Gifts to Our Community: The Center for Women and Families
In 1912, a group of women banded together to volunteer their time and energy to care for women in abusive relationships. These trailblazing visionaries planted the seeds for a gift that grew into The Center For Women and Families, a place that’s committed to providing support services to anyone and everyone affected by intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
“Even though we’re called The Center For Women and Families,” says CEO Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, “we provide domestic violence and intimate partner services for every gender.” Services this facility offers are completely free, and The Center is prepared to provide a wide range of help, from a bed for the night in its emergency shelter to an on-site medical visit. The Center also operates a 24-hour/365-day-a-year crisis phone line that gives immediate safety planning and assistance.
Elizabeth has been a firsthand witness to how this program saves the lives of people who participate. “People come to us in shelter with nothing because they have fled a very lethal situation.” They are also offered the opportunity to speak to legal aid services and given counseling and therapy support.
The Center also provides comfort to women and families with children and their pets. “Half of our population are children, and we have a relationship with Kentucky Humane Society,” Elizabeth says. To further aid the children of the nine communities it serves, The Center leads several prevention projects within the school system.
The people who walk through The Center’s doors are connected to resources that enable them to become self-reliant and remove themselves from the trauma they’re experiencing. “We walk alongside everyone without judgment and bring life-saving services that help heal,” Elizabeth says.