NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  – Women Aware will mark 40 years of service to individuals and families affected by domestic violence in Middlesex County, New Jersey with a 40th Anniversary Virtual Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The event will bring together members of the community to remember victims whose lives were ended by domestic violence and to honor survivors moving beyond abuse. The candlelight vigil is open to the public and free to attend. Registration is required. Visit

“This major milestone in Women Aware’s history links our past and present in a special way as we will be joined by the founders of the original shelter for victims of domestic violence in Middlesex County,” stated Chief Executive Officer Phyllis Yonta. “Today’s Women Aware stands on the shoulders of pioneers like Diane Palladino, Ellen Koteen and their team who were powerful advocates for victims at the local, state and national level.”

Moving forward from the extraordinary challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for Women Aware’s services to survivors of domestic violence has grown and our delivery of services has evolved. Financial support is needed now more than ever so that Women Aware can continue to provide free and confidential services 24/7 to anyone who seeks our help moving beyond abuse.

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During the vigil, we will honor pioneers, volunteers and partners who have lent their voices, energy and resources to help break down barriers between survivors and the services they need:

Women Aware shelter founders, Diane Palladino and Ellen Koteen

Volunteer advocate, Ruth Hague

Founder of Sansone Auto Group, Paul Sansone, Sr.



40th Anniversary Vigil Underwriter – Grant from Merck

Candlelight Vigil Sponsor - Independence Wealth Partners

Keynote Speaker Sponsor – The Honorable Marina Corodemus • Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP

Vigil Partner – Yvonne Cangelosi • Edward Leske Company • MassMutual • Schechner Lifson Corporation • Linda Van Derveer

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Susan Dyckman, director of development, at or 732.249.4900, ext. 0428.


How to Help

Register to attend (no charge):

Donate online:

Text to donate: 202-858-1233 Code WA40

Mail your donation: Check payable to Women Aware; mail to Women Aware, 40th Anniversary, 250 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Follow Women Aware on social media:

  @womenawareinc  @womenaware    @Women_Aware


About Women Aware

Women Aware is the state-designated lead domestic violence agency for Middlesex County. For 40 years, Women Aware has been saving lives through a comprehensive array of services that include a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, support groups, children’s trauma therapy programs, legal advocacy, and supportive housing. Each year Women Aware moves approximately 2,000 survivors beyond abuse.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, call Women Aware’s free 24-hour hotline at 732-249-4504, toll-free at 833-249-4504.