An organization that helps women in Marquette and Alger Counties by providing advocacy services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence is celebrating its 40 year anniversary.
The Women’s Center was established in 1973 and is the longest standing domestic and sexual violence service provider in the state. It has grown to two building, and has helped thousands of women in the past 40 years.
“We started out by helping women that were experiencing domestic violence, for example, by staying in various members’ homes. There was no shelter, there were no laws that protected them, the intervention of the criminal justice system was very weak and ineffective, and over the years its just been an incredible, incredible change,” Women’s Center-Harbor House Founding Mother Pat Micklow said.
“Since the doors opened, thousands and thousands of survivors in this community have been helped by this organization,” Women’s Center-Harbor House Director Phyllis Loonsfoot said. “I just think it’s incredible that the funding is there, and that we can keep our doors open so that women and children have a safe place to go.”
Four of the center’s Founding Mother’s returned to the center’s board two years ago after following different career paths.
“It was like coming home and again and being able to pick up where we had left off, and we feel very strongly about these services,” Micklow said. “We’re right on the frontlines all the time. Providing this kind of help to individuals in our community that need it is really a wonderful miracle.”
The Women’s Center has helped almost two thousand women who have been affected by domestic or sexual violence in the past year.
For more information on the Women’s Center, including the services it offers and how to donate, visit their website.