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The Center Against Domestic Violence works toward a society free from violence and abuse. The Center leads the way by offering education and prevention programs and promoting the well-being and economic independence of survivors of abuse.
In 1976, there was nowhere for New York women and children to turn for shelter from domestic violence. The Brooklyn YWCA, National Congress of Neighborhood Women and the New York City Mayor's Task Force on Rape, recognized the need for public shelter, and founded the Center for the Elimination of Violence in the Family, Inc., now the Center Against Domestic Violence. In 1977, the Center opened the first publicly funded domestic violence shelter in New York State. In September 2004 the Center opened its third shelter, Women's Second Start.
In 1997 we began to broaden our services to meet the needs of teenagers by establishing the PEER (Pride + Equality = Respect) program in alternative high schools. The following year, the Center became one of the original participants in New York City's Adopt-a-School Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP). In 2002, the Center began Speak your Peace, a self-funded pilot program reaching out to intermediate school students. For the past two years, in partnership with the Bank Street College of Education, the Center has been developing and teaching Relationships are Elementary, the first teen relationship abuse prevention program aimed at elementary school students. We now reach teens and preteens in seventeen schools around New York City with innovative date violence prevention services.
Through RAPP, Speak your Peace and Relationships Are Elementary, social workers counsel more than 30,000 teens in twelve high schools and four middle schools to prevent domestic violence. These programs encourage and support young men and women to become peer leaders and speak out against date violence.
While at Women's Survival Space,Women's Safe Start and Women's Second Start, the Center's three shelters, women gain the tools to become survivors and take control of their lives. The Center provides workshops like Moms' Survival Skills, the Empowerment Workshop and Economic Literacy. Vocational counseling helps formerly abused women take their places in the workforce. More than 600 women and children a year can find safety at the Center's shelters.
Children's Growing Place , Children's Clubhouse and the Kids' Club aim to stop the cycle of domestic abuse by focusing on its youngest victims, the children of battered women. In 1998 Children's Growing Place, a unique preschool and after-school program for children from violent homes, was named one of New York City's ten best preschools by the New York State Department of Education.
The Center provides community-based case management and therapeutic counseling. Our 24-hour hotline staff offers hope to thousands of callers each year. Center Against DV News, the Center's periodic newsletter, covering issues related to domestic abuse, is distributed to 2000 people.
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