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Quarterly Newsletter - January 2016
In This Issue
Save the Date!
14th Annual Gala

Friday, April 8, 2016
The Amber Room 
Danbury, CT

We will be honoring Praxair for their numerous contributions of time, energy, creativity and resources to the Women's Center and to the community at large.
Upcoming Events

Join the Women's Center and the Danbury Titans for a Hockey game!

Danbury Ice Arena
January 23, 2016 
at 7:35pm

The Titans will generously donate a portion of all ticket sales to the Women's Center.

$14.50 for adults and $10 for kids (10 and under)  

If you purchase your tickets at the door, please be sure to mention the Women's Center so that we can benefit from your attendance!

For more information, please contact Kelly Parker, Special Events Manager, at kelly.p@wcogd.org or 
203-731-5200, x232

Seeking Candidates for Education and Training Dept.

Seeking a full time Prevention Educator to educate and inform the community about issues of interpersonal and sexual violence, providing the tools and resources needed to deal with these issues; and a full time Trainer/Adult Educator to conduct certification training for staff and direct-service volunteers, conduct professional trainings, and present educational programs to adults in the community.

Read the full job descriptions for these positions here. Send your resume and cover letter to our Director of Human Resources & Administration at womenscenter@wcogd.org or fax to 203-731-5207.

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Did You Know? 

1 out of 5  students experience rape or sexual assault while they are in college.
Make a Donation

Every dollar counts!  
Your generosity is crucial as we work to end the violence!
More Staffing Updates
As we say good-bye to Volunteer Coordinator, Chrissy Deep after 10 years of dedicated service, we are pleased to welcome 
Elizabeth Isaacson .

Elizabeth joined the Women's Center earlier this month. As the Volunteer Coordinator, she serves as a liaison between the Direct Service and Community Volunteers and the Women's Center staff. She has served as the President of the Ridgefield Newcomer's Association as well as numerous educational and athletic and community volunteer organizations. She holds a B.A. from Hamilton College and is the Co-Owner of Simply Moving Forward, a Senior Move Management Company, which assists seniors as they downsize and make later-in-life residential transitions.
We are also pleased to announce that Kelly Beatty Parker has been promoted from Development Coordinator to Special Events Manager. In her new role, Kelly will serve as staff liaison with the fundraising event committees and coordinate all Women's Center special events. 
Congratulations Kelly!
By the Number: Clients Served
From October through December 2015, we served thousands in our Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Resource Services programs:

New Clients.....................813
Hot Line Calls..................430
Counseling Sessions.......................2,463
Safety Planning.............1,578
Group Counseling............104
Orders of Protection Granted............................210

In addition to the services provided above, the Women's Center delivered 309 Community Education programs to 1,938 area adults and 5,950 children. 

Elizabeth House, our shelter for victims fleeing from violence in their homes, sheltered 32 new residents (22 adults and 10 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
"Hearts of Hope" Breakfast Expected to Sell Out - Buy Your Tickets Now!

The "Hearts of Hope" Annual Breakfast is a very special event established for friends of the Women's Center to listen to a compelling guest presentation and receive an update of our current work and activities. It is also an opportunity to raise critical funds in support of the Center's many free services and programs made possible by the generosity of our gracious host, the Fox Hill Inn. 

We have only two tables left, so buy your tickets now! We look forward to seeing you all there.


The Breakfast sells out every year, so we encourage you to buy your tickets now. For questions or assistance, contact our Special Events Manager, Kelly Parker, at 203-731-5200, x234 or kelly.p@wcogd.org.


Purchase sponsorship or individual tickets here

From the President's Desk 
Happy New Year Everyone!

Given the warm temperatures we enjoyed right through the holiday season, it's hard to believe they have come and gone. 


The warmth of the season was certainly evident inside of our 2 West facility as both new and longtime donors of our Holiday Program arrived with their arms laden with gifts and food items for our clients. The spirit of the season was infectious as one after another of these incredibly generous individuals expressed what a wonderful experience it was for them to participate in the program knowing that the items they brought were sure to brighten what for so many of our clients would have been a challenging holiday season. Staff members were both touched and grateful to hear time and again the expression of thanks from both so many of these wonderful donors as well as the overwhelmed recipients for the work we do here at the Center.
The start of the new year ushers in some significant changes for the Women's Center as we bid a fond farewell to some very special people -- Chrissy Deep -- our Volunteer Coordinator for over a decade as well as 25-year veterans Sharon Chappuis, Director of Programs & Operations, and Melanie Danyliw, Director of Training. Their dedication and contributions to this organization have helped to build the Center into the outstanding organization it is today. We are profoundly grateful to them and will miss them dearly!

As they leave us to embark on some new adventures in their retirement years, we welcome two new members to our team who are highlighted in this newsletter. We are thrilled to have Suzanne Adam join us in the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer and Elizabeth Isaacson as our new Volunteer Coordinator and look forward to many years of working together as we continue to build on the successes achieved these past 40 years.

Wishing you all the best in the new year and looking forward to seeing you all at our annual "Hearts of Hope" breakfast on February 3rd at the Fox Hill Inn!
With gratitude and peace,

Pat Zachman 
President & CEO 
We Welcome Suzanne Adam as Chief Operating Officer

Last month, Suzanne E Adam, joined the Women's Center team as Chief Operating Officer. Suzanne has fifteen years of experience delivering and leading services for victims of domestic violence. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, fundraising, community mobilization, leadership, operations and program development. 

Prior to joining the Women's Center, she served as a Director of Domestic Abuse Services, had a thriving Play Therapy private practice and was an elementary school teacher.
She holds a psychology degree from Sacred Heart University and is a Registered Play Therapist. Her awards include Senators Community Foundation Candy Necklace Award and Liberty Bell Award for her work in domestic violence.

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a dynamic and dedicated team of professionals. I look forward to building on the Women's Center's great accomplishments in partnership with staff and board and I eagerly look forward to addressing the diverse needs of the individuals the Women's Center serves."

Welcome aboard Suzanne!
2016 Marks the Year We Bid Farewell to Two Special Women After 25 Years!

After 25 years of dedicated service we say good-bye to Melanie Danyliw and Sharon Chappuis as they retire from the Women's Center. 

It was in 1991 that Melanie joined the Women's Center. She spent her years conducting domestic violence and sexual assault certification training for agency staff and volunteers, sensitivity training for community professionals, and served as the agency's legislative liaison to CCADV and CONNSACS (the statewide sexual assault coalition). During her tenure, she was part of the CT AIDS Education & Training Center at Yale School of Nursing's CME training team, conducted POST police certification training, and was a member of the core team at WCSU tasked with developing campus procedures for response to dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. 

Also joining the Women's Center in 1991, Sharon began as a counselor advocate working with adults and children. Just before her retirement, Sharon served as the Director of Programs and Operations and was involved with the creation of many new programs and groups, including the expansion on the WCSU campus and offering support groups for male survivors.  During her tenure at the center, Sharon served on the Board of Directors of CONNSACS and provided domestic violence training and shelter consultations on a national level. She also served on the advisory board for the local multidisciplinary investigation team, and is a member of the Connecticut Counseling Association, the Greater Danbury Advisory Council, and the Greater New Milford Social Services Committee.

We thank both Melanie and Sharon for their many years of service, their dedication and their individual contributions to the success of the Women's Center. 
Holiday Programs an Overwhelming Success

We are so grateful for everyone who donated as part of our Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program! Here are pictures of some of the many, many participants. Thank you to the community for such an overwhelming display of generosity. See more great photos of our donors on our Facebook page.

Where Do You Stand? Campaign Updates

We continue to promote the Where Do You Stand? state-wide primary prevention campaign through community outreach events and bystander intervention workshops. This campaign, created by the nationally renowned organization Men Can Stop Rape, engages men and boys in the movement to end violence and empowers them to become active in the prevention of sexual violence.

WDYS logo

During this quarter, the Community Education team facilitated these workshops at Western Connecticut State University and Henry Abbott Technical School. Male participants explored how they would intervene in real-life everyday situations as well as in potentially dangerous situations. After the training, participants described different ways they can stand up against sexual violence, including:

"I can stand up by educating my close friends about what is appropriate when pertaining to interactions with the opposite sex. I need to educate and inform people around me and then we can act."

"This training helped me to realize that challenging behaviors of perpetrators is a useful and productive tool to intervene, among many ways."

All participants decided or found a bystander intervention technique that works with their personality and which they feel comfortable implementing. Often, participants come into trainings with a narrow, often confrontational, understanding of how to intervene. We are able to widen their understanding of sexual violence and give them a whole toolbox of intervention techniques -- from distracting the perpetrator to finding an authority figure.

If you are interested in learning how you can become an active bystander and prevent sexual violence, please schedule a free, interactive workshop by contacting Ann Rodwell-Lawton, Director of Education, Training & Outreach at ann.rl@wcogd.org or 203-731-5200, x233.