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Message from Executive Director: Heather Campbell

Holding Hope For Survivors

This year, as I move through the holiday season, I’ve found myself thinking often of hope.  The hopes that I have for my family and my community.  The hopes that I have for our world as we navigate the political and environmental challenges we face.  And the hopes that I have for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community.  This year, I’ve been moved to tears and hope again and again by the courage and bravery of survivors who are coming forward and speaking their truth.  I hold onto the hope that their courage will change our world and the ways that we both see and support survivors.

At the Advocacy Center, we’re working hard to meet the increased needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community.  In the past year, we were able to secure funding to increase our client services and education staff.  We’ve started a new support group for teens who have been sexually abused and extended our work on college campuses.  We’re so proud to announce that this fall we were awarded a $602,346 grant from the New York State Office of Victim Services to develop a new Civil Legal Services Program for victims of domestic and sexual violence.  This 5-year grant will provide high quality, trauma-informed legal representation for victims of abuse who have significant barriers accessing legal representation and consultation. This grant will allow us to increase quality, trauma-informed civil representation for some of the most vulnerable people in our community.  Legal representation is one of the most requested services from victims of domestic violence and we have struggled to meet these needs in our community. The new Civil Legal Services Program is an important step in making sure that all survivors of abuse can access the representation they deserve.

If you have not already, I ask you to consider a gift to our Annual Campaign.  End of the year giving helps us raise critical funds to support core services for victims of abuse.  As you move through this holiday season, I ask you to join with us in holding hope for survivors and for change.  Help us keep these important conversations alive in our community and in our families, and help us help the survivors who are turning to the Advocacy Center when they don’t know where else to go.