Safety is a Basic Human Right
Northwoods Battered Women's Shelter (“NBWS”) is a domestic violence shelter and advocacy program with a vision of a community free of domestic violence in which safety is a basic human right. NBWS provides emergency crisis shelter and advocacy to victims of intimate partner violence; this includes shelter services to women and their children and short-term safe housing to men and their children. Crisis shelter is a stay up to 60 days, with a potential for longer stays. Safe housing is provided through hotel vouchers for 1-3 nights . With the crisis shelter and safe housing services, NBWS provides meals, items to meet basic needs (personal hygiene products and clothing), and transportation. Advocacy is both for shelter/safe housing victims and community based victims (not residing at shelter/safe house) and includes working with clients to obtain self-identified goals, emotional support, crisis intervention (typically through the NBWS 24 hour crisis phone line), and assistance in connecting with local resources. Advocacy also includes legal advocacy which is assistance with filling out Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders, court accompaniment, and tracking criminal matters on behalf of victims. NBWS advocacy is also institutional advocacy and social change advocacy. Institutional advocacy is acting as a voice for victims, collectively, within systems or institutions that interact with victims, such as the Criminal Justice System or with local service providers. Social change advocacy is impacting social norms and attitudes towards Domestic Violence; this large picture advocacy is implemented by educating others on the dynamics of domestic violence and speaking to the collective needs of victims using the information learned from direct service work.