Victim Services

The YWCA Central Massachusetts has developed a comprehensive domestic violence program that encompasses a service delivery system that can respond to survivors of domestic violence effectively and efficiently. The design of each component is intended to address specific areas in the continuum of domestic violence services – ranging from emergency shelter for survivors and children fleeing from imminent danger to non-residential community based services, advocacy and support. It strives to address all forms of intimate partner violence simultaneously. Battered Women’s Resources (BWR) and Daybreak are programs of the YWCA Central Massachusetts.

24-Hour Hotline
The 24-hour hotline service provides emotional support, domestic violence advocacy, referrals to community resources, safety planning and crisis intervention. The hotline is answered by trained advocates who offer thoughtful attention. The hotline accepts collect calls.

Daily Chatline 4 p.m.-12 a.m.
The daily chatline service provides emotional support, domestic violence advocacy, referrals to community resources, safety planning and crisis intervention. The chatline is answered by trained advocates who offer thoughtful attention. The chat line address is

Community Outreach
Local outreach is conducted at various community sites and provides access to support, advocacy, referrals, safety planning and crisis intervention.

Developing Alternatives For Women Now (DAWN)
DAWN is a intervention group targeted at women adjudicated for prostitution-related offenses. The program engages prostituted women in an eight-session cycle and provides alternatives so that women may choose to exit prostitution. DAWN is a collaborative of the YWCA, Worcester District Court Probation Department, the City of Worcester and numerous community stakeholders.

Domestic Violence Class
Clients who have been identified as domestic violence victims by the Department of Children and Families are referred to a domestic violence class held at the DCF Worcester office. The class is held once a week for 4 weeks. For the Battered Women’s Resources program they are referred to participate in classes based out of the Leominster office.

Emergency Shelter
The domestic violence shelters provide refuge for victims at safe, confidential sites. These are the only confidential shelters in Central Massachusetts. Domestic Violence Services Advocates provide support, advocacy, counseling, and individual case management. The goal while at shelter is to empower the lives of survivors and their families, and to assist them in rebuilding for the future.

Family & Friends Bystander Program
Families and friends of victims, or suspected victims, may meet with a Domestic Violence Advocate for support, resources and information about domestic violence, as well as to discuss possible interventions.

SAFEPLAN/Court Advocacy
SAFEPLAN advocates are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice, but are available at the court to assist victims of domestic violence through the restraining order process. SAFEPLAN advocates provide emotional support, explain the legal process of restraining orders and paperwork, courtroom procedure and discuss safety planning as well as referrals to ongoing support services. To speak to a SAFEPLAN Advocate, call the 24-hour hotline or the SAFEPLAN office in a court.

Short-term Counseling and Advocacy
This service provides goal oriented short-term counseling to victims and survivors of domestic violence; allowing individuals to explore their options privately with support of a counselor. This service uses an empowerment based model where the counseling process empowers victims to evaluate their situations and plan for their safety and future.

Recovery Linkage
Substance Abuse/Domestic Violence Advocates coordinate services within community substance abuse treatment sites, serving women at various levels of treatment. Domestic violence intervention, education and prevention services are linked to each site, as well as direct services including short term counseling and facilitation of psycho-educational groups.

Support Group
The domestic violence support groups are a time for people who have experienced domestic violence to come together, share experiences, and offer support to one another. They provide a comfortable atmosphere to develop trusting and caring relationships, and a safe place to talk about the abuse. All discussion is kept confidential. Referrals may be made by calling the outreach line, or may come in from other service areas. Survivors meet with an advocate and discuss the most compatible option available to them prior to joining the support group.

Service Provider Consultations
Domestic Violence Advocates are available to Service Providers for domestic violence consultations and resource information.