RGV Protects

A program of BCFS Health and Human Services Community Services Division (CSD), RGV Protects addresses violence against children in the lower Rio Grande Valley (RGV) area of Texas, where some children are victims of maltreatment, gang or gun-related violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and sex trafficking. Due to fear of self-reporting from survivors and limited services, it has been difficult to identify help for those who need it most. RGV Protects is a vital step in closing this gap in services.

CSD was awarded funding for RGV Protects through a competitive grant process with the United States’ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and began the program in 2021. The program serves children and families in Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr Counties.

Working with partner groups and law enforcement, RGV Protects provides victims a voice and protection. The program works to reduce the chance that Rio Grande Valley children and families become victims by setting up avenues for victims to report wrongdoing and holding offenders accountable, providing survivors of violence with long-term services and knowledge, and partnering with local schools and organizations to deter future acts of violence.

How the Program Works

By identifying known violence and the barriers to treatment in three South Texas counties, RGV Protects can make real change in lives and communities.

Known Violence Risk Factors for Violence Barriers to Response
  • Child maltreatment
  • Sex trafficking
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Gun violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Gang violence
  • Poverty
  • Drug or alcohol dependence
  • High school dropout rate
  • Targeting of racial minority populations
  • Legal status
  • Limited prevention efforts
  • Fear of reporting
  • Limited outreach
  • Limted victim services

Why the Program Matters