Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. Records

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Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. records
Creator: Alternatives for Battered Women (Organization)
Call Number: D.553
Dates: 1977-2003 ; 1979-1998 [bulk]
Physical Description: 84 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Access
Use
Citation
Sponsor
Content List
Series I: Governance
Subseries I: Board
Subseries II: Leadership committees
Subseries IV: Annual reports, 1981-2003
Series II: Financial
Series III: Shelter operations
Subseries I: Shelter policies
Subseries II: Client services
Children's Program
Court Advocacy and Program at Family Court
Series IV: Outreach
Subseries I: Dating Violence Education Program
Subseries II: Hospital outreach
Subseries III: Interfaith outreach
Subseries V: Men's Education for Non-Violence (MEN's) Workshop
Subseries VI: Sana y Salva
Subseries VII: Training and community outreach general
Series V: Transitional housing
Subseries I: Wilson Commencement Park
Series VI: Conferences and research
Subseries I: ABW conferences
Subseries II: Local and national conferences and trainings
Subseries III: Research
Series VII: Related organizations
Subseries I: New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Subseries II: New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Subseries III: Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium
Collection Overview
Title: Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. records
Creator: Alternatives for Battered Women (Organization)
Call Number: D.553
Dates: 1977-2003 ; 1979-1998 [bulk]
Physical Description: 84 Cubic feet
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
In the mid-1970s, a group of Rochester activists led by Helen H. French and members of the nursing, mental health, and education communities, organized the Coalition for Battered Women in 1976. Two years later, the group incorporated as Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW), Inc. and established a volunteer-operated hotline. After securing funding from private, state, and county sources, such as the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, United Way, and the New York State Department of Social Services, ABW extended its services and opened a 22-bed shelter for women and their children in 1979. The next year the shelter began a children's program, which was funded by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Phyllis Korn, the executive director of the organization from 1979 to 1998, spearheaded efforts to improve access to legal aid, oversaw the creation of the Court Advocacy Program at Family Court, and created a support service for children living in abusive homes. During her tenure, she and prominent community activists against domestic violence also created the Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium. Officially founded in 1982, the Consortium began as an advisory group to the Men's Education for Non-Violence Workshop, an intervention group created by Vince Butler, a social worker, through the Genesee Mental Health Center that same year at the request of ABW and with the support of the Rochester Police Department and Family Court. The group quickly expanded and began to act as a cooperative committed to ending domestic violence through community education, professional communication, and legislative change. ABW has remained a consistent and active advisory member of the Consortium.

From 1979 to the present, ABW (renamed Willow Domestic Violence Center in 2015) sponsored several conferences around issues of domestic violence, and its members created and maintained interfaith and community connections and outreach programs, supported low-income transitional housing for victims of domestic violence and educated local police departments and hospitals on proper responses to domestic violence. In 1990, ABW, in collaboration with Strong Memorial Hospital and with funding from the Federal Domestic Violence Challenge Grant through the New York State Children and Family Trust Fund, began Project S.A.F.E., a dating and teen violence education program. Also that year, ABW collaborated with the Ibero American Action League to operate the Sana y Salva program for Latina women.

At a time when violence against women and children was considered a private family matter, not subject to public scrutiny or criminal liability, ABW offered a different perspective - where women had an inalienable right to bodily integrity and autonomy. Despite then prevailing social conceptions of women in abusive relationships as masochistic, having deliberately provoked the violence against them, or mentally ill for staying in those relationships, the organization continued to shift the narrative and place the blame and responsibility on the abusers.

When it opened its doors in 1979, ABW was one of three shelters providing services for women and their children in the State of New York. ABW offered simple, practical emergency housing, counseling, and medical services. In the 40 years of its operation, the organization has grown considerably, and today it helps over 7,000 women and their children in Monroe County each year to gain access to legal aid, safety, care, and understanding.

Scope and Content
The Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. records, 1977-2003, is quite extensive, ranging from administrative records and materials which speaks to daily shelter operations, to client services, community outreach, special programs, and research on domestic violence. The bulk of the content is from 1979 to 1998, during which time Phyllis Korn acted as executive director. The strength of this collection is that it documents and underscores the intricacies and endurance of beginning and operating a non-profit domestic violence shelter in New York State.

