by Katherine Newman
48 days ago
Posted In: COMMUNITY
at 12:36 PM | Permalink
Women is a nonprofit agency serving survivors of domestic violence, sexual
assault and stalking. The organization was founded in 1973 to provide advocacy,
support and safety to survivors. WHW serves around 12,000 people yearly between
the two offices in Hamilton County and Butler County.
counseling, court advocacy, support groups and hospital accompaniment are just
a few of the free services that are available. The education and prevention
team gives presentations to business and community service agencies that focus
on recognizing sexual assault and domestic violence along with how to access
“We rely so much
on our volunteers,” says Ellen Newman, Hamilton County volunteer coordinator.
And for good reason: There are about 40 volunteers right now covering a range of
survivor services from the 24-hour hotline to court room accompaniment.
hotline is mostly operated by volunteers. This is a daytime opportunity to
answer calls from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the office on East Ninth Street. The
hotline is an anonymous support system for survivors who might need someone to
talk to or advice on how to move forward.
advocates are on call anywhere from 11-13 hours per day. If a survivor is at
the hospital and asks for someone to talk to, the on-call volunteer will be
contacted to answer questions and provide support.
attend arraignment court with, and sometimes without, survivors. “They are
there to answer questions and help them in the initial first step,” Newman says.
If a survivor can’t attend the arraignment, the volunteer advocate will make
notes of what happened there. As the trial progresses, advocates continue to
attend and support the survivor.
advocates help with community awareness. Volunteers travel to businesses,
churches, schools and events around the Greater Cincinnati area to provide information
on recognizing and surviving sexual assault and domestic violence. There is
also a Teen Dating Violence Prevention curriculum the travels to area high
schools focusing on preventing violence before it starts. The program helps
teens identify healthy and unhealthy behaviors in relationships and encourages
them to challenge the social norms that encourage dating violence.
Women will often need volunteers to work a table at an event, talk about the
programs and hand out information. They are also looking for people to help
with Light Up The Night, their annual fundraising event on April 28.
“We are survivor-centric
— that is the first and foremost quality you have to have,” Newman says. To
become a volunteer, you first need to fill out the online application; after it’s
reviewed, there will be an interview to determine if you are a good fit for
“Our name is a
little misleading — we are really searching to add more male volunteers,” Newman
says. The organization is nondiscriminatory and they are hoping to grow in the
number of male volunteers they have available to work with survivors.
program is 40 hours and includes an overview of the programs and services along
with the ethics of the organization. There is information about what to report
and how to work with survivors. They also focus on how to work with specific
populations of people to ensure all survivors feel safe.
must be 18 and have a clean background check. Women Helping Women asks that
volunteers stay with them for at least a year and complete two sessions a month
in any of the programs.
always evolving with the needs of each survivor. Feel free to contact the
organization to find out what is in immediate need. Some things that can always
be used are feminine hygiene products, new clothes and bus passes for survivors
to get home, to court and to the doctor’s office.
For more information on WOMEN HELPING WOMEN and to
access the volunteer application visit womenhelpingwomen.org.
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