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Women Aware

Women Aware is Partner Organization for Windows of Understanding 2021

Women Aware is proud to announce that we are a partner organization for Windows of Understanding, a public art project rooted in social justice, opening to the public on Monday, January 18.

Windows of Understanding returns January 18-February 28. Featured in storefronts in New Brunswick and Highland Park, New Jersey, the project has expanded to Metuchen with art on display at the Metuchen Public Library. Artists paired with non-profit organizations interpret the question “How do we see through hate?” and transform local businesses into windows of understanding.

Learn More at WindowsOfUnderstanding.org #weseethroughhate

Welcome New Year!

New Year Greetings from Women Aware CEO Phyllis Yonta

As CEO of the state-designated lead domestic violence services agency in Middlesex County, NJ, Phyllis Yonta looks back at the challenges and victories of 2020 and looks forward to expanding services for survivors moving beyond abuse in 2021

Women Aware Clinical Director Featured on New Brunswick Speaks

In the News

Women Aware’s Clinical Director Carmen Hernandez recently appeared on 1450 WCTC Talk Radio’s New Brunswick Speaks with Joyce Browning, sharing updates about Women Aware’s services through the pandemic and speaking to what’s next for Middlesex County’s lead domestic violence service agency in 2021. To hear the full interview, click here. The interview with Ms. Hernandez begins at the 27:00 minute mark in the recording.

Home News Tribune spotlights Women Aware

In the News

In its annual Needy Cases section, the Home News Tribune spotlighted Women Aware’s services for survivors of domestic violence in Middlesex County, NJ. To read the full story, click here.

The Women Aware Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for crisis counseling and resource and referral information. Calls may be made anonymously and communication will be kept confidential. On-site staff speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Urdu, Hindi, German and Italian. Hundreds of other languages can be translated in the moment if needed.

732-249-4504. Toll-free 833-249-4504. We welcome relay calls.

If you are a victim of domestic violence in need of temporary emergency shelter, you may call the Hotline for more information and/or a shelter assessment. 
If you suspect you are being abused but are not sure, we can provide information about the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse to help you better understand your relationship. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, the Hotline can provide safety planning information, and resources and referrals to appropriate services.

Gift Cards Bring Smiles – Please Give to Our Holiday Drive

Gift card donations accepted through December 7, 2020

Holiday giving to survivors of domestic violence in Middlesex County is a treasured tradition at Women Aware. As we all continue to manage the challenges presented by the pandemic, we know the 2020 holiday season will be especially difficult for our client families. Please join us this season of giving to bring smiles to families moving beyond abuse.

Gift cards are the only donations Women Aware can accept this year. Donations of toys, clothing and other items will not be accepted. Thank you for understanding.

By donating gift cards, you empower survivors to shop independently. Gift cards can be donated Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm, through December 7 at 250 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick. Please call 732.249.4900 before dropping off your gift card donation. You can also mail gift cards to 250 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Please email development@womenaware.net with any questions.

Gift Card Wish List

Food Stores – ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Superfresh, Keyfood/Tropical Supermarket, Aldi, Lidl

Superstores – Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Walgreens, Kohl’s, Boscov’s, Marshall’s, HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Amazon

Entertainment/Dining – iTunes, Disney Plus, Google Play, Netflix, Hulu, Olive Garden, Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, Chili’s

Transportation – Lyft, Uber

Self Care – Ulta

We wish you a safe, healthy holiday season. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of families moving beyond abuse.

Women Aware Speaks on Domestic Violence and COVID-19

Facebook Live Virtual Roundtable Discussion

On October 26, 2020, the Cathedral Community Counseling Center and Renee J. Bradley Foundation for Domestic Violence hosted a Facebook Live virtual roundtable discussion on Domestic Violence and COVID-19. Women Aware Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Yonta and Chief Operating Officer Maria Betanzos shared their professional expertise based on Women Aware’s experience through the pandemic as the state-designated lead domestic violence service agency in Middlesex County, NJ. To hear the entire discussion, click here.

Women Aware Speaks Out during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

New Jersey News Network story

Maria Betanzos NJNN

New Jersey News Network reached out to Women Aware Chief Operating Officer Maria Betanzos this Domestic Violence Awareness Month for insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ability of survivors of domestic violence to reach out for support and how Women Aware has responded in Middlesex County. Watch the clip here.

24/7 Hotline: 732-249-4504 Toll-free 833-249-4504

NJ Statewide Hotline: 800-572-SAFE (7233)

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Middlesex banner

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Women Aware remembers victims whose lives were taken by domestic violence and honors survivors moving beyond abuse.

We invite you to join us October 21, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for a Virtual Candlelight Vigil to celebrate 40 years of service to Middlesex County families. For more information, click here.

Caption: Thank you to the Middlesex Police Department and Domestic Violence Response Team for this banner in downtown Middlesex. Women Aware 24/7 Hotline: 732.249.4504 Toll-free 833.249.4504

Women Aware Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Virtual Candlelight Vigil

Please join us virtually - October 21, 2020 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Women Aware will mark 40 years of service to individuals and families affected by domestic violence in Middlesex County, New Jersey with a 40th Anniversary Virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The event will bring together members of the community to remember victims whose lives were taken by domestic violence and to honor survivors moving beyond abuse. The candlelight vigil is open to the public and free to attend. Registration is required. Visit https://givebutter.com/WomenAware40th.

“This major milestone in Women Aware’s history links our past and present in a special way as we will be joined by the founders of the original shelter for victims of domestic violence in Middlesex County,” stated Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Yonta. “Today’s Women Aware stands on the shoulders of pioneers like Diane Palladino, Ellen Koteen and their team who were powerful advocates for victims at the local, state and national level.”

Moving forward from the extraordinary challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Women Aware’s services to survivors of domestic violence has grown and our delivery of services has evolved. Financial support is needed now more than ever so that Women Aware can continue to provide free and confidential services 24/7 to anyone who seeks our help moving beyond abuse.


During the vigil, we will honor pioneers, volunteers and partners who have lent their voices, energy and resources to help break down barriers between survivors and the services they need:

Women Aware shelter founders, Diane Palladino and Ellen Koteen

Volunteer advocate, Ruth Hague

Founder of Sansone Auto Group, Paul Sansone, Sr.


Candlelight Vigil Sponsor – Independence Wealth Partners

Keynote Speaker Sponsor – Judge Marina Corodemus (ret.) • Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP

Vigil Partner – Yvonne Cangelosi • Edward Leske Company • MassMutual • Schechner Lifson Corporation • Linda Van Derveer

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Susan Dyckman, director of development, at sdyckman@womenaware.net or 732.249.4900, ext. 0428.

How to Help

Register to attend (no charge): https://givebutter.com/WomenAware40th

Donate online: https://givebutter.com/WomenAware40th

Text to make a donation: 202-858-1233 Code WA40

Mail your donation: Check payable to Women Aware; mail to Women Aware, 40th Anniversary, 250 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Follow Women Aware on social media:

Facebook @womenawareinc

Instagram @womenaware

Twitter @Women_Aware