Subject(s):
New York (State)--Rochester
Abused women--Services for
Women's shelters
Alternatives for Battered Women (Organization)
Access
Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. records is currently unavailable for research use. For more information, please contact RAREBKS@library.rochester.edu

Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc. records, D.553, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Sponsor
NYS Archives Grant
Administrative Information
Author: Katherine Elena, Emilee Brecht, John Green, Ania Michas-Bailey
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Governance
The Governance series, circa 1970s-1990s, contains documents regarding the legal and financial processes of forming and operating a non-profit organization in Rochester, New York in the late 1970s; additionally, it speaks to the institutional connections at the local level. The documents in this series include by-laws, legal documents, policies and procedures of the shelter, corporate goals, board responsibilities, meetings, elections, and finances.

Subseries I: Board
The Board subseries, 1976-1997, consists of governance material relating to the ABW board of directors, such as minutes and agendas for individual meetings, information on board members, policies, procedures, programs, events, and orientation trainings. The minutes are arranged either by individual or date, and they discuss ABW's various sub-committees, finances, and other internal activities.

Subseries II: Leadership committees
The Leadership committees subseries, circa 1970s-1990s, consists of meeting minutes, agendas, and member information for the various sub-committees within the governance of ABW. These sub-committees include: Executive, Nominating, Development, Client Service, Public relations, Research, and ad hoc committees.

The Executive Committee was composed of the officers of the ABW Corporation and the immediate past president of the corporation. The president served as chairperson to the Executive Committee. The committee was responsible for exercising all powers and conducting the business of the ABW Corporation during intervals between meetings of the board of directors. The Executive Committee was also responsible for the supervision of the executive director, who released the annual reports.

The Nominating Committee submitted nominations to fill expired and unexpired terms of board members, as well as a slate of officers for the board of directors.

The Client Services Committee ensured the quality of service provided by the agency, developed links to other relevant service providers in the community, and reviewed revisions made to programs, services, procedures, and policies. The committee would also recommend annual program service objectives to the Board.

The Public Relations Committee developed and maintained public relations and the community education efforts of ABW through designing and distributing printed material, participated in or organized radio and TV coverage, as well as worked with the Speaker's Bureau.

The Research Committee oversaw and approved research projects and data collection, including the use of data, recommended policies concerning the goals and conduct of the research, and facilitated the annual program evaluation study.

Ad Hoc Committees were appointed from time to time by the president, with the approval from the board of directors if new programs or activities needed management.

Subseries IV: Annual reports, 1981-2003
Series II: Financial
Series III: Shelter operations
The Shelter operations subseries contains documents related to the daily activities of the shelter, policies and procedures, client services and shelter programs, and employment information.

Subseries I: Shelter policies
Subseries II: Client services
Children's Program
The Children's Program subseries, 1979-1996, contains material related to ABW's program for children entering the shelter. The shelter offered a playroom, volunteer daycare, and parenting classes as well as assistance in liaising with various agencies. ABW staff also monitored initial intake interviews, weekly case summaries, counseling sessions, significant incidents, and comments and outcomes.

Court Advocacy and Program at Family Court
The Court Advocacy and Program at Family Court subseries, 1980-1995, contains material related to Alternatives for Battered Women's legal assistance for clients. In 1994, ABW established the Court Advocacy Program, which served petitioners in Family Court seeking Orders of Protection. The program, which was a collaboration with the Legal Aid Society, and included advocates, attorneys, and volunteers who provided support in legal matters.

Series IV: Outreach
The Outreach series, 1979-1998, contains operating materials such as schedules, reports, procedure lists, and training and workshop handouts; resource materials including literature and information from other agencies; funding materials such as budgets and grant applications, and correspondence; and promotional/informational pamphlets and brochures.

Subseries I: Dating Violence Education Program
The Dating Violence Education Program subseries, 1987-1997, contains material related to outreach efforts specifically for teenagers regarding dating violence. In particular, this program was integrated into middle and high school health curricula. Brochures and multimedia presentations were created for students and teachers. ABW also took referrals from school counselors.

