One wonders that Rhode Island has shelters for abused women and children . This is a small state in area and in population. Folks in Massachusetts often refer to Rhode Island as a “suburb” or a “colony” of Massachusetts. Despite its size and the good natured ribbing it endures, Rhode Island truly has its share of domestic violence and sexual abuse . Like other neighboring New England states, Rhode Island has many communities where help for women and children who are victimized by domestic violence can find shelter and help for a brighter tomorrow.
Women’s Center of Rhode Island This multi service , multi lingual , multi cultural women’s shelter located in Providence, RI has set a tremendous and comforting goal for itself. “Until there is domestic peace in Rhode Island, the Women’s Center will be here to help you”. This kind of commitment is what makes the Women’s Center of Rhode Island a safe and reliable tool for women in crisis to depend upon.
The Women’s Center of Rhode Island offers to a very diverse clientele services that meet them where they are and take them to where they want to be. The services really begin with the 24 hour hotline which assists women with support and intervention during times of domestic abuse. By calling 401-861-2760 women can break the immediate cycle of violence by finding help and shelter for themselves and their children..
At the center women will find a very diverse staff which, in part because of its diversity,provides a real sense of welcome and relief to victims of domestic abuse. How wonderful to come into a shelter and find people there who speak your language and give you a sense of cultural acceptance instead of adding strangeness to an already critical emotional situation. The staff at the center will offer victims information about resources they can contact to get assistance in many different areas of need. They will assist victims as they attempt to plan for their future safety. The center will even provide women with advocates to accompany victims seeking services from the police, the court system, welfare , or area medical facilities . Sometimes approaching such resources is an overpowering task for women who have been abused . Having a your own advocate with you gives you that feeling of confidence that things are perhaps going to turn around for you.
The Women’s Center of Rhode Island recognizes that physical or psychological abuse may be such that a mother cannot return to her residence . The center makes sure that women and their children are not put in harms way by providing residential programs for up to two months. At the center, women and their children are give their own room and common space together. Counselors meet on a regular basis with women and child advocates spend time trying to make things right again for the children. Women also benefit from working with their own personal advocate who will help them as they work on their goals for moving onward with their lives.
For some women two months is not enough time to iron out all the problems which confront them . For this reason the Center provides a Transitional Program which extends advocacy services to women for up to two years. This allows women time to find and get settled in to an appropriate work situation and get back on their feet once again as part of the community.
Sojourner House – In 1976 Sojourner House opened for the first time as a center for victims of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The idea of Sojourner House from the start was to work with individual women and their families and try to be of assistance as they began “putting the pieces of their lives together”. In that one phrase, “pieces of their lives”, Sojourner House obliquely recognized two things about victims of domestic violence. First in most cases of domestic violence the damage done to someone’s life is enormous often bordering on the traumatic. Domestic violence shatters lives and people feel literally as if their lives are fragmented and in pieces. Secondly Sojourner recognizes that helping someone to recover from domestic violence is seldom a quick fix, bu rather requires the use of a variety of community services.
With the needs of potential clients in mind Sojourner House has developed over the last quarter century into the kind of safe haven were real work happens to rescue women and children and to help them regroup and emerge again safely into the society. To do this Sojourner House works hard at a system of networking that helps to connect all available services that can help to improve the physical and emotional health of victims. From the first phone call to Sojourner House hotline at 401-658-4334, victims are the number one priority. Every effort is made to link victims with the intervention, counseling and legal services that victims need as well as the special services each individual patient may require.
Beyond servicing victims Sojourner House also services the wider community through a variety of education and awareness programs aimed at abuse prevention and recognition.
Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center In the 1970’s and 1980’s Warwick, RI was one of the fast growing and most upscale communities in Rhode Island. Home of the much modernized Green Airport, Warwick became a bit of hub for New England travelers who preferred the relative quick drop off and pick up at Green to the nightmare of Boston’s Logan Airport. Along with growth came the responsibility to deal with the growing number of cases of domestic violence and sexual abuse found in the Warwick area of Rhode Island.
Among the services that grew up in Warwick, RI during the last quarter of the 20th century is the Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center. The Center has taken as its goal “serving individuals and families affected by abuse”. To accomplish its task the Center breaks down its functions into three divisions. First the Center is concerned with Crisis Servicing. Like most shelters of its kind, the Chace Center mans a 24 hour hotline at 401-738-1700. This line puts victims in touch with their first line of support and helps to direct them out of their current danger. Second the Center prepared to assist with intervention in the life of the woman and her family to bring about a positive resolution. The Chace Center is prepared to offer appropriate counseling and to give victims court assistance when necessary.
Beyond its work to assist victims, the Chace Center has also taken up the challenge of educating people about domestic violence through programs presented in schools, community settings or in professional locations
Women’s Resource Center of South County. Among locals when you talk about South County, Rhode Island you are probably talking about beaches . While South County has some of the prime beach vacation area and gives the impression of peace and harmony it still has its share of domestic violence . Stepping up to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse in Rhode Island’s South County is he Women’s Resource Center of South County. This facility offers many of the standard services and then some.
At the Resource Center there is a 24 hour hotline at 401-782-3990 to assist women who find themselves in overwhelming situations. The Center provides a safe environment where women can work through the problems in their live and move to productive resolutions. The Center offers a confidential “Safe Home Program” through which women and children begin to restructure their lives for a safe and secure future. Court Advocacy is included among the Center’s frequently used services. Women who have suffered the trauma and disorientation that often accompanies domestic violence can find court proceedings intimidating and confusing. The Center’s Court Advocacy Program helps women to go through the necessary procedures to get the legal help that may determine their future safety and peace of mind
A somewhat unique program offered by the Women’s Resource Center is its Drop-In Center. While many connections made to the Center are made in the midst of a crisis, some domestic violence issues develop over time. Women may find the need, well before real violence occurs, to seek help. Women can stop by the Main St., Wakefield Center Monday-Friday from 9-5 to get help with referrals, advocacy or simply support. This is an excellent extra and one geared to assisting women before problems escalate to crisis.
Rhode Island is a small state , with a beautiful coastline, certainly not the kind of place where you would think very much about domestic violence. But the sheer number of centers and the diversity of their services tells a different story. Rhode Island shelters for victims of domestic violence stand as proof of a problem but also of the hope for solutions