The Women’s Center provides individual and group therapy, and legal advocacy, including assistance with pro se documents, safety assessments, personalized safety plans and information regarding 209A’s (restraining orders) as well as 258E (Harassment Orders). Our Domestic Violence Specialist is also able to assist with information and lawyer referrals, and advocacy with Department of Transitional Assistance and The Department of Children and Families. The Women’s Center employs two SAFEPLAN Advocates who are located in both the Fall River District Court and the Probate and Family Court. SAFEPLAN Advocates assist with the filing of 209A’s and 258E. A Civilian Police Advocate, housed in the Fall River Police Department, is the liaison between victims of domestic violence and the Police Department. The advocate provides safety planning, crisis intervention, support services and court accompaniment and follow-ups with all client contacts. The advocate also sits on the Bristol County District Attorney’s High Risk Team to assist in identifying serial batterers and holding them accountable.
Our services include:
- Individual Counseling
- SAFEPLAN/Court Advocacy
- Educational Trainings
- Crisis Intervention
- Group Counseling
- Information & Referrals
- Walk-in Services
- Speaker’s Bureau
- Professional Training
- Free Babysitting while receiving services
Individual counseling is offered. Advocacy and a SAFEPLAN Advocate are available 8:30am to 4:30pm.
All victims of domestic violence are eligible for our services. Most insurance plans are accepted, and services are available free of charge for those individuals who do not have insurance or an ability to pay.
Additional Women’s Center Info
Since 1977, the Women’s Center program has been meeting the special needs of survivors of domestic violence and their children. We are committed to advocating for survivors in their quest to live their lives productively and free from violence, both in our daily work and through our local, regional, statewide and international community.
Domestic violence, sexual assault and other traumas become major familial and systemic issues. We work with families at high risk by offering a wide range of specific services to improve the entire family environment and the next generation of children. We work with faith-based communities, police, courts, parenting programs, schools, health care and other social service agencies in addressing issues concerning not only the victims, but the perpetrators of domestic violence.
Since the official inception of the Southeast Regional Collaborative in 2006, we have begun a formalized process of cooperation and networking. As one voice for the Greater Fall River area, as well as all of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and through our membership in the statewide Jane Doe Coalition, we have a well- defined presence in regional and state government to deal with legislative priorities, funding and policy making.
Babysitting is available while survivors attend our services. We maintain a 24-hour hotline.
A member of the Greater Fall River Domestic Violence Coalition, the Women’s Center is the identified program in the area to provide prevention services and trainings to local hospitals, police stations and social service and educational institutions. For the past several years, Women Center staff have served on Department of Social Services teams and have been leaders in the state in creating two “Best Practices” series for domestic violence providers and child welfare agencies. Staff also provide clinical supervision to the state-certified Batterer’s Intervention Program at SSTAR.
In 1999, the Women’s Center Director was selected to participate in “Justice Across the Atlantic,” an exchange program between the United States and the Azorean Government in Portugal to address the many practices and challenges that arise in the domestic violence field. Another staff member with over 25 years of experience in the domestic violence field has been providing annual trainings for the past eight years on the topic of “Domestic Violence and Post Traumatic Stress” for members of the Kahnawake Reservation in Quebec Province, Canada.
Dale Brown, MED, LMHC, is the Director of The Women’s Center at SSTAR. She is also writes for the Fall River Herald News’ column, Community Voices which features community-based experts or specialists. Below are links to her columns.
- Community Voices: Trauma-informed care for victims of domestic violence
- Women Making History: Dale Brown, director of the Women’s Center at SSTAR
- Herald News: Changing Batterfield
- Women’s Center, police offering women in need a helping handbag
Masks We Wear Book
This deeply moving and beautifully photographed book is a compilation of masks and narratives created by women survivors of domestic violence.
Their hearts and voices can be seen and heard throughout these pages. Their pain, their struggles, and their ultimate freedom are borne within these narratives and poetic masks…. read more