Subseries II: Hospital outreach
Subseries III: Interfaith outreach
Subseries V: Men's Education for Non-Violence (MEN's) Workshop
The Men's Education for Non-Violence (MEN's) Workshop subseries, 1979-1991, contains material related to ABW's work with men, sometimes referred to abuser's rehabilitation or batterer's intervention. In 1982, the MEN's Workshop was created in collaboration with the Genesee Mental Health Center. It was a minimum 6-month program comprised of weekly 90-minute sessions. In addition, there were presentions at schools as well as professional training workshops at hospitals, colleges, and conferences.

Subseries VI: Sana y Salva
The Sana y Salva subseries, 1991-1995, contains material related to outreach activities in the Latin American community. In 1989, ABW began Sana y Salva (Safe and Sound) in collaboration with the Ibero American Action League. The program provided a bicultural, bilingual counselor at ABW's shelter, to assist with access and support services, as well as to further community outreach.

Subseries VII: Training and community outreach general
Series V: Transitional housing
Subseries I: Wilson Commencement Park
Established in 1986 with support from Children and Family Trust Fund.

Series VI: Conferences and research
The conferences and research series includes the various conferences that either ABW organized or were those that staff members of ABW attended. The research material speaks to national and international lobbying, advocacy, and research efforts. Staff and affiliates wrote some of the articles, handbooks, and general information booklets included in this series.

Subseries I: ABW conferences
The ABW Conferences subseries, 1984-1996, consists of material that refers to the conferences organized and co-organized by ABW.

There are four prominent conferences organized by ABW within this subseries: A Deadly Silence: Issues on Domestic Violence (1988); Power Control and Other Deadly Themes (1993); Hidden Trauma: The Mostly Missed Epidemic. A Symposium Examining the Medical and Legal Concerns of Domestic Violence (1993); and Domestic Violence in the Spotlight: Strategies for Law, Health Care, Religion, Mental Health, and Education (1995).
The material in this subseries has beeen arranged in chronological order.

Subseries II: Local and national conferences and trainings
The Conferences subseries, 1976-2004, contain the materials regarding the many conferences attended by ABW staff members. The files include informational brochures about the conferences, correspondence between ABW and the organizer of a given event, thank you notes, presentation slides and text, handwritten notes from lectures and workshops, promotional material, and other miscellanea. The conferences focused on the prevention of domestic violence.

Subseries III: Research
The Research subseries, circa 1970s-1990s, consists of research studies, academic papers, and bibliographies published by various individuals and organizations primarily focused on issues related to domestic violence. Research material also includes studies directly orchestrated by ABW's research committee, which sponsored research on topics like intersexual violence in Monroe County. Articles by other Rochester and New York State individuals and organization cover topics like the psychological, physical, social, and emotional effects of domestic violence. There are also articles on rape, gender bias, grief, police and laws, pregnancy, ethnicity, and child abuse, published from presses across the United States.

There are many brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and handbooks from organizations across Rochester, New York State, and the United States, however; the majority of the material was published or distributed by ABW and other Rochester organizations, including the Domestic Violence Bureau of Monroe County, United Way, Monroe Community College, and health centers such as Strong Memorial Hospital and the Rochester Health Network. The material is primarily in English, but there is some in Spanish as well. The content published nationally also includes public health topics relating to HIV/AIDS, alcoholism, and child abuse.

Additionally, there are many newspaper articles published by local Rochester newspapers such as Democrat and Chronicle, Times-Union, and City. The work of ABW is documented in these publications. The bulk of the clippings are from the 1990s, and they chronical local and national domestic violence cases, including the OJ Simpson case and trial. Representatives of ABW spoke out about the trial and communicated with local radio stations and newspapers about the case's resonance with survivors of domestic violence.

