You’re invited to our Moving Beyond Abuse 5K & Charity Walk, Saturday, October 5, Johnson Park, Piscataway! Visit our event site to register, donate or sponsor! Who do you walk/run for?

24-Hr Hotline 732-249-4504 | We welcome relay calls Women Aware
| Hablamos Español

Women Aware

Women Aware Honored with New Jersey State Governor’s Volunteerism Award

Domestic Violence Response Team Receives Emergency Services/First Responders Medallion

The New Jersey State Governor’s Volunteerism Award medallion was presented to Women Aware’s Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) at the June 25, 2023 Presentation Ceremony & Celebration of Volunteerism at the Grounds for Sculpture.

(Photo) Representing the DVRT were volunteers Carol Robinson, Patrica Romagna, Ditpi Parikh, and Christine Clayton-Stroh. Program administrators were Edward J. O’Malley, chair emeritus, NJ Governor’s Advisory Council on Volunteerism and Community Service, and Michele Hayes, vice president, Marketing, NJ Advance Media (far right).

Women Aware’s DVRT members are trained volunteers on call to meet victims of domestic violence with compassion and empathy at their local police station, upon request by the police dispatcher, following an incident of abuse. DVRT volunteers provide crisis services that include emotional support, safety planning, and information on domestic violence and community resources. Twenty-one volunteers serve 11 municipalities across Middlesex County. Women Aware’s DVRT undergoes regular training on topics such as temporary restraining orders, legal options, and high-risk abuse such as strangulation. They also attend refresher training classes to strengthen their understanding of Women Aware’s programs and services.

Some Women Aware DVRT volunteers moved beyond abuse themselves and want to give back to victims. They may know someone who experienced intimate partner violence and either benefited from services or did not know that services were available and suffered alone. They are kind, compassionate individuals from diverse backgrounds who volunteer their time to become trained first responders to victims in crisis.

When a victim is brought to the police station following an incident of domestic violence, they need to be believed and reassured that they are not, and will not, be alone as they deal with this crisis in their life and, possibly, in the lives of their children. A trained DVRT volunteer is the compassionate first face a victim meets from Women Aware, Middlesex County’s state-designated domestic violence service agency. By listening and providing calm support, DVRT volunteers open the door for victims to access the free, confidential services that Women Aware’s professional advocates offer to anyone experiencing abuse in the county. In 2022, Women Aware’s DVRT volunteers conducted 231 safety planning sessions and provided information about community resources to 230 clients. Furthermore, DVRT volunteers staff Women Aware’s outreach tables at community events such as National Night Out and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At these events, volunteers serve as ambassadors and educators to inform the public about the services available to survivors of domestic violence and their families, and how to access them. By connecting survivors to Women Aware, DVRT volunteers assisted the agency in serving 2,638 individuals in 2022, 17% more than in 2021. The agency provided emergency shelter to 278 women and children fleeing for their lives from violence in their homes. Women Aware’s legal advocacy team conducted 3,377 safety planning sessions in 2022 and assisted survivors in securing 853 temporary restraining orders, a 73% increase over 2021.