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Women Aware

Women Aware Advocates for Immigrant Survivors

“I believe the judicial system in New Jersey should be a place for all victims to find safety.” -Maria Betanzos, Assistant Executive Director

TRENTON—On June 5th, state lawmakers convened a public hearing on the practice of federal immigration officials arresting undocumented immigrants at New Jersey courthouses. Advocates worry that the practice will discourage undocumented victims of domestic violence from coming forward.

Women Aware joined with the New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence, the ACLU, and other expert advocates to provide first-hand testimonial about the serious fallout of the practice. Women Aware’s Assistant Executive Director, Maria Betanzos testified:

“One of our clients is an undocumented woman from South America. Her abuser, a US citizen, brutally battered her and left her unconscious for two days. She remained in a coma for 3 months and suffered severe brain damage. Her children were placed in foster care. If she had felt safe to do so, she may have been able to access the security of our courts before this traumatic event nearly killed her.”

The threat of deportation at courthouses is putting immigrant victims at risk for serious injury and death. This is just one example of the cases we regularly encounter at Women Aware. We shelter over 200 women and children each year who are at high-risk of lethality, and to date, over 40% have been immigrants.

Women Aware is committed to a society where all individuals can live free from violence and injustice, regardless of immigration status.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Awards $10,000 to Women Aware

NEW BRUNSWICK–For the past 8 years, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has been ranked in the top 10 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. Recently BMS awarded Women Aware $10,000 to support our life-saving services to victims of domestic violence, carrying on their tradition of giving back. We are proud to partner with BMS to promote the safety and self-sufficiency of those affected by domestic violence in Middlesex County.

J&J Donates Flowers and Funds for Sheltered Moms

NEW BRUNSWICK–The Johnson and Johnson Pride Team delivered Happy Mother’s Day flowers for every mother in our shelter this morning. In addition to the beautiful tulips, the group raised over $250 that will be matched by J&J corporate for our emergency fund. When the mothers receive their flowers on Sunday, they will know that they have the support of our community to move beyond abuse.

Asian-Interest Groups Raise Funds and Awareness at Rutgers

Thanks to the sisters of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority and the members of the Rutgers Cantonese Club for fundraising to support Women Aware and survivors of domestic violence. Members of the groups also hosted a Sexual Assault Awareness Event on campus and participated in the recent events for Take Back the Night. We love seeing the next generation of leaders standing up to gender-based violence. SYZ is a multicultural, Asian-Interest Greek Organization oriented towards cultural, social, educational, and community service.

Save the Date: October 11, 2017

October 11th, 2017 | 6:30-7:30
Monument Square Park, New Brunswick (in front of the Heldrich Hotel)

October 11th, 2017 | 6:30-7:30
Monument Square Park, New Brunswick (in front of the Heldrich Hotel)

Join us during Domestic Violence Awareness Month for our annual Candlelight Vigil to honor those affected by domestic violence and those who serve them.

Students Host “Concert for Peace” to Benefit Women Aware

NEW BRUNSWICK–Monday night students gathered to rock out to local bands, eat cotton candy, and raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence at Bishop Beach on the Rutgers College Avenue campus. The Student Peacemakers hosted the event as a fundraiser for Women Aware after learning about our work during a tour. In addition to donating, participants wrote words of support and put them in a jar for survivors to read and know that the Rutgers community supports them.

Do you have a student or community group looking to get more involved? Contact Katie Orlemanski to set up a tour and start a conversation today (korlemanski@womenaware.net).

MAX Challenge Somerset Raises over $7,000 for Women Aware

SOMERSET–“I feel overwhelmed with the generosity of people out here today. The kindness and love in the room, especially by the 4 owners, is amazing. In a world that seems too filled with darkness at times-it is also filled with hope and light. ”

These are the words written by Women Aware’s Director of Client Services, Maliha Janjua, after she attended the MAX Day of Giving this past Saturday to benefit Women Aware. Women Aware’s former Board President Joe Camarota Jr. suggested our cause to the group, and the MAX owner said “This is a cause that we are passionate about. Having this recommended to us, and then subsequently choosing it, felt very ‘right’.”

Held at the MAX Challenge Somerset location from 8am to 10:30am, the benefit involved a family friendly workout followed by food and tricky tray/raffles. The group raised over $7,000 for victims of domestic violence. Together we get closer to our goal of ending domestic violence.

AMEC NJ Conference Donates Hundreds of Items to Shelter

NEW BRUNSWICK–Yesterday the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church donated hundreds of items to domestic violence survivors at Women Aware. The drive, headed up by Sister Coleen Williams-Lewis, was meant to recognize the mission work needed in our own communities as well as abroad. Thank you for your generosity.

Rutgers A Capella Group Raises $1,000 for Women Aware

RU ShockWave, a Rutgers group of student a capella singers, put on a Spring Concert to benefit survivors of domestic violence at Women Aware. With ticket and vendor sales, the group is donating $1,100 to help shelter and support survivors. Once again, we love our student allies!

Rutgers fraternity raises funds and awareness on campus

NEW BRUNSWICK–Congratulations to the winners of the Rutgers Pi Delta Psi’s annual Miss Cutie Pi pageant. Contestants shared their talents with the crowd from 7-11pm last night in order to raise awareness of domestic violence. All proceeds will benefit Women Aware. We love our student allies!