DLFF is a proud partner of A Woman’s Place (AWP). As a community-based, social change organization, AWP provides free, private, confidential, and comprehensive services to anyone who has experienced domestic violence in Bucks County.
AWP also provides free education & training programs designed to build the community's capacity for responding to domestic violence, supporting survivors, and preventing future violence. This month, we sat down with Executive Director Marianne Lynch to discuss the impact of DLFF’S support for AWP.
In September 2022, DLFF provided AWP with a grant to support their Child Advocacy Program (CAP). AWP’s CAP provides emotional support to non-offending parents and their children residing in shelters, hotels, and the community. This support consists of providing sessions focusing on discussing emotions, increasing emotional expression in healthy ways, and providing a trauma informed atmosphere to help the clients feel safe.
At this time last year, AWP was operating CAP with one employee and a waiting list of 30 children. Understanding how critical this type of support could be in unleashing potential, not only the children served but as well as their family, DLFF provided a grant to support the program.
Lynch shared a recent success story from the program. “Recently, a CAP participant came to A Woman’s Place with their mother. The child had witnessed domestic violence between their parents and they were defiant, struggled to ‘use their words’ and at times violent when faced with confusing crossroads or conflicts. Through the support of CAP, this child is now able to learn conflict resolution skills and use their words when confronted with a challenge,” said Lynch.
Since the time DLFF gave AWP its grant, the non-profit has also received a federal grant of $500,000 for the same program. AWP is now operating their Children’s Advocacy Program with two employees and no waiting list. “DLFF was the first toe in the water,” added Lynch. “I don’t know that we would have gotten that federal grant without DLFF stepping in first.”
AWP has a vision to empower and educate men, women, and children by visiting schools around the county to help bring awareness of domestic violence and healthy relationships. In addition to the grant provided by DLFF, AWP has already achieved a milestone in its educational programming by visiting over 6,000 students in schools and colleges so far in 2023. Topics for AWP’s education programming include healthy friendships, social media, healthy boundaries, teen violence, and healthy romantic relationships.
DLFF’s continued support of AWP has allowed our scholars to make a direct impact on the people that AWP helps every day. Pathway scholars at Holy Family Regional Catholic School worked on a service project that included the creation of holiday cards and a video of holiday greetings from the students to residents at AWP.
“When DLFF sent holiday cards to the shelter, it was such a wonderful surprise. Not only for the residents but for the staff as well,” said Lynch. “Those cards meant so much to the residents. To know they have support from strangers is something that gives them hope and strength when they need it most.”
Looking ahead, AWP recently learned that they are going to be displaced from their current location, and that they must find or build a new home. It is Lynch's hope that with help from DLFF and other members and organizations of the community, everyone can come together to help AWP find a new place for their residents to call home.
The more light DLFF can shine on AWP, the better we are able to unleash not only our potential, but the potential of our residents. "We want to create a safe space for parents to be the parents they want to be,” added Lynch. “The biggest thing people should know about AWP is that it is free, private and confidential. Not enough people know we exist.”
About A Woman’s Place (AWP)
A Woman's Place (AWP) is a community-based social change organization committed to the empowerment of women and to ending intimate and domestic violence for all. Founded in 1976, AWP is the only domestic violence community benefit organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. AWP provides a full range of programs and services to individuals experiencing domestic violence, their children, and the community. For more information, visit www.awomansplace.org.