As we prepare for the November 14th Guild of Middle Eastern Dance 14th Annual Benefit for Women's Advocates, here’s a little insight into the Women’s Advocates organization and how they got started.
Women’s Advocates is known to many as the first shelter in the nation for women and their children escaping domestic violence. When they were formed as a collective-based nonprofit in 1972, Women’s Advocates operated out of a legal assistance office, then one of the founding volunteers’ homes, then in a rented office space. The organization began essentially as a divorce rights information line—a number for women to call to get legal information and advice about leaving their abusive partners. Soon, volunteers realized that the biggest obstacle for these women who were trying to escape domestic violence was a safe place to stay. Thus, they decided to write letters asking friends, family and members of the community for funds in order to purchase a permanent shelter for women. Within two years, they collected enough funds to make a down payment on the house at 584 Grand Avenue. Here, they were able to house all of the administrative and advocacy offices plus the residential rooms and kitchen for residents. Later on, Women’s Advocates purchased the two adjoining properties and connected them via links.
Today, Women’s Advocates provides shelter and services to an average of 50 women and children daily, conducts crisis interventions and safety referrals via the crisis line daily, and educates students and professionals about domestic abuse awareness, prevention and services.
Now, More Than Ever, the Need is Great
With multiple challenges impacting the communities they support, Women’s Advocates is finding new and creative ways to respond. Attend their October 15th event (or watch it on YouTube later) for an update on programs and stories of what they’ve been up to since March.
How Can You Help?
Join Women’s Advocates virtually Oct 15 at Noon for their virtual fundraising event to recognize domestic violence awareness month and the movement to end domestic violence.
In the midst of a global pandemic, we’ve been called on by the community to help more. To do this, they need support and invite you to join them for their virtual event which will take place on Thursday, October 15 at Noon on YouTube.
The event is free to attend and donations will be requested. A challenge grant has been issued – a dollar for dollar match up to $75,000. This fund will equip Women’s Advocates to continue supporting victims of domestic violence with 24/7 crisis intervention, emergency shelter, housing advocacy, and the mobilization of safety resources throughout the community and beyond.
For more information, and to RSVP to attend the October 15th fundraiser, please visit the Women’s Advocates Fundraiser Facebook event.