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Spring 2016

NEWS Support and advocacy for those affected by domestic violence and abuse in the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury and Sharon and nearby NY & MA

Trade secrets On May 14th and May 15th, Women’s Support Services (WSS) will be holding it’s 16th annual two day fundraiser, TRADE SECRETS. The rare plants and garden antiques sale on Saturday, will start at 8:00am for the Early Buying ticket holders and at 10:00am for the Regular admission ticket holders. This year a new ticket level has been added, the Late Bloomer ticket allows entry to the sale at 1:00pm. There will be over 60 vendors and this year we will have 8 distinguished authors on site to sign their books, beginning at 11:00am. The books will be available for purchase from Johnnycake Books’ booth. The Rooftop Growing Guide ~ Annie Novak The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias ~ Andrew Bunting Outstanding American Gardens; a celebration – 25 years of the Garden Conservancy ~ Page Dickey At Home in the Garden ~ Carolyne Roehm The Art of Gardening: Design Inspiration and Innovative Planting Techniques ~ Joe Henderson, Emma Seniuk, Eric Hsu Garden Revolution ~ Thomas Christopher

The second day will feature a beautiful tour of four outstanding gardens. The tour will begin at 10:00am and end at 4:00pm. The breathtaking gardens featured on the tour this year are the “must see” gardens of Bunny Williams & John Rosselli’s in Falls Village and Old Farm Nursery in Lakeville. We are also thrilled to have Michael Trapp’s Farm Garden and Carolyne Roehm’s Weatherstone in Sharon. The proceeds raised from this two day event allow WSS to continue helping victims of abuse through their programs and services. This event would not be possible or successful without the help of: Community members that assist us with the planning, business/agencies who advertise in our Resource Guide and those that volunteer at the event as well as those that attend. WSS appreciates and thanks all of you!

For more information, visit our website, or call the WSS office at (860) 364-1080 PHOTOS BY STEPHANIE STANTON 2015

Women’s Support Services

24-hour Hotline (860) 364-1900

From Executive Director Dr. D. Elizabeth “Betsey” Mauro

Dear Friends of Women’s Support Services, I have the privilege of introducing myself as the new Executive Director of Women’s Support Services (WSS). Building on the diligent work of the previous Executive Director, Lori Rivenburgh, I am honored to be part of the profound and important mission of WSS. Beginning work here was like taking a trip to a place you have never been before… there was so much to see, and learn, and do. But some things became obvious immediately. First, the staff members of WSS are exceptional professionals who serve with compassion and diligence. Their commitment to being client-centered in all we do builds trust with and preserves the dignity of all who turn to us for help. Second, the Board of Directors of WSS is a dynamic, engaged, hard-working group of volunteers who bring an amazing array of expertise to shepherding our mission. They bring steady guidance to our challenging mission. Third, WSS is supported by hundreds of other volunteers without whom we could not be successful. From our major fundraiser, Trade Secrets, to office help, to client advocacy, all provide critical help to us. Finally, we could not do all that we do without you. Over half of our budget depends on the generosity of our community partners who know that domestic violence and abuse is a pervasive problem that merits our attention and response. Thank you for your commitment, your encouragement, and the resources you provide. Through your gifts, you provide hope to those who come to us, the kind of hope that can transform lives for the better. If you would like to know more about Women’s Support Services or would just like to say “hello,” please feel free to call me. Or call ahead if you want to stop by and say “hello” in person. I look forward to our continued work together. Sincerely,

Dr. D. Elizabeth “Betsey” Mauro, Executive Director

Biography: Betsey Mauro grew up in the Litchfield Hills and has deep family roots in Cornwall where she lives with her husband, Paul. Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director of WSS, she was Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership in Olivet, Michigan. Betsey is an ordained Congregational minister and served pastorates in Connecticut & Maine. Prior to entering ministry, Betsey worked as a petroleum geologist. She also served as a sexual assault crisis coordinator for the Susan B. Anthony Project in Torrington, Connecticut. Of this unique combination of experiences, board chair Maria Horn says, “Having been both a scientist and a pastoral leader in her previous work, Betsey brings with her both rigorous clarity and profound emotional engagement with the mission of WSS. A native of the region, her deep connection to our community informs the fresh perspective she brings to the agency and its work. “

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Giving to WSS Our work is made possible by donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. Together, we can create a community free of domestic violence and abuse. Send a check in the pre-addressed envelope or drop it off at our office during normal business hours Make a secure online credit card donation at or call the office at (860) 364-1080 Send in or drop off your LaBonne’s receipts. The supermarket donates a percentage of the sales recorded on these receipts to WSS. Send in or drop off your old cell phones. Shelter Alliance recycles the phones and sends a payment for each phone to WSS. In less than a minute you can create a fundraiser for which the proceeds will go directly to WSS. Whether you are running a marathon, celebrating your birthday, doing a tribute, volunteering on weekends, or anything else, use Crowdrise to raise money for WSS and make a real-life impact. Visit womenssupportservice In addition to financial contributions to meet our operations, outreach, counseling, legal advocacy, and programming needs, WSS continues to accept the following items for clients in need: Phone and gas cards Grocery cards Gift cards Gift certificates to local eateries Gently used women’s and children’s clothing in good condition Used, but usable cars for our Calling All Cars program.

Here is a list of Professional Trainings offered by WSS For more information call (860) 364-1080 Dynamics of Domestic Violence

Dynamics of Teen Dating Violence

Internet Safety


Killing Us Softly: How We Are Portrayed In The Media

Prevention & Intervention Strategies At School

Impact Of Violence On Children & School Climate

Women’s Support Services Agency Overview

Healthy Relationships

Other Topics By Request

Women’s Support Services provides comprehensive support and advocacy services to domestic violence victims/survivors and their children, focusing on immediate and long-term safety, empowerment, dignity, and hope. Intervention Women’s Support Services is here to assist victims in navigating systems, whether through coordinating services with other providers, or by accompanying clients to court hearings, medical exams, police interviews, and other appointments. When a family violence arrest occurs in our region, our court-based Family Violence Victim Advocate provides immediate and ongoing support to victims from arraignment through the ongoing court process. Education In our efforts to end violence in the home and in relationships, we believe that we must work to change the way society thinks about and responds to domestic violence. Our community education programs aim to increase public awareness and understanding of domestic violence and abuse through community engagement, outreach, and educational workshops. Prevention Primary prevention reduces domestic violence by changing attitudes, behaviors and norms that support the perpetration of violence. We believe that teaching children peaceful, effective alternatives to violence is critical if we hope to decrease school, family, and interpersonal violence in our community.

Joan Titus Last year, Women’s Support Services: ●Provided support services to 570 individuals (489 adults and 81 children) ●Responded to 442 crisis contacts (phone calls and walk-ins) ●Conducted 894 individual supportive counseling sessions ●Delivered support group services to 118 participants (adults and children) ●Provided emergency short term shelter to 2 families

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Joan Titus, a resident of Cornwall, CT and a long time donor to Women’s Support Services since 2002, passed away on March 5, 2016. She lived in Cornwall since the late 1960’s and was a highly respected Real Estate Broker for over four decades. Joan bequeathed a generous financial donation and a car to WSS. She had known about our Calling all Cars program, and wanted someone who deserved and needed a vehicle for transportation to have it. We are very grateful and appreciative of Joan’s generosity. Our sympathies and best wishes to Joan’s family & friends.

NEWS Non-Profit Org US Postage PAID Permit No 11 Winsted, CT 06039

Women’s Support Services P.O. Box 341 158 Gay Street Sharon, CT 06069 Phone: (860) 364-1080 Fax: (860) 364-5767 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: (860) 364-1900 E-mail:


Find us Online @Trade_SecretsCT

Women’s Support Services 24-hour Hotline (860) 364-1900 All services are FREE and confidential. Collect calls accepted. We do NOT subscribe to Caller ID.

Support and Crisis Counseling OUR MISSION The mission of Women’s Support Services is to create

We are available to talk with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week on our hotline. Individual counseling and support services are available Monday – Friday or by appointment.

a community free of domestic violence and abuse

Prevention Education

through intervention, prevention, and education.

We provide programs to school groups, professional in-service trainings, and community groups.

We offer free, confidential, client-centered services focused on safety, support, advocacy, and community outreach.

Emergency Short-term Shelter We provide immediate, short-term, shelter, as well as referrals to long-term shelter for victims of domestic violence.


A confidential and non-judgmental support group meets each week to talk about issues of abuse, support, change and healthy relationships.

We believe that domestic violence and abuse is a

Anchor in the Storm Support Group

pervasive cultural problem. In our efforts to

A confidential and non-judgement support group for secondary victims of abuse. This group is for family members, friends and loved ones that have been impacted by a loved one’s batterer.

eliminate it, we believe we must:

BOARD MEMBERS Maria Horn, Chair Louisa Yap, Vice Chair Steve McKibben, Treasurer Judith Crouch, Secretary Maria Bulson C. Warren Carter Susan DeMelle Mimi Estes Lisa Foster Katherine Freygang Clare Rashkoff Carrie Smith Emily Vail Emma Wynn STAFF Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro, Executive Director Therese Stanford, Office Administrator Vicki Kirkpatrick, Fund Development Coordinator

Increase public awareness and

Court Advocacy

understanding of domestic violence and abuse


Our Family Violence Victim Advocate works at Bantam Criminal Court to assist victims of family violence following an arrest and throughout the court process. We can also help someone obtain a restraining order, and provide transportation to and advocacy in Litchfield Civil Court.

Engage all members of the community in our

Advocacy and Referral

efforts to end violence in the home and in

We can help you find and use the social, legal, and medical services that you need.

Ashley Gille, Hotline Counselor

Parenting Group

Elly Roraback, Hotline Counselor

Work toward social change that empowers


A support and educational group that uses the evidence-based “Common Sense Parenting” curriculum.

Maggie Ianello, Program Manager Liz Davis, Adult Counselor Advocate Rebecca Cohen, Child Advocate & Community Educator Lisa Waldron, Family Violence Victim Advocate

Noemi Medina Hotline Counselor

2016 WSS Spring Newsletter