PATERSON, NJ-   October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  The Passaic County Women’s Center (PCWC) needs your help to keep its domestic violence programs strong through volunteer action, financial support and spreading the word about our services.  If you are currently or have been the victim of domestic violence or are one of the nearly three quarters of Americans who personally know someone who has, please call or recommend the PCWC 24-hour hotline:  973-881-1450.    PCWC needs your help to combat the more than 3,300 domestic violence offenses per year reported in Passaic County (NJSP, UCR, 2016).   

PCWC depends on trained volunteers to respond to survivors at police stations and hospitals during a time of crisis.  Training to join the all-volunteer Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) begins in October. Sign up now to be part of the solution at www.passaiccountywomenscenter.org.

PCWC is bringing Karma Cottman, a nationally-recognized expert on intersectionality and domestic violence to Passaic County to speak to our community on Thursday, October 17 at The Paterson Museum, in recognition of DV Awareness Month.  There will be a reception with light refreshments at 5:30 p.m., and Ms. Cottman will speak at 6:30, followed by Q & A.  Admission is $25.

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Intersectionality is a relatively new word.  It was coined by scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989.  Intersectionality is the framework by which one can understand and/or acknowledge that most people have intersecting identities, particularly those from marginalized communities - one can be oppressed due to race, gender, socio-economic status, and/or sexual orientation/gender identity.  Crenshaw states, "Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects.”

Karma Cottman has over 20 years of experience in the violence against women field. A diverse leader, Karma is an expert in grassroots organizing and local, statewide and national policy advocacy.  She joined the DC Coalition as Executive Director in 2010, and in 2014, she launched Ujima: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community.

During her tenure with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Karma has changed the way that the District approaches responding to domestic violence. Through her leadership, Washington, DC has more than tripled its funding support for domestic violence agencies and District agencies have expanded services for domestic violence survivors.

Tickets can be purchased or donations made at www.passaiccountywomenscenter.org. These critical dollars from individuals, corporate and foundation supporters help to fill the considerable gaps not covered by government sources.

PCWC is the State-designated lead agency for domestic violence and sexual assault-related services in the county.  They are passionate about assisting survivors in living violence-free lives and working to end domestic violence in Passaic County.  Every day they provide free culturally responsive services that include a safe house, supportive counseling, crisis response, legal assistance, creative art therapy for child witnesses of domestic violence, and community education geared at prevention.

The PCWC Outreach and Support Center is located at 1027 Madison Avenue in Paterson; the safe house can be accessed through the hotline.  For further information on how to access services, support the cause or volunteer to help, please see www.passaiccountywomenscenter.org.  PCWC is a program of NJAC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.