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Quarterly Newsletter - Spring Edition - March 2017
Mark Your Calendars!
Share in the excitement and be a part of Fairfield County's Giving Day. Help the Women's Center raise funds to support our campus outreach and education programs. 

March 9, 2017

Your donation can help us win one of the Fairfield County Giving Day launch prizes. 

So get ready and look for another email from us with details. 

Upcoming Events

We Need Your Used 
Cell Phone!

Now through April 30th

Donating your used cell phones (no matter how old) will do a world of good for the Women's Center. Donated cell phones turn into valuable financial support for domestic violence awareness and prevention initiatives. They are also donated to domestic violence shelters and nonprofit organizations for use by victims and survivors.

We could win $10,000 if we collect the most cell phones! 

Please remove all storage cards from the phone and confirm that they are powered off, then drop them off at our office any time during business hours, Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Health Products for You 
Give Back Day

On Friday, March 10th
Health Products for You will donate 10% of their sales to the Women's Center. 

Shop on March 10th:

Their vision is to make healthcare and a healthy lifestyle accessible and affordable to all of their customers.


Trauma Informed 
Yoga Class

Trauma Conscious Yoga is a combination of active asanas, pranayama, and deep relaxation to assist in mitigating the fight-or-flight response that many trauma survivors experience. This style of yoga can bring an awareness and connection back to the physical body in a pace that is most comfortable for the student. The intention and focus of this class is to empower the student in their own ability to self-regulate, calm the nervous system and begin to connect back to their physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Yoga Dimensions
87 South Main Street
Newtown, CT
Saturday, March 25th
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

All proceeds to benefit the Women's Center.

Donations are accepted at the door (cash or check only)
Class is suitable for all levels. 
Upcoming Support Groups & Workshops

Spring Healing Yoga Class

"Exhale to Inhale"
Join us for a weekly, one-hour yoga class for women. We invite you to practice in a safe place, with respect for your personal space and boundaries. A practice that will meet you wherever you are, whether experienced or a beginner to yoga. No music, no physical adjustments, no pressure - just space to breathe.

Program Dates:
Weekly Thursday Evenings
March 2 - May 18
6:30 p.m.

Drop-Ins are welcome. A yoga mat and accessories will be provided. All programs are free and confidential.

To register, please call 
203-731-5200 ext. 202

Workshops and Support Groups are held at the Women's Center
8 West Street
2nd Floor
Danbury, CT


Divorce Support Group for Parents & Children

Helping families build new beginnings. The Women's Center is offering a free 4-week program of facilitated groups for children ages 6-18, with a corresponding support group for parents.

Group topics will include family changes, feelings, having two homes, new relationships, and communication.

Group starts
Wednesday, March 29
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
8 West Street
Danbury, CT

Registration is required. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 203-731-5200 ext. 202 or elizabeth.i@wcogd.org for more information and to register.

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Did You Know?

The Women's Center has a satellite office at 
Western Connecticut State University 
staffed by three of our certified counselor/advocates.

Make a Donation

Every dollar counts!  
Your generosity is crucial as we work to end the violence!
Welcome Finance Director, Bill Montero

William Montero
Director of Finance

Bill Montero joined the Women's Center in January 2017. As the Director of Finance, he will be responsible for all financial matters of the organization. William comes to us with 25 years of financial experience most recently as Chief Financial Officer of Dental Associates of CT. Bill brings a dynamic skill set which includes strategic planning, treasury management, financial reporting, analysis and budgeting. He brings the ability to work across all functional groups to solve operational and financial issues and facilitates balanced decisions. Bill holds a B.A. in Accounting from Western Connecticut State University.
By the Numbers: Clients Served
From October through December 2016, we served thousands in our Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Resource Services programs:

New Clients.....................734
Hotline Calls....................435
Counseling Sessions.......................1,294
Safety Planning............1,560
Group Counseling...........176
Orders of Protection Granted...........................232

In addition to the services provided above, the Women's Center delivered 341 Community Education programs to 2,363 adults and 7,532 children.

Elizabeth House, our shelter for victims fleeing from violence in their homes, sheltered 24 new residents (15 adults and 9 children).

We are truly grateful that through the generosity and support of our sponsors, volunteers and donors, we are able to reach so many individuals and families that rely on our critically needed services month after month.
Become a Member
Membership reflects community support and shows funders that our Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Resource Services programs are important to the community and provide a lifeline to individuals within Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield Counties .
As a member of the Women's Center, you can take great pride in your affiliation with this respected organization and your support for the FREE services we provide to individuals and families in crisis or transition.
Show your support! Please help us to continue to make a difference in people's lives. Become a Member
In This Issue
Please Join Us at Our Annual Gala on Friday, April 7th

We have an exciting line up for this year's Gala. Have you purchased your ticket's yet? 

Come bid on dozens of wonderful silent auction items. Leading our live auction this year are auctioneers Ethan Carey of I-95's morning show, and Allison Stockel of Ridgefield Playhouse.  

This year's theme - An Evening Together - celebrates the connections between our communities and all the groups and individuals that join forces to support the fight against domestic violence and sexual assault. 

Our special honorees this year include local law enforcement agencies within our 13-town service area for their partnership and participation in our Lethality Assessment Program (LAP). Under the LAP program, whenever there is a domestic violence call, the police review an eleven-question checklist. If the situation/victim answers "yes" to four out of the eleven questions, then the police inform the victim about the Women's Center, and call our 24/7 hotline, putting the victim directly in touch, in that moment. The Women's Center can then proceed to help the victim to safety, and direct to services as appropriate. 

If you are interested in donating to our silent or live auction, or would like to sponsor the event, please contact Kelly Parker at kelly.p@wcogd.org or 203-731-5200 ext. 232.

From the President's Desk 
Spring is almost here folks! Not that we have had much of a cold and snowy winter, but the thought of consistently warmer weather, flowers in bloom and longer days right around the corner really lends hope to the days ahead! 


Speaking of hope...our annual Hearts of Hope breakfast held at the Fox Hill Inn was our most successful ever as you will read in this newsletter. Our heartfelt thanks and congratulations to former board members Barbara Cottingham and Lynne Philips who were honored as this year's recipients of our Service Above Self award. They both certainly exemplify the spirit of this award in all they have, and continue to do on behalf of the Women's Center. Very special thanks to our Breakfast Chair, Felicia Paduano and members of the committee and to John Royce and his staff for all their efforts on this very special event!
We are thrilled to welcome Bill Montero as our new Director of Finance. Bill comes to the Center with over 25 years of accounting and finance management experience and is already proving to be a wonderful addition to our management team!

Despite a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the fiscal climate on both the state and national level, we remain hopeful that the critical and specialized services we provide will be held harmless for the inevitable cuts that are being proposed. We are so grateful to each and every one of you who acknowledge the significant need that exists right here in our own communities and lend your support. It is this benevolence that has and continues to reinforce our belief that together, we can make a difference in peoples' lives and sustains our mission of "working to end the violence."
I look forward to seeing you at our gala "An Evening Together" on Friday, April 7th at the Amber Room where we will honor our law enforcement partners from each of our towns and Western Connecticut State University.

In gratitude and peace,

Pat Zachman, M.Ed. 
President & CEO 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We will have many events and activities taking place throughout the entire month. Below are just two initiatives you can easily be a part of to raise awareness of sexual assault. In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for other events during April! 

SAAM logo

Denim Day, April 26
Denim Day was originally triggered by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove them, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.
Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.  Ple ase join us on April 26 in making a social statement by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This day and activism prov ides a great opportunity to start discussions about consent and what consent really is: on-going, enthusiastic, verbally and willingly given! We encourage you to stop by the Women's Center to pick up stickers with the saying, "Ask me why I'm wearing denim" that you can wear on Denim Day to further spark discussion. If you cannot stop by, please email ann.rl@wcogd.org with your address and we will mail you stickers to wear.

#SurvivorLoveLetters, happening all of April!
The intent behind this campaign is to gather letters, notes, and words of encouragement from across the internet supporting survivors of sexual violence. It is designed to promote self-love and challenge rape culture. We at the Women's Center were inspired by this campaign to start collecting letters to display in the lobby of our office for survivors to read and take with them. We want all who walk into our agency to feel welcomed, supported, and reminded that they are loved.

So please, join us in spreading love and supporting survivors by writing your own letters! Be sure not to include any identifying information about yourself when you sign the letter (you can put your first name only if you feel comfortable), or otherwise sign the letter with a generic phrase like "Community Member" or "Someone." Once you have written your note, either drop off or mail in your letters to: Women's Center Attn: Johanna DeBari 2 West Street, Danbury, CT 06810. If you have any question about the submission process, please contact Johanna DeBari at johanna.d@wcogd.org or 203-731-5200 ext. 251.

Where Do You Stand? 
Bystander Intervention Trainings for Males
Are you wondering how you can stop sexual violence and make a difference in your community? As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Women's Center is looking for groups of males to participate in our Where Do You Stand? bystander intervention training. 

WDYS logo

This training aims to empower males to use their voice, actions, and influence to become part of the solution to end sexual violence. During the training, participants will discuss real-life situations and build a toolbox of techniques and strategies to intervene and address such situations. Please consider inviting the Women's Center in to offer this program at your community group or organization! Contact annr.rl@wcogd.org for more details.

Another Successful "Hearts of Hope" Breakfast - Thank You for Your Support!

We are so grateful to all who attended our 9th Annual Hearts of Hope Breakfast. Due to your generosity and support, we raised over $32,000 to help fund our education and support services.

This year's wonderful presentation by our Education Department team informed our guests about the many free programs offered to audiences of all ages throughout our 13-town service area. People especially loved meeting our puppet educators, Lucy and Sebastian!

Our Community Education team (pictured left to right): Prevention Educators Cara Mackler and Courtney Lauria, Ann Rodwell-Lawton, Director, Trainer/Adult Educator, Johanna DeBari, and Matt Austin, who brought our puppets, Lucy and Sebastian to life.

Honored during the breakfast for their ongoing commitment to our mission were this year's recipients of our Service Above Self Award -- former Board members, Barbara Cottingham and Lynne Philips.

Barb served on our Board from 2010 to 2016, during which time she rebranded and redesigned our identity. She maintains an active studio to support her design, illustration and portrait business. Currently she works as the Art Production Manager for the Taunton Press. Lynne served on our Board from 2009 to 2012. She is most proud of the work she did with the committee on rebranding and for helping to find sufficient funding for our staff at our Residential Facility to work 24 hours a day. She also designed the SafeWalk logo! Currently, Lynne is the Manager for Book Layout and Production at the Taunton Press.

Both Barb and Lynne are the perfect examples of how our Board of Directors is a "working Board," committing their time, ideas, energy, and focus to the Women's Center. Even after their numerous years on our Board of Directors, they still are active volunteers, assisting us every year with graphic design work for our annual Breakfast, Gala and SafeWalk. We thank them for their Service Above Self!

We would also like to thank John Royce for donating the venue, and the staff of the Fox Hill Inn for donating their time and service. Our Breakfast Chair, Felicia Paduano and members of the Breakfast Committee made the event a success.

Pictured left from right: Glori Norwitt, Board Chair, John Royce, Fox Hill Inn Owner, Patricia Zachman, President, and Felicia Paduano, this year's Breakfast Chair.

Additional Thanks to All Our Sponsors

Fox Hill Inn

William & Wendy Beurket
Paul Dinto Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Praxair, Inc.

Lori Berisford & Elaine Cox

Dental Associates of Connecticut
Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church
Felicia Paduano
Savings Bank of Danbury
Union Savings Bank 

Collaboration Between Cultural Alliance and the Women's Center
The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut (CAWC) is inviting art entries for "End Works 2017," a new initiative in collaboration with the Women's Center.
The project seeks statements about domestic violence and sexual assault in two-dimensional media to be exhibited in CAWC's Accessible Art series. Selected works will be auctioned at our Gala on Friday, April 7th.

"Art has the ability to give voice to and increase awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault," said CAWC Executive Director Lisa Scails. "The goal of this collaboration is to provide an opportunity for artists to show work that will engage and move the community forward in a meaningful discussion. We anticipate a spectrum of responses that will illuminate the truth about these issues, raise questions, and give hope."

"End Works 2017" is inspired by the Women's Center vision to end the violence against women, men and children, to foster equality and empowerment for all. The project is open to artists 18 years old and up based in Connecticut. 

If you are interested in more information about this initiative, visit the Cultural Alliance End Works Project site here.

"We are excited to be a part of this project which will offer yet another means of expressing the reality of domestic violence and sexual assault in a unique and creative manner," said Pat Zachman, President and CEO of the Women's Center.