Series VII: Related organizations
Subseries I: New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) is a statewide coalition of regional programs. The Coalition was founded in 1978 by a team of women involved in various local programs working against domestic violence to support and develop education and networking for service providers. Over time their project portfolio grew to include data gathering on regional programs, including data on reported incidents of domestic violence and requests for aid, which helped fill a gap in data keeping at a state level. They also began the Spanish-language domestic violence hotline, inline with providing technical assistance and support for local English-language hotlines already in existence.
ABW Executive Director Phyllis Korn was one of the founding members of the NYSCADV and was a keynote speaker at their 25th Anniversary Conference and Gala in 2004.
The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) subseries, 1980-1991, consists of board meeting minutes, monthly reports, communication between various board members and other administrators of regional programs, lists of programs and resources, materials regarding legislation and advocacy, and materials relating to the 2004 coneferenc.

The monthly reports were prepared and mailed to the NYSCADV membership, and detail updates on the various task forces and programs NYSCADV ran, including lengthy documentation of the process to set up and evaluate the Spanish language hotline. The monthly reports also offer updates with statistics of services, including numbers of calls made to the hotlines, number of residents, types of incidents, and more. Public outreach and awareness efforts and events are also discussed, as are updates to legislature, lobbying and advocacy efforts. Supporting material with objectives, program plans, evaluations, and further statistics on the impact of domestic violence in the community are also present.

Besides the monthly reports, there are also handwritten notes of many of the board meetings, which provide more context on the discussions noted in the reports and minutes. There is also a notable amount of material regarding securing grant funding and financial support from the state.

As part NYSCADV's goals were to gather and retain better data on domestic violence incidents to better inform their legislative advocacy and provide adequate support, there are a large number of blank and filled surveys which were devised by the Data Collection Project and sent out to service providers across the state. Reports from many of these agencies are also present. As the NYSCADV was also a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there is similar material from that agency, including some meeting notes, reports, communication about legislation and events, and surveys.

NYSCADV also served as a body to advise its member organizations on best practices and policy, and there are many examples of position papers on various aspects of care, including drafts, commentary, discussion notes, and revisions. Photocopies of newspaper and journal articles, including some with reflections on programs the NYSACADV supported. The NYSCADV also produced printed material with guidelines for evaluating and handling potential victims of domestic violence for health providers in emergency rooms and hospitals, and also for therapists. Besides issues directly involving adult victims of domestic violence, there are also discussions and development of a curriculum for Child Protective Services.

Subseries II: New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (NYS OPDV), formerly the Governor's Commission on Domestic Violence (1983), was created in 1992 and is the only executive state-level agency dedicated to domestic violence issues in the United States. They advise the Governor and Legislature on legal policy, practices, and reform, provide training for state professionals in various sectors on the intersection of domestic violence issues with their work, and promote education and awareness of domestic violence issues, including producing resource and training materials for both service providers and victims.
The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (NYS OPDV) subseries, 1983-1987, includes materials relating to the police force, family court, and criminal court. There are meeting minutes, agendas and notes from OPDV meetings, as wells as copies of medical articles on domestic violence issues, reports to the governor, and more. There is a large amount of correspondence between Phyllis Korn and various state officials. Another interesting highlight is the multiple drafts of policy law regarding domestic violence crimes created for use in the Monroe County Court System, proposed amendments to protection laws and policies for family court, and associated notes and correspondence surrounding their creation and revision.

Informational materials written for the general public provide an outline of legal options for victims of domestic violence without legal training, as well as separate materials other service providers. Some of the content is in Spanish.

There is also a decent amount of material concerned with laws and medical literature on child abuse, including child sexual abuse, as this remains a secondary, associated area of concern of the OPDV.

Subseries III: Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium
The Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium (1983-current) is an alliance of agencies, programs, and services in the Greater Rochester area working on various aspects of intimate partner violence, formed with the goal of creating a cohesive and effective community response.
The DVC was originally organized as an advisory committee to the Men's Education for Non-violence Workshop (MEN'S Workshop), a program created to re-educate and rehabilitate batterers.
The Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium (DVC) subseries, 1985-1998, consists primarily of meeting minutes, notes, and program and training materials. Information and statistics pertaining to the MEN'S Workshop are present but are not the subseries focus.



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