In 1975, Mary Elizabeth Corso, Alice Chapman and Bonnie Law founded the Women’s Center as a place where women could gather and explore ways to improve their lives. Harnessing the energy of the Women’s Movement, the Center served as a place for “consciousness- raising” and awareness of new opportunities for women.
From this foundation, the Women’s Center quickly evolved and broadened its mission as volunteers realized the depth and breadth of the community needs – in particular displaced homemakers and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Working with other community groups to develop critically needed services, the Women’s Center evolved into the multi-faceted social services agency that it is today, offering:
Emergency Shelter & Support Services:
From those early days, the Women’s Center has continued to save lives and offer a safe and secure environment for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Women and children are served by Elizabeth House while men are provided safe alternative shelter.
Counseling & Advocacy Services:
We provide free services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as for those dealing with other major life transitions such as divorce, aging, sexual orientation, low self-esteem and stressors related to parenting, unemployment and other changes in life circumstances.
The Women’s Center provides 24-hour hotlines, on-site emergency support at area hospitals, police departments and at court. Walk-ins are also served at the 2 West Street facility.
Community Education, Primary Prevention & Training:
The Women’s Center provides educational programs for schools and youth groups ranging from pre-school to college, as well as to corporations, professionals and community adults throughout our service area.
The Center’s funding comes from a variety of sources including: the state of Connecticut, The United Way of Western Connecticut, and many of the municipalities in our service region. Nearly 50% of the revenue needed to provide these critically needed services is self-generated through the Center’s development efforts.
The Women’s Center is a member of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS).