Dear Friends of the Women’s Freedom Center,

Every day, we bear witness to the transformative power of your generosity. The Women’s Freedom Center stands as a beacon of hope for those ensnared in the web of domestic and sexual violence. Because of you, we can respond swiftly and effectively to individuals like the courageous woman who, after years of enduring a controlling, abusive relationship, finally makes that first terrifying call for help. Your support allows us to provide her with immediate transportation to our secure shelter and the crucial assistance needed to craft a safety plan.

In addition, your generosity enables us to assist individuals like the man who has survived extreme psychological and emotional manipulation by his romantic partner. Although he was afraid to admit to himself that he could be a victim of domestic abuse, through our web chat portal, he was able to immediately and anonymously explore pathways toward freedom with us.

We also extend our assistance to individuals like the young woman who must confront her abuser in court to retain sole custody rights of her children. Through your contributions, we have been able to provide her with unwavering support throughout this challenging year. With the guidance of our legal advocate, she now feels prepared for this pivotal moment for herself and her children.

The scenarios we encounter at the Women’s Freedom Center are as diverse as those we serve. We offer a comprehensive range of services, from immediate crisis intervention to helping survivors rebuild their lives. Our work extends to community mediation, statewide advocacy, and educating students on recognizing the signs of a healthy relationship. Over the past fiscal year, we responded to 1,900 crisis phone calls, provided shelter to 144 individuals, and delivered thousands of hours of individual and group support.

Our advocacy has extended to emergency financial and housing assistance, access to legal representation, transportation, and childcare, benefiting 1,099 people, including 623 women, 2 non-binary individuals, 31 men, and 444 children who have experienced abuse. Furthermore, we conducted 50 community outreach activities, including school presentations and workshops, reaching over 700 people throughout Windham and southern Windsor counties.

It has been nearly half a century since we embarked on this mission, and the need for our services has never been more critical. As a social justice organization, we recognize the interconnectedness between domestic violence on an interpersonal level and systemic inequalities such as structural racism, economic instability, and climate change that fuel patriarchal violence on a broader scale. This underscores the enduring need for our work.

Despite the challenges we face, we take profound pride in witnessing the newfound freedom and resilience in the lives of the survivors we serve. We are resolute in our commitment to building a world free from violence with each step we take.

Earlier this year, “Sarah,” a survivor, shared her thoughts with us, and her words are a testament to the impact of your support:

“I don’t know if anyone else has felt like this…The next day – You wake up, sit and have a coffee and have the realization that yesterday was hard. Having to relive and deal with your predator takes its toll. I woke up tired and thinking about if I was too harsh. I felt guilty and responsible…I was fully deflated. But I thought about it. Like, really thought about it and I realized. Now I can forgive me. For allowing myself to believe it was my fault, that I caused it all…I was free. I know it felt weird and scary and uncertain and apprehensive, but it was mine. My choices, my thoughts but most of all, mine. One of the most powerful things is to know your life is free. I can breathe.

P.S. If you ever doubt or feel like you are banging your head against a wall…please remember how you saved my life. Thank you.”

Your partnership in this work makes outcomes like “Sarah’s” possible. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your generous support and investment in our neighbors’ safety and resilience. Together, we are making a profound difference in the lives of those affected by domestic and sexual violence.

As we look ahead to the future, we humbly ask for your continued support. Your contributions ensure that the Women’s Freedom Center remains a sanctuary for those in need and seeking refuge from violence.

With warm regards,

Vickie Sterling, Executive Director