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Women Aware


Domestic violence victims continue dire call for help

The power of the Internet recently played a critical part in domestic violence awareness. A surveillance video that exposed an altercation turned physical between a professional football player and his then-fiancee was widely circulated in the media and caught the attention of domestic violence victims…

In addition to high-profile cases, local domestic violence deaths increase awareness too. “We see an influx of calls when there is a death in the community resulting from domestic violence,” said Sheila Fichtner, assistant executive director, Women Aware, New Brunswick. … Read more. 

Help available to domestic violence victims

The recent tragic murder of Giorgina Nigro at the hands of her husband is a painful reminder of the consequences of domestic violence. We became members of the board of directors for the service provider Women Aware because we are committed to helping our community move beyond abuse. It is vital that everyone in Middlesex County knows that Women Aware is here to help.

Help is available to all, regardless of race, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, language, age or immigration status. As board members of Women Aware, we urge you to take advantage of these invaluable services. Women Aware is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find us online at www.womenaware.net or call the hotline anytime at 732-249-4504.

Women Aware Board of Directors

Did New Jersey courts fail Giorgina Nigro?

WOODBRIDGE – Township police found the bloodied body of 32-year-old Giorgina Cimino Nigro on the morning of July 22. But it wasn’t the first time they had been called to her home.

It is not unusual for victims of domestic violence to remain in abusive relationships, said Phyllis Adams, executive director of Women Aware, a nonprofit providing services to domestic violence survivors in Middlesex County.

“The victim has the most to lose,” she said. “The victim learns to play by the rules of the perpetrator. If a victim does what the perpetrator says, they are less likely to be harmed and so are the children less likely to be harmed. The one rule that is pretty universal is that you can’t leave.”

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Candlelight Vigil Honors Those Impacted Domestic Violence

Candlelight Vigil Honors Those Impacted by Domestic Violence

New Brunswick, NJ (October 9, 2014) – Women Aware, the lead domestic violence agency in Middlesex County, New Jersey, hosted their annual Candlelight Vigil at Monument Park in downtown New Brunswick. The public event recognized and honored those who have been impacted by domestic violence.

Through its annual Candlelight Vigil, Women Aware hopes to shed light on the issue of domestic violence. October 9, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the federal government’s first response to domestic violence, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. This anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on lives transformed by the services provided by domestic violence agencies.

A domestic violence survivor who had been helped at Women Aware offered to share her experience. “The truth hit me hard when one day my five year old son asked me a question, ‘Mommy, does God forgive Daddy for pulling you by your hair across the floor?’ He was three when this incident happened,” she shared. “My eyes were opened and… I decided the time had come to get out.”

She continued, “I entered the Women Aware Safe House in March 2011 and immediately received compassion and support from each and every staff member I came in contact with. Their help gave me a feeling of empowerment and a confidence I could make it on my own.”

“Three and a half years later, I am still working and living independently,” she concluded. “My future is no longer one of pain and fear, but of joy and hope and peace and I’m excited about life.”

Approximately 150 vigil participants gathered and many raised candles to present a united front against domestic violence. Among them were the members of the Community Fellowship Mass Choir. The group contributed through their music, performing a cappella renditions of several praise songs, emphasizing the message “You can make it”.

Several local elected officials were in attendance, including Freeholder Carol Barrett Bellante and Councilwoman Elsie Foster-Dublin of Highland Park. Also present was Charmaine Thomas, Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

Women Aware’s Executive Director, Phyllis Adams, encouraged all attendees to continue working towards a just society, “Together we can create something beautiful.”

About Women Aware

Women Aware is the state-designated lead domestic violence agency for Middlesex County. Founded in 1979 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the organization served over 1,300 men, women, and children in 2013. Women Aware offers comprehensive services to assist survivors of domestic violence at every stage as they move beyond abuse. Services include a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, support groups, children’s trauma therapy, batterer’s intervention counseling, and permanent supportive housing apartments. All services are free, confidential, and available in multiple languages.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, call the hotline at 732-249-4504.


To learn more, contact:
Phyllis Adams, Executive Director
(office) 732-249-4900

Download this press release as a Word document.

Ray Rice video boosts calls to N.J. domestic violence hotlines

The video of football player Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee had been visible barely a half-day before New Jersey’s domestic violence hotlines started seