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The Willow Domestic Violence Center Services
Restoring the health and safety of victims of family and domestic violence.
The Willow Domestic Violence Center is dedicated to the empowerment of women and children; the creation of peaceful, safe space; the promotion of equality and respect for all people; the appreciation of differences, and the social action necessary achieve these goals.
Our philosophy mandates us to create the safest environment possible in which women can identify and evaluate their choices and then make the decisions that they want for their lives. Our philosophy holds that each woman is the expert on her own experience. As workers in the domestic violence movement, we have the responsibility to share as much information and as many resources as possible with the women in the shelter. And, as survivors, each resident, support group member and crisis caller has the right to take that information and make her own decisions.
Empowerment means that we must believe women and advocate and facilitate the choices made by survivors - the experts on their own experience!
We work to provide women with tools to access community resources, rather than duplicate those services within the shelter. Our rules are created to allow for the safety of residents and to facilitate group living. We avoid rules that would require women to demonstrate the "progress" they have made on their situation in order to continue to reside within the shelter.
While The Willow Domestic Violence Center acknowledges the work that psychologists, therapists, researchers, academics, legal counsel, and other professionals have done as both survivors and supporters of survivors in the domestic violence movement; we maintain that women need not have the privilege of formal education or professional status in order to be amply qualified to serve and assist survivors. Further, we maintain that women without formal education continue to provide services of incalculable value to the movement as a whole. As such, The Willow Domestic Violence Center does not have any requirements in regard to formal education in training, but relies heavily on life experience, skills and understanding of the nature and dynamics of domestic violence when filling both paid and volunteer staff positions.
Our philosophy recognizes that in addition to the ravages of the violence in battering relationships, women are also surviving the more subtle yet equally devastating violence of racism, homophobia, classism, sexism, ageism, Anti-Arab oppression, Anti-Jewish oppression, fat oppression, ableism, and eurocentrism, among others. Our mission enjoins us to participate in the social action necessary to eliminate all violence in the world and so we organize against these ISMs in our communities as well as violence in its more obvious forms of rape, battery, incest, medical abuse, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and child abuse.
Finally, our philosophy and our service approach celebrate the potential for a safe, nurturing, and joyous world as realized in the courage of each survivor as she works toward health and healing in her own life.