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Women Aware


Women Aware’s Executive Director to Serve on Governor-Elect’s Transition Team

TRENTON–Governor-elect Philip D. Murphy announced on Friday memberships of the Transition 2018 committees, naming more than 500 individuals who are undertaking the policy analysis and recommendations on a host of state issues and initiatives as the new administration prepares to take office in two months.

Women Aware’s Executive Director, Phyllis Adams accepted an invitation to serve alongside many esteemed colleagues on the Human and Children’s Services Committee of Governor-elect Murphy’s Transition Team.

When nominated Phyllis Adams said, “I’m honored to serve on this committee as we collectively move families beyond abuse.” Tammy Snyder Murphy, wife of the Governor-elect, recently spoke at Women Aware’s candlelight vigil in October about the need to do more to address domestic violence in New Jersey.

Human and Children Services

Phyllis Adams, Women Aware, Inc.; Reverend Bryant Ali, New Psalmist Baptist Church; Megann Anderson, NJ Alliance for Children, Youth and Families; Paul Aronsohn, Former Mayor of Ridgewood; Hanifa Barnes, Philips Education Partners; Carolyn Beauchamp, NJ Mental Health Association; Tiffany Cardwell, Kiddie Corner Day Care Center; Rex Carney, Elwyn’s Institute; Mildred Crump, Newark City Council President; Shruti Devi, MANAVI; Reeva Foster, NJ Black Issues Convention; Elinor Goldberg, Access Communication Empowerment; Bob Guarasci, New Jersey Community Development Corporation; Xiomara Guevara, Morris County Organization for Hispanic Affairs; Patricia Hart, Womanspace; Mary Helen Cervantes, NJ Department of Children and Families; Walter Kalman, Former Director of NJ National Association of Social Workers; Elaine Katz, Kessler Foundation; Kathy Krepcio, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University; Kate Lee-Askew, NJ Coalition Against Human Trafficking; Judi London, Bancroft; Eric Martins, DMGS; Elaine K. Meyerson, New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence; Tammy Molinelli, Bergen County Workforce Development; Kim Ricketts, Former Commissioner of Families and Children; Deborah Spitalnik, Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Rutgers University; Ella Teale, Urban League of Union County; Patricia Teffenhart, New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault; Bill Waldman, Former Commissioner of the Department of Human Services; Wayne Wirta, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence–NJ.

Women Aware Exceeds $5,000 Purple Purse Goal

This October, Women Aware participated for the first time ever in the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge. We set out to raise $5,000 online.

Thanks to incredible supporters like you, we nearly doubled our goal. We brought in a total of $9,000. That is all money that will go towards sheltering, counseling, and protecting individuals and children affected by domestic violence. Our supporters donated $5,000 and the Allstate Foundation matched an additional $4,000.

Domestic Violence & Mass Shootings Linked Again

Women Aware offers our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The 26 victims included at least 14 children and a pregnant woman. We wish recovery and healing for the injured survivors and all who are affected.

The assailant, who opened fire at a church on Sunday, had been previously convicted and incarcerated for domestic violence. A new study released by Everytown for Gun Safety has found that 54% of mass shootings in the U.S. are related to domestic or family violence.

“The domestic violence is often the canary in the coal mine,” said Sarah Tofte, research director at Everytown for Gun Safety. During interviews yesterday she continued, “We have to address abusers’ access to firearms. And we can do that in so many ways, making sure they’re prohibited from possessing firearms, making sure they turn in the firearms they own. And we, as a country, have to understand more the connections between domestic violence and firearm violence.”

To access domestic violence services in Middlesex County, call Women Aware’s 24-hour hotline at 732-249-4504. We welcome relay calls.

Book Launch Featuring Women Aware

STOCKTON–On October 25th, supporters of domestic violence survivors gathered for the launch of “Towards the Light,” a collection of stories of hope from survivors of domestic and dating violence. Women Aware’s very own Director of Client Services, Maliha Janjua, had her story published anonymously in the volume. Maliha is pictured here (right) with BW NICE Founder and book editor Diane Simovich.

BW NICE, Business Women Networking Involving Charity & Education, provides women at all stages of business and personal life with support, education and resources. They see value in the balance of business networking and charitable outreach. They bring women together to gain meaningful business connections, learn new ways to succeed, and foster an empowering environment. Each BW NICE Chapter raises funds and awareness supporting a local organization in the fight against domestic violence. The BW NICE Middlesex County Chapter supports Women Aware. Interested in joining or learning more? Click here: BW Nice MSC

Women Aware’s 2017 Candlelight Vigil Honors Survivors and Victims

Photo Gallery

Event Program

NEW BRUNSWICK–On October 11th, Women Aware hosted a candlelight vigil to honor individuals affected by domestic violence and those who serve them. 150 members of the community came together for a night of powerful speakers and quiet reflection as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Maliha Janjua, Director of Client Services at Women Aware, delivered her testimonial of dating and gun violence.

“After what seemed like months of stalking and harassment, on September 7, 2007, he came into my place of work in Menlo Park Mall, and without a word shot me at point blank range in the face. As my throat swelled choking my airway, I watched him turn the gun on himself and take his own life.”

She spoke of her long path to healing and recovery. Today, Ms. Janjua is one of the leading advocates for survivors in the country. “You are not alone. I am living proof that,” she said. Today she works with thousands of survivors of domestic violence every year at Women Aware.

Tammy Snyder Murphy, wife of Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, spoke about the need for our communities to do more to end domestic violence in New Jersey.

Also in attendance were Freeholder Blanquita Valenti, Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, New Brunswick Mayor James Cahill, Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler, East Brunswick Mayor Brad Cohen, Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, who represents New Brunswick in the State Assembly, and Director of Human Services for Middlesex County Melyssa Lewis.

(At right photo credit Daniel J. Munoz of TAP into New Brunswick)

Mass Shooting Victims

Women Aware offers our deepest condolences to the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada last night and their families.

On the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are tragically reminded of the intersection of mass shootings and domestic violence. Last year alone, 1/3 of mass shooting deaths in the United States were related in some way to domestic violence. For more on the topic, visit our 2016 post here.

Please join our Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday October 11th from 6:30-7:30 pm at Monument Square Park in New Brunswick to honor all victims of violence and especially victims of domestic violence. The event is free and open to the public.

Back to School with GW Connections Donation

At the beginning of every school year, the members of GW Connections donate backpacks to the children in our shelter and therapy programs. This year the group stuffed more than 25 bags with school supplies and basic necessities. We can’t wait to see the smiling faces when the kids receive them.

Women’s Networking Group in Middlesex County to Fight Domestic Violence

EDISON–Philanthropy-minded business women will launch a BW NICE chapter on August 17th from 9am-10:30am at the Crowne Plaza Edison. In addition to providing networking and education opportunities for its members, the group will raise funds for Women Aware. Women Aware’s Assistant Executive Director will be the Guest Speaker at the launch.

BW NICE (Business Women Networking Involving Charity & Education) is a unique women’s networking organization that provides women at all stages of business and personal life with support, education and resources. They see value in the balance of business networking and charitable outreach. In addition to their monthly networking meetings, each BW NICE Chapter raises funds and awareness supporting a local organization in the fight against domestic violence.The Middlesex County Chapter meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Edison.

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Become a Member

Learn More about BW Nice


Honoring Arthur Roedel

It is with great thanks that we honor Arthur Roedel’s loving service to victims of domestic violence. May he rest in the same peace he has given to so many others.

To read more about Arthur’s life of service, click here. 

Pictured: Arthur and Debbie Roedel

Merck Awards $25,000 to Support Maternal Health of Survivors

KENILWORTH–The Merck Foundation recently awarded $25,000 to Women Aware through their Neighbor of Choice grant. The funds will go to supporting the health and well-being of survivors of domestic violence in our emergency shelter. In particular, the grant will mitigate the negative health outcomes of domestic violence for expectant mothers.

Merck has a long history of supporting Women Aware. Every year, the Merck Women’s Network collects clothing, baby products, and household items for victims in our emergency shelter, and we receive multiple financial donations from employees through Merck’s Workplace Giving Program.

Merck is dedicated to building strong and vibrant communities by promoting a healthier society. Like Merck, Women Aware is committed to improving the wellness and quality of life of people in our community. Together, with like-minded partners like the Merck Foundation, we will achieve a safer and healthier society for all.