Battered Women’s Resources (BWR)
For more than 30 years, BWR has been dedicated to creating a community free from domestic violence. To achieve its mission, BWR provides core services and community support, including a 24-hour helpline, community education, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, outreach, court advocacy, and counseling.
Named the Montachusett Taskforce on Battered Women, the agency was founded by twelve local businesswomen who recognized that women in abusive relationships needed a place for help.
The agency adopted the name Battered Women’s Resources, Inc (BWRI).
In the fall of 2005, BWRI was awarded a grant from the Verizon Foundation to complete a strategic plan. The results indicated the need to strengthen and expand critical programs available to victims of domestic violence and their families over the next five years.
The Board of Directors of BWRI unanimously voted to merge with the YWCA Central Massachusetts. The Executive Director of BWRI was quoted as saying “The merger of these two agencies creates the largest women’s advocacy and resource center in central Massachusetts and brings a solid regional focus to the issues facing women and their families in the central area, including domestic violence.” To reflect its status as a program of YWCA Central Massachusetts, BWRI changed its name to Battered Women’s Resources (BWR), dropping the ‘I’ for incorporated.
Daybreak is the designated domestic violence service provider in the greater Worcester area. To achieve its mission, Daybreak provides core services and community support, including a 24-hour helpline, community education, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, outreach, court advocacy, and counseling.
Daybreak Resources for Women & Children was founded on the campus of Clark University by a student, Beth Herr, who had documented the need for battered women’s services and the lack of those services in Worcester. Together with a group of volunteers, Herr and one of her professors, Betsey Stanko, started a domestic violence hotline and established temporary, emergency shelters for battered women and their children. Herr later became Daybreak’s first executive director when the shelter was incorporated in 1978.
Daybreak purchases an old Victorian style home which would become an emergency shelter for women and women with children fleeing imminent danger. The shelter would be the centerpiece of Daybreak’s programming for many years.
Over the years, the agency grew in services, however it was not adequately staffed and was continually in search of the financial resources to accomplish its work. It was at this time that talks with YWCA Central Massachusetts began, and in 1996 Daybreak Resources officially merged with YWCA Central Massachusetts.