The mission of the Women's Center is to provide safety, shelter, and support to women and their families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, and to facilitate their development.
The Women's Center is an independent, non-profit human service agency founded in 1977. Its mission is to provide
safety, shelter, and support to women and their families and to facilitate their development. The Women's Center provides free
and comprehensive services designed to address the issues of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse.
The services offered by The Women's Center include emergency shelter for abused families, transitional living, counseling, child abuse prevention programming, legal advocacy and employment counseling. The Center also provides Hispanic outreach, community education programs, information and referral services, and a 24-hour crisis line.
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Q: When, where and how did The Women's Center get its start?
In 1977, five women, now known as the founding mothers, identified a lack of services in the community for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, displaced homemakers, and childcare. These five women opened the doors in a welcoming old home on Grand Avenue in Waukesha. The founding mothers and other volunteers began providing counseling and other services.
Q: What were some of The Women's Center's major accomplishments in the last 30 years?
Sister House, our domestic violence shelter, opened its doors at an undisclosed location in 1981. Support and education were provided to women and their families in a safe environment. A crisis line answered questions and offered support 24-hours a day. Upon its move to 726 N East Avenue in 1984, The Women's Center expanded services to include Legal Advocacy, Family Support Project, Emergency Respite Childcare, Community Education, Hispanic Outreach, Information and Referral Services and Volunteer Programs. Four homes were purchased in 1989 to launch our Transitional Living Program that offers affordable housing and unique services to families in transition from abuse. Through counseling, families receive the support needed to make a successful progression to independence and self-sufficiency The Women's Center has raised awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. Community leaders now recognize that these are two of the most common crimes in our society. They credit The Women's Center for raising awareness, providing training and saving lives. With wide community support, The Women's Center constructed and moved into its new facility in 2003, providing all of our free programs and services at one location. Sister House became the first public shelter in Southeastern Wisconsin. It is home to victims and families of domestic violence and provides more safety features than ever before. As a public shelter it helps remove the stigma from families of domestic violence. This sends a powerful message to our community about the prevalence of domestic violence.
Q: What hopes does The Women's Center have for the future?
The Women's Center plans to continue offering free services and programs to all women and their families affected by domestic violence, sexual abuse and assault in Southeastern Wisconsin. In the future, The Women's Center hopes to expand its community education programs, reaching out to more young people to prevent abuse, perhaps even adding a male community educator to more effectively reach young adolescent boys. The ultimate hope of The Women's Center is to end violence in our homes and communities.
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The Women's Center Video
Watch this video about The Women's Center and its services