100 East Cano St.

Edinburg, TX 78539


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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

A victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and child abuse may apply for a protective order, free of charge, by calling the Protective Order Division at (956)292-7613. The victim can request to speak to a Victim Advocate and obtain a safety plan and information on how to access shelter services.

All cases must be investigated and filed by a law enforcement agency. Please call 911 to report any crime.
Hidalgo County has a computer system called VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) where you can register your telephone number with the records of a specific inmate. If that individual begins the process to bond out or be released from the County Jail the computer will contact you by phone and provide you with that information. To register call: 1-877-TX4-VINE (1-877-894-8463) or go on line to VINELink.
Contact the Victims Assistance Unit at the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office for assistance with Crime Victims Compensation. Crime Victims Compensation is a fund administered by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the DA’s Office can help you apply for benefits. http://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/
Please call Victim Assistance at the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office at (956) 292-7616.

Call 911 to report the threatening and harassing behavior and then contact the DA’s Office to provide the Advocate or Prosecutor with this information and law enforcement case number. If you do not know the direct number to your Advocate or Prosecutor, please call (956) 292-7600.

If the report has not been completed by the law enforcement agency, we will not have information on the case. Victims may contact the Crime Victim Liaisons at the law enforcement agency investigating their case to obtain case information and victim services. 

The Victim’s Unit Advocates will mail out to the victim an indictment notice with the cause number and district court where the case will be prosecuted, information on how to apply for crime victims compensation, victims rights and the victim impact statement. 

If the defendant is in custody, the victim can register through VINE  to receive notifications of their case by calling 1-866-277-7477 . VINE will notify victims ONLY if the defendant is in Hidalgo County Detention Facility. If the defendant is in  state custody with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) victims can call  (800) 848-4284 or by e-mail at [email protected] or if the defendant is in Federal/ICE Custody the victim can call 1-855-48-VOICE to receive notification. If there is a case pending in Intake, the victim can contact the Victim’s Unit by calling 956-292-7616, to receive information on the status of their case. If the case has been disposed, and defendant was sentenced to Texas Department of Corrections, victims can contact TDCJ Victim Services by calling  (800) 848-4284 or obtain offender information at https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/ks_offender.html

If the defendant was sentenced to community supervision, the victim can contact the Probation Officer assigned to supervise the defendant to receive information on post sentence services. 

Under Texas law, victims of crime are entitled to financial assistance. The funds are administered by the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program under the Office of the Attorney General.

Victims can apply for CVC with Victim Liaisons at arresting law enforcement agency.

Victims can also apply for CVC with our Victims Unit on the 2nd Floor.

You can get an application directly from the Crime Victims’ Compensation Program in the Office of the Attorney General by calling 1-800-983-9933, or you can download the application, fill it out and mail it in.

English: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cvs/cvcapplication.pdf

Spanish: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/cvs/cvcapplication_span.pdf

Please read the information on eligibility and reimbursable expenses carefully before filling out the Crime Victims’ Compensation Application.

Juvenile/Civil Division

No. Prosecutors are governed by a code of ethics that prohibits talking to a party who is already represented by an attorney. 

According to Texas Law, anyone who thinks a child, person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS (Department of Family & Protective Services).

Section 261.101 of the Texas Family Code mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect must report it immediately. The report may be made to (1) any local or state law enforcement agency; or (2) the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

You can report abuse or neglect by contacting The Texas Department of Family & Protective Services. You can call the Abuse Hotline toll-free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nationwide, or report on the DFPS secure website. 

By phone: 1-800-252-5400

Online: https://www.txabusehotline.org/

Protective Orders

Here are some items you can bring with you, if they are available:

  • Picture ID;
  • Name and contact information for witnesses;
  • Address and DOB for the Respondent if applying for a Protective Order;
  • Photos;
  • Recordings;
  • Any other evidence you think is relevant to your case, i.e. police reports, medical records;

A Protective Order is an order by the court which:

  • Orders a person not to commit any acts of family violence.
  • Orders a person not to come within a certain distance of where the victim lives and works and of the victims’ children, their home, school or child care.
  • Orders a person not to communicate with the victim.
  • Prevents a person from harassing, annoying, alarming, abusing, tormenting or embarrassing the victim or any member of the victims family or household.

A victim of:

  • Family violence;
  • Dating Violence;
  • Stalking;
  • Sexual Assault;
  • Human Trafficking;
  • Indecent Assault.

You (the applicant) will be required to fill out an application providing us with information on yourself and the person you are applying against (the respondent).  

An Advocate will meet with you to gather all the facts and information regarding your case.  **NOTE – CHANGES DURING COVID.

Your application will be reviewed by an attorney.  Please know that our resources are limited; however, we will review your application as quickly as possible.  The attorney will contact you to discuss your application. 

If we are unable to accept your application and file on your behalf, we will do our best to provide you resources to assist you. 

You must be able to provide an address where the Respondent can be served.  If your application is accepted, the respondent must be served with the paperwork.  If the respondent cannot be personally served, the Protective Order will not be granted.  This may take time and is out of our control.  

You will be required to provide your driver’s license or photo ID.  


Please provide us with any police reports, case numbers or any prior court orders you may have.

After you review and sign the affidavit, the documents will be filed with the District Clerk’s office who will then assign the case to a court.  The judge will then review the documents and then decide whether to grant a Temporary Ex-Parte order which will protect you until the hearing on the Protective Order.  

**A Temporary Ex-Parte order is a temporary order signed by the judge keeping the Respondent away from you until a final hearing.  

Once the application has been filed, a protective order hearing will be scheduled in two (2) weeks to allow the Sheriff’s Office time to serve the respondent.  

If the respondent has not been served, your Temporary Ex-Parte order will be extended and the case will be rescheduled for two (2) weeks.  This may take time and is out of our control.  

If the Respondent is served and agrees to the conditions, an Agreed Protective Order will be issued. If the respondent does not appear, we can request a Protective Order by default.  If the respondent denies the allegations, a hearing will be held before a Judge.

You will be accompanied in court by an Assistant District Attorney.  You will be called to the stand to testify.  

The Respondent may be represented by an attorney.  The respondent and/or his/her attorney will be able to ask you questions.  

You may bring witnesses on your behalf with personal knowledge of acts the respondent has committed against you.  Please inform the Assistant District Attorney handling your case of any witnesses beforehand.

If you have pictures, text messages or other evidence, please inform the Assistant District Attorney so that they may review the evidence.

At the end of the hearing, the Judge will decide whether to grant a Protective Order.  Once granted, a protective order is valid for 2 years or up to a lifetime.

If you are on probation, parole or have a pending criminal case, we may not be able to file a Protective Order on your behalf as this creates a conflict of interest; however, we will do our best to provide you resources to assist you.  

If you are being represented by a private attorney, your attorney can file a Protective Order on your behalf.

Once the respondent has been served with a Temporary Protective Order, he/she can be arrested for violating the Temporary Protective Order and Final Protective Order.  The order is valid nationwide.  Even if you relocate, the order protects the person not the address.

We ask that you always carry a certified copy of the order to show the police you are protected and they may be able to enforce the order. The information is also entered into a database that all law enforcement agencies have access to.

Even if you have a protective order, always be on guard. If you feel something is not ok, we ask that you always call the police.  We ask that you install cameras in your home, talk to your neighbors to keep an eye out.

  • Mujeres Unidas
  • Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office 
  • Weslaco Police Department
  • Edinburg Police Department 
  • Palmview Police Department
  • Sullivan City Police Department
  • Penitas Police Department
  • Hidalgo Police Department
  • Rio Grande Valley Empowerment Zone

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is a term that covers many types of acts committed by a current or former intimate partner against another or within the family.  It can take the form of physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse or other controlling behavior.   

Domestic Violence includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. 

  • Pushing/Shoving
  • Shaking
  • Pulling Hair
  • Slapping
  • Attempt Murder
  • Kicking
  • Strangulation
  • Punching
  • Burning/Cutting
  • Hit with Object
  • Threaten with Weapon
  • Criticism
  • Insults
  • Put downs
  • Ignoring
  • Blaming
  • Intimidation
  • Hurt/Kill pets
  • Isolation
  • Humiliation
  • Destroy Property
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Threats
  • Rape
  • Jealousy
  • Affairs
  • Unwanted Touch
  • Unwanted Sex
  • Rigid sex Roles
  • Prostitution
  • Diseases
  • Excessive jealousy/possessiveness;
  • Anger is a typical response when limits are set;
  • Controlling behavior;
  • Isolates or restrains you;
  • Sudden mood swings;
  • Cruelty to animals, children or elderly;
  • Does not let you work or go to school;
  • History of past battering;
  • Playful use of force during sex;
  • Tells you what to wear;
  • Threats of violence or suicide;
  • Abuses drugs and/or alcohol;
  • Forces you to work and turn over paycheck.

Call Mujeres Unidas and your local Police Department or Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.  If you need help determining which agency responds to your incident, call the District Attorney’s office at 956-292-7600.  

Be prepared to leave. Gather all important documents.  Make copies of house and car keys.  Pack clothes and medication for yourself and your children.  

When you sense danger, GET OUT.  

See your doctor for medical treatment.  Seek counseling to discuss your options.

You have a right to file charges, to get a protective order or seek other legal assistance. 

Bond conditions can be put in place without a hearing immediately after an arrest.  They are conditions that a person must agree to do (or not to do) to be released from custody while the person’s case is pending. 

Bond conditions can require the defendant: 

  • To stay away from your home and place of work;
  • Not communicate with your any member of your household;
  • To wear a GPS monitor;
  • To surrender any firearms;
  • To complete BIPP counseling, parenting classes, or substance abuse treatment.

Anyone charged with a domestic violence case will be required to appear in court.  If charged with a misdemeanor, your case will be heard in a County Court as Law.  If charged with a felony, your case will be heard in a District Court.  The defendant will appear for arraignment any other hearings set by the court and the District Attorney’s office will notify the victim of any court settings.  The case could be resolved at any point during the process or may go to trial.  

  • Decide and plan where you will go if you leave the home;
  • Practice how to get out of the home safely by identifying which escape route is the best;
  • Have a packed bag ready and keep it at the home of a close relative or friend;
  • Identify one or more neighbors who would call the police if they hear a disturbance in your home;
  • Devise a code word to use with you children, relative or neighbors when you need the police;
  • Keep your cell phone with you at all times.

You may call:

Mujeres Unidas

511 N. Cynthia

McAllen, Texas  78501

(956) 630-HURT

National Domestic Violence Hotline


1-800-787-3244 (TTY)

Chat: thehotline.org

Text loveisrespect: “LOVEIS” to 1-866-331-944

If you have any questions, please contact our Domestic Violence office at 956-292-7613. If you have an emergency, call 911 immediately.