Women's Shelter and Support Center
Saving Lives. Restoring Hope. Changing Futures.

Domestic Violence

Crisis intervention, advocacy, support, and housing.

You are not alone. We can help.

No one deserves to be beaten, battered, threatened, or in any way victimized by violence by their intimate partner in current or former dating, married, or cohabitating relations. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, female or male, young or old, single or married, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or income level.  Domestic violence, sometimes called battering, is against the law. And you have the right to live without physical, sexual, verbal, mental, or emotional violence or the fear of such abuse.

What is domestic violence?  

It’s not about a single fight or disagreement in a relationship. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behaviors where one partner is trying to gain power and control over the other. These behaviors can involve: physical abuse or the threat of physical abuse, repeated psychological abuse, forced sexual activity, isolation, intimidation, economic manipulation, medical deprivation.

Warning signs such as jealousy, name-calling, and possessiveness are red flags for an abusive relationship. Many victims of domestic violence report that the “crazy-making” behavior of psychological abuse by batterers is more devastating than the physical violence.

You may feel confused that someone you love (or once loved) is hurting you. You may feel ashamed or guilty or wonder if anyone will believe you. Maybe you’re worried about calling the police or telling your family, friends, or co-workers. You may have lost hope that things can change. Your abuser may keep telling you you aren't lovable or worthy of a life without them. Many people feel more worried about their children, or even their pets, than they do about themselves.  (Janedoe.org)

We can help.

safe emergency housing

We understand that when you are ready to leave, you may need safe emergency housing for yourself, your children and even your pets.  We offer supportive housing, with trained advocates available to assist you every step of the way.  We have clothing, personal supplies, hot meals, transportation, and financial assistance.  Our emergency shelters are secure and confidential homes where you can find safety and shelter while you plan your next steps.

transitional housing

When you are ready to transition from shelter living to independent living, you are invited to stay in one of our transitional houses. You will pay 25% of your income to stay in a clean, comfortable, and safe building. A Transition House advocate is available to you as a renters during scheduled hours.  You will continue to be supported by our staff as you move toward finding permanent housing.

Civil Court Services

We can help you write and file an Order for Protection (OFP) or an Harassment Restraining Order (HRO). These are court orders designed to offer some protection from an abusive or harassing partner. Our trained advocates can also attend the hearings with you so that you don't have to go through this alone.

informational grouP

If you are unsure about whether you are in an abusive relationship or want a safe place to learn more about domestic violence, an informational group about domestic violence is offered weekly at Family Services Rochester. Transportation and a light meal is provided free of charge. Group follows a 12-week schedule with topics including Forms of Abuse, Cycle of Abuse, Effects of Abuse on Children, Self-Esteem and Body Image, and Setting Boundaries. A corresponding children's group and childcare are also available free of charge. Information Group is facilitated by a trained advocate from the Women's Shelter, and is also offered in Spanish.

24- hour crisis line

Staffed 24-hours a day, 7-days a week by trained domestic abuse advocates, the crisis line provides counseling and referrals to anyone seeking information about domestic violence. Compassionate and caring advocates are available at any time to talk about current or past situations, and provide callers with information about community resources or the option of shelter services.

Women's Advocacy

Our caring and compassionate advocacy staff provides you with individual support and help with opportunities for personal growth. Advocates also provide assistance with safety planning, housing options, transportation, assistance with criminal and civil court issues, assistance in writing Orders for Protection and Harassment Orders, and help in applying for government assistance. We  have satellite offices in Dodge and Fillmore Counties.

Criminal court Advocacy

A trained, dedicated IPDA advocate is available to guide you through the criminal court process when a partner is charged with domestic assault. The Intervention Project for Domestic Assault (IPDA) is our criminal court advocacy and offender monitoring program. Through the IPDA program, we.are also able to track cases through the system and discover patterns and trends in our area. 

support group

Offered once a week, support group gives you the chance to talk about your experiences with a trained community education advocate. Topics range from types of abuse and manipulation, to finding housing and personal growth. Childcare is available during group. This group is open to all women who are or have experienced domestic violence regardless of whether you are sheltered with us.

Children's programming


Childcare is offered on-site during the week and is provided by a trained Children's Advocate. Childcare is free of charge to women staying at the shelter who have general appointments, housing appointments, and interviews. Childcare is also offered during the weekly Support and Information Groups.

Children's Group

Children's Group is offered weekly at Family Service Rochester. While the women learn about different topics relating to domestic violence, their children will learn corresponding information that is age appropriate. Children's Group is taught by our trained Children's Advocate. Children too young to participate in Children's Group attend childcare provided free of charge by volunteers.

School-age Children

Our trained Children's Advocate will help mom's register their children for a school, set up transportation, and provide each school-age child with school supplies.