The mission of the Women’s Freedom Center is to work toward ending men’s physical, sexual and emotional violence against women and their children. Toward this end, we are committed to offering support and advocacy to all survivors of violence, as well as prevention and educational activities to help create a community in which violence is not tolerated.
ENDING MEN’S VIOLENCE:
The Women’s Freedom Center believes that violence against women is a “gendered issue.” In the United States, as with the rest of the world, men perpetrate the majority of all violence against women, children, LGBTQ individuals, and other men. With regard to domestic and sexual violence, the pattern is the same – men are the perpetrators most of the time.
While we acknowledge that violence can occur between any two individuals, we believe that failure to name the reality that men are disproportionately the main perpetrators contributes to the lack of accountability and real solutions to social change. We believe the roots of male violence are directly related to the patriarchal organization of our society and our culture’s extreme notion of masculinity. We will not end violence against women without addressing the culture that produces this violence and supports the subordination of women.
Domestic and sexual violence is predominantly viewed as a “women’s issue” wherein women lead the efforts to combat the problem. Men are minimally involved in working toward ending violence against women, yet the ultimate responsibility for the perpetration of violence should not lie with victims but with the perpetrators. When we reframe the language and directly name the problem in gender terms we can better recognize this as a human rights issue and more effectively work toward lasting societal solutions that benefit all of us.
The Women’s Freedom Center passionately honors the work of our foremothers in the Battered Women’s Movement. The philosophies and ideals of those women who began our movement continue to be embedded in our work today.
We believe the roots of violence against women lie in the patriarchal structure of societies – social systems constructed in ways that maintain male power and privilege over women and condone violence as a method of control. We believe that all people suffer the consequences of society’s oppression of women. Our goal is to end men’s violence against women and the inequitable institution of patriarchy that gives rise to multiple forms and expressions of abuse.
We believe in the power of women helping women. We believe that women who have experienced violence find support through the safety and encouragement provided by other women, and we value the collective wisdom that comes from all of our diverse experiences. As a feminist organization, we support a women’s right to self-determination and respect individual choices.
We understand that in working toward solutions, it is essential to take into account the interconnectedness of oppressions women face in combination with domestic and sexual violence such as racism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism. We are therefore intentional in strategizing how best to move forward within our work and the larger feminist movement in order to create social change which ultimately frees all people from violence.
Women’s Freedom Center does not discriminate against any service user, employee, volunteer or board member on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical or mental disability, or any other status protected under federal law. This policy extends to all personnel decisions, terms and conditions of employment, and provision of services. The Women’s Freedom Center does not tolerate harassment for any reason. Respect for the dignity of others shall be the guiding principle for our relations with each other.
Safety for all survivors is our priority.