This year has been one of change for all of us.
This past September, I had the honor of joining Women In Distress as President and CEO, coinciding with Mary Riedel’s plans to retire from the agency in June 2021. While my days have been busy with all that comes with taking on a new leadership role, the holidays have given me the opportunity to spend time with family – our family of survivors. For these incredible women, children and men, Women In Distress is their home for the holidays, and every day in between.
Every day, Women In Distress educates and helps victims of domestic violence by providing potentially life-saving information and resources. The path to escaping abuse has been more complicated this year due to COVID-19. Family and friends are hesitant to open their doors; entering a shelter during a pandemic can be scary; courthouses have changed their procedures, not to mention there is a virus endangering everyone.
But with your help, we were able to:
- Provide 25,828 nights of emergency shelter
- Answer 21,044 calls for help on our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline
- Provide 30,027 advocacy, counseling and therapy hours to adults and children
- Provide free legal representation that helped 678 survivors file for Injunctions for Protection (restraining orders) to ensure their safety
While we don’t know what next year has in store, we do know that, with your support, our doors will be open 24/7 to provide safety and healing to those escaping abuse.
This has been a year like no other. It has reminded us of the power of community. As our amazing team of WID elves work hard to organize the toys and gifts that fill the halls of our shelter, we feel the warmth of your support. This feeling is shared with the women and children who will have a brighter holiday this year because of you – and there’s no better gift than that.
On behalf of our board, trustees, staff and the families we have the privilege of serving, thank you for making the holidays especially bright for so many.
We wish you a healthy and happy Holiday Season!
Linda L. Parker, Ph.D.