"There were no laws, no system supports, no one to call, no shelter, no services. Women started to get together, thinking about what to do. It was a total grassroots effort."
- Karen Tronsgard-Scott, Vermont Network Executive Director
Our founding mothers
Imagine yourself back in the early 70's - before there were local domestic violence and sexual violence organizations, before there were state coalitions, before there was a national coalition.

At any given moment, you could walk up the stairs above the Hanover Hardware Store (now Ledyard Bank on South Main Street), open the door to the WISE office and see a group of young women, all sitting on the floor, talking.

WISE did whatever they could to support women. People called with questions about how to get unemployment benefits and how to get a job. Many were scared and did not know how to get what they wanted or needed. WISE wanted to show women that they had choices and were empowered to make those choices for themselves. Empowerment was the core value then, and it remains a core value of WISE today.

We are having so much fun combing through our archives and talking with some of the amazing women who helped shape WISE into what it is today. We look forward to sharing more with you as our year of celebration continues.

Above (top row, left to right): Martha Popp (Director) Ramey Fair, Jenny Williams
(bottom row, left to right): Alix Olson, Terryl Stacey, Joanne Martin, Georgia
Below left: 1991 Annual Meeting, WISE Board and Staff with Founders Elaine Selle and Lois Aaron
Below right: WISE's first newsletter: The Wellspring 1973
Have a story to share? Old pictures? Email us! We would love to include your experiences as part of our 50th oral history project.
Honoring our crisis line volunteers

Fifty-five people gathered in May for our second virtual WISE Annual Meeting. We honored two long-term board members, Gretchen Rittenhouse and Giavanna Munafo, who are completing their final terms this year. We also welcomed Angela Zhang to the board, and Hannah Saltman as this year's Tuck Revers Board Fellow. After completing the governance business, we shifted our attention to celebrate some of our heroes: WISE volunteer advocates.

In a year that has been anything but usual, we honor the volunteer advocates who turn on their beepers every day in order to support survivors at local hospitals and police stations no matter what time of day or night. This compassionate group of people adapted to the ever-changing protocols with finesse and creativity. Their commitment to survivors and the organization is invaluable to ensuring that WISE advocacy and support is available for survivors every hour, every day.

To watch the volunteer tribute video again or for the first time, click here.
School's out for summer
Our WISE Prevention and Education Program team (aka the PEP Squad) finished up the school year with a triple booked schedule!

One of our educators finished her session in the sixth grade at Lebanon Middle School. She shared, "During our first day with sixth-graders, we talk a lot about gender stereotypes in advertisements which can feel frustrating and upsetting. On the second day, we have the chance to create our own ads, posters, artwork and think about a world without gender stereotypes. The second day of 6th grade always leaves me feeling hopeful and excited!"

We are pleased to share with you some of the fantastic artwork and poetry from this class. We hope this artwork also brings you some joy.
A new book discussion guide: Speak
Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel, Speak, follows the freshman year of Melinda Sordino after she is assaulted by an older boy at a party over the summer. When Melinda tries to get help, her friends turn their back on her and people at school bully her for calling the police at the party. Feeling completely alone and unheard, Melinda stops speaking entirely. To continue reading, click here.

For more discussion guides, visit our website. What are some of the books you are reading? WISE educators are available to help facilitate conversations at your next book club! Email us and we can explore these themes together.

We're hiring!
We are currently hiring two key positions within our core programs. Click below to access the full job descriptions.

These are both full time positions joining our team of dedicated and innovative staff committed to ending violence. To apply, please send cover letter and resume to Peggy O'Neil, Executive Director.
Please feel free to share within your own networks.
Leading the Upper Valley to end gender-based violence

Program Center · 38 Bank Street · Lebanon, NH 03766
every hour, every day · 866-348-WISE