Everywoman’s Center receives a $112,000 grant

By Collegian News Staff

In order to provide outreach, counseling, and sexual assault prevention education to rural communities in Hampshire County, the Everywoman’s Center received a three-year, $112,000 grant from the Department of Public Health, according to a press release.

As part of the grant, the Everywoman’s Center will work with survivors of sexual assault and offer free peer counseling and support groups. According to the release, a new component to the project is the development of screening and referral policies for victims by working with healthcare providers. They will also collaborate with schools, social service agencies, and youth groups.

According to the release, rural communities are forced to cope with unique barriers when dealing with sexual and domestic violence. As Associate Director for Rape Crisis and Violence Prevention Services Becky Lockwood outlined in the release, “geographic isolation, municipal police departments without full-time staff, lack of public transportation to larger communities where most medical and mental health services are provided, and fear of discussing abuse issues in small communities because ‘everyone knows everyone else’s business,’” are some of the rural obstacles.

The project will target federally designated rural communities including Amherst, Belchertown, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Granby, Middlefield, Plainfield, Southampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington.

The Everywoman’s Center will partner with the Department of Public Health which has awarded similar grants including New England Learning Center for Women In Transition (NELCWIT) in Franklin County and the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Berkshire County. The Department of Public Health was awarded a $1 million grant to fund these smaller grants by the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

—    Collegian News Staff