Sexual assault and domestic violence have sadly become events that happen to people, especially women, too often. There are many organizations that try to serve and support the victims of abuse, but there is one organization that not only is for aiding women, but educating the community in the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Women Escaping a Violent Environment (WEAVE) is a nonprofit organization that serves domestic violence survivors and their families in the Sacramento County. WEAVE is and has been the only rape crisis center in this county and has many other services such as a 24 hour support and information line, lethality assessments, therapeutic counseling services, legal advocacy, youth and community prevention education programs as well as a new and improved emergency Safehouse.
WEAVE has had a very large impact on the Sacramento County area for the past thirty years, and continues to do so every day. 2012 was a very successful year for this organization in more ways than one. WEAVE’s second annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes movement consisted of 450 men dressed in high heels that marched to the State Capital, showing the importance of engaging men in preventing dating violence. This marched raised $230,000 for WEAVE. These funds allowed the organization to complete renovation to their Children’s Services Building at the Safehouse and to complete construction of Next Step Housing Village, a long term housing solution to families graduating from the Safehouse program.
The success of WEAVE won’t stop in 2012, it will continue on for the new 2013 as well. This year is the 35th anniversary of Women Escaping a Violent Environment so there is a lot of excitement for the year to come. April will be a very important month this year since it is Sexual Assault Awareness month and WEAVE’s new focus is on the education of the community.
“WEAVE wants to provide a continuum of crisis intervention and services so that women have a place to feel safe,” says Julie Bornhoeft, Communications director at WEAVE. “A lot of prevention education is in school for teens but now we are looking to educate boys and young men about dating violence. It is important for these boys to understand how to have and retain healthy relationships in their future.”
In April, WEAVE will be having public service announcements and educational programs to teach the community about the laws of consent, and even the specifics of dating violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. This organization wants the community to be educated not only to improve their own safety, but prevent this horrible act from happening to others around you. In May of this year WEAVE will be holding their 3rd Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event.
For more information on WEAVE or to find out how you can get involved, call (916) 448-2321 or visit their website at www.weaveinc.org/.