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Stories of Hope: The Women's Center

Tina’s Story from The Women's Center.

Tina was paroled to Artemis II from Bristol County House of Correction.  After her parole ended, she stayed in shelter and worked the program through March 2011.  Tina used the skills she had learned in the program to obtain two jobs while living in shelter, reunified with all three of her children with help from the Department of Child & Family (DCF), and moved into her own apartment in the Family Preservation Program, a housing program she accessed through High Point Treatment Center.  She is currently co-facilitating an Anger Management Group at PAACA.  She continues to maintain her sobriety, volunteer in the community, and keeps in contact with us.

After leaving the program, she sent the following note to Artemis II:  “I want to say that I admire the women on your staff and I am grateful for the opportunity to have had them in my life.  You have given me a chance to grow as a woman and be a better mother for my children.  I am living my dream today and it is because of this program and the staff that didn’t give up on me.  You are truly a blessing in my life. I will carry you with me each and every day.  Thinking of you always, Tina.”

 

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"We need to wake people up to the attitudes and actions that continue to keep victims at risk and our cities, towns and cultural communities unsafe." ~ Paulo Pinto, MPA, Executive Director, MAPS - Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers

Your money and Your life: Summit to Address Economic Security for Rural Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 20, 2013

CONTACTS:                                                                                                                                    

Toni Troop, Jane Doe Inc., 617-212-7571

Amy Waldman, DPH, (413) 586-7525 x3142

 

YOUR MONEY AND YOUR LIFE: SUMMIT TO ADDRESS ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR RURAL SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Western Massachusettseffort represents an innovative collaboration
between the anti-poverty and anti-violence communities.

NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts:  On September 20, 2013, advocates, survivors, business leaders, and activists from across western Massachusetts will gather for a day-long summit on Advancing the Economic Security of Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence at the Smith College Conference Center, 9:00am-4:00pm. 

The summit represents a new approach to rural domestic and sexual violence response, one that addresses a reality that survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their advocates have long known– that economic security is necessary for survivor safety.  Abusers cut off victims’ access to money, education, and employment, making it harder for them to leave and leaving them few options when they do, a situation exacerbated in rural areas by isolation, lack of affordable transportation, and limited job opportunities.  In Massachusetts, where domestic violence is the leading cause of women’s homelessness, communities can no longer afford to treat violence and poverty as two separate problems.  The Economic Security Summit shows the way forward.

The Massachusetts Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Project of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which is sponsoring the summit along with Jane Doe Inc.,the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, identified that while the movement has learned over the years how to support survivors in healing from the physical and emotional trauma of abuse, there is much work to do individually and systemically to support survivors in achieving economic stability, a key factor in permanently ending the impact of abuse and trauma in their lives.

“We’re in consultation with national experts and taking the best practices from innovative programs in our region and from other parts of the state to infuse our work with an understanding of the systems at play that perpetuate violence and poverty.  Thinking broadly, but working toward specific, achievable goals.” said Amy Waldman, Project Director of the Massachusetts Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Project.

The summit will feature keynote speakers, Dr. Loretta Pyles of  SUNY Albany, specializing in issues of economic and social justice and violence prevention and author of Progressive Community Organizing: Reflective Practice in a Globalizing World; and Sarah Bocinski of Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington, D.C. with national expertise in building the economic security of survivors of domestic and sexual violence and author of the recent policy brief: “Economic Security and Rural Survivors.”

Mary R. Lauby, Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc., said, “The unique needs of sexual and domestic violence survivors and victims in rural communities require a focused analysis and response.  Local programs are developing effective models to increase financial literacy and economic opportunities for survivors.  Meanwhile, JDI and our members have been working with corporations such as Verizon and The Allstate Foundation to improve opportunities for survivors to gain financial independence. This summit is a wonderful chance for us to learn from one another and help strengthen our efforts to further the safety, dignity and liberty of all survivors.”

 

ABOUT US

The Massachusetts Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Projectis a federally funded program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that supports comprehensiveservices and advocacy for adult and adolescent survivors of domestic and sexual violence in 84 rural communities in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester Counties. MRDSVP is a partnership program between the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT), the Center for Women and Community of the University of Massachusetts, the Elizabeth Freeman Center, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Jane Doe Inc. (the state’s domestic and sexual violence coalition). Additional partners include the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, the Franklin County Community Health Center and the Governor’s Council Addressing Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. The partnership fosters comprehensive community education and violence prevention initiatives to professionals, community leaders and abuse survivors in order to increase community collaboration and awareness and to engage communities in addressing the problem.

Jane Doe Inc. (JDI) is the statewide advocacy membership coalition in Massachusetts working to ensure the safety, liberty and dignity of survivors of sexual and domestic violence.   JDI advocates for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness, and supports our member programs to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services

For more information please contact Becca Bradburd at becca.bradburd.ruralproject@gmail.com.

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