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Emergency shelter services and crisis intervention for domestic violence victims continue to be the core services offered. And, although services are provided for all members of the violent home, the primary client of this organization is the abused person.
The goals of WAS are to provide crisis victims with a safe house where they can feel at ease, identify those issues that create feelings of crisis, help individuals in crisis achieve workable solutions, provide options and referrals to victims and their families, increase community support, and provide intervention services to all members of the family.
Emergency Shelter Services
Women's Aid Service provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children in Clare, Gratiot, and Isabella Counties. Our shelter is a home where victims and children can find respite from the cycle of abuse. While in this safe, supportive environment they receive counseling to explore options available to them. Our counselors also assist them in implementing their choices. This process may include advocacy on their behalf, community referrals and transportation when appropriate.
Women's Aid Service's staff is available 24 hours a day to provide assistance to victims caught in the cycle of domestic violence.
Many adult and child victims of domestic violence are not seeking shelter or emergency services. Our outreach counseling program is designed to meet their needs. This program my include home visits, advocacy and transportation to case-related appointments. The counseling goal is violence-free living. Anyone in Clare, Gratiot or Isabella County who is in, or has been in, an abusive relationship is eligible for this service.
Sexual Assault Services
Persons who have experienced sexual assault may have long-term special needs related to this abuse. To meet these needs, we have developed a sexual assault program to provide immediate crisis intervention for rape victims. Our crisis intervention services are handled by staff and volunteers specifically trained in the dynamics of sexual abuse.
Individual counseling and support services are available to victims who have been sexually assaulted in their childhood or as an adult. Support is also available for significant others of victims. Other services include advocacy for clients in the legal and medical systems, weekly support group for adult survivors of child or adult sexual abuse, and community education.
Men Overcoming Violent Experiences
Men Overcoming Violent Experiences is a program designed to assist the adult male who is violent and/or abusive toward others. It is our belief that violence is nonproductive and negatively affects the perpetrator, the victim, the familey and the community. It is the primary goal of the M.O.V.E. program to end this destructive cycle and to work toward building stable, communicative intepersonal relationships.
The group meets weekly. Each session provides time for education, discussion, and processing. The men move from recognizing and halting abusive/violent patterns to developing skills in coping, decision-making, stress reduction, trust, and intimacy. A fee is required prior to admittance.
Crisis Intervention Services
These services are the backbone of our agency. Our staff and volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to: 1) answer the crisis phone line, 2) attend to the immediate needs of the caller and, when indicated, mobilize on-call staff to make face-to-face contact with victims and assist them in reaching the shelter, 3) advocate for them in the legal and medical systems, 4) listen to and support the victims during this time of crisis, 5) explain how Women's Aid Service can continue to help them.
While assisting families in crisis we are dedicated to establishing a supportive and respectful relationship with them. This includes a full understanding that our services are confidential.
The criminal justice system's response to domestic violence involves participation of the victims. Our agency offers legal advocacy services to assist victims in their walk through the legal process. Our legal advocates are also trained to help victims apply for Personal Protection Orders. Their services can be accessed by calling our agency.
Support Groups are facilitated by Women's Aid Service's staff.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Members are women who are in abusive relationships or are formerly battered women. The groups incorporate the following topics:
a. Naming the abuse
b. Learning to understand the cycle of abuse
c. Issues related to building self-esteem
d. Learning assertiveness skills
e. Issues related to forming new non-abusive relationships
Transportation and child care are available, during group, for group members.
SEXUAL ASSAULT: This group focuses on the speical issues involved in being an adult survivor of child or adult sexual abuse.
Women Overcoming Violent Experiences
W.O.V.E. is for women who have been violent and/or abusive toward others. It is our belief that violence is non-productive and negatively affects the perpetrator, the victim, the family and the community. It is the primary goal of the W.O.V.E. program to end this destructive cycle and to work toward building stable, communicative interpersonal relationships.
The group meets weekly. Each session provides time for education, discussion, and processing. The women move from recognizing and halting abusive/violent patterns to developing skills in coping, decision-making, stress reduction, trust, and intimacy. A fee is required prior to admittance.
- Rebecca Conway
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