Member
  • Executive Committee
  • Vice-President

Lyn Thompson - Certified Public Accountant

  • Board Member
  • Strategic Planning Committee

Sharon Brown - State Farm Insurance

  • Board Member
  • Strategic Planning Committee

Debbie Petrey - HR Manager - Johnson Controls

  • Board Member

Robert Davis III - Captain - Athens Police Department

  • Past President
  • Strategic Planning Committee

Dave Graybeal - Keith United Methodist Church

  • Board Member

Linda Garza - Professor - Tennessee Wesleyan College

  • Board Member

Trey Winder - Attorney

  • Board Member