What We Do
As one of the first six programs for intimate partner violence victims in the nation, Women’s Center & Shelter has been a leader in the Battered Women’s Movement since 1974. We are not just a women’s shelter, and more than just a collection of services for domestic abuse victims. We are a team of passionate, dedicated individuals fighting for the rights of women everywhere.
Last year, Women’s Center & Shelter served 6,000 women and children with more than 33,000 service hours through our many programs and services.
Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse Find Hope
Women’s Center & Shelter truly welcomes the opportunity to serve all members of our community. We serve all domestic violence victims, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity, age, ability, language spoken, or any other factor. We strive to replace barriers with ever-widening circles of support and respect.
As language barriers are one of the biggest reasons victims of abuse fail to seek help, we have assembled a highly trained staff that includes bi-lingual members ready help those in need. We also provide free, easy access to third-party interpreters to assure there are no language barriers when receiving services.
We also understand the harmful effects of domestic abuse on children, which is why we offer specialized support and services for families and youths. Women’s Center & Shelter also provides free legal and medical advocacy to all victims of abuse.
Building a Safe Haven through Sanctuary
At the heart of all Women’s Center & Shelter programs and services is the Sanctuary Model, a well-regarded trauma-informed best practice for meeting the physical and emotional needs of intimate partner violence survivors. This innovate and proven system focuses on building an understanding of each individual’s history of trauma, and how the ongoing effects influence the mental and emotional state of a victim in order to provide the highest level of support.
In addition to being trauma-informed, Women’s Center & Shelter’s advocacy is survivor-centered. This means that each individual client shapes the services provided based on their needs and experiences. Advocates work with domestic abuse survivors, developing a personal bond with tem and supporting the choices they make. This approach empowers each survivor by recognizing her as the expert on her own situation and her unique set of needs.
Healing, Supporting and Empowering Domestic Abuse Survivors
Our Advocates address four major areas of healing through our intimate partner violence and domestic abuse programs:
Justice—seeking legal, economic, and social reparations for issues created by the abuser
Autonomy—respecting each survivor’s right to self-determination
Restoration—working with survivors to regain physical and emotional control over their lives
Safety—teaching individuals and communities to protect against physical, emotional, psychological, economic, and sexual abuse
This holistic-minded approach provides a common language and framework that allows all survivors and advocates to work together in harmony. Our vision to promote compassion and mindfulness at all levels of Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, so that all victims of domestic abuse can cope with their personal trauma and progress toward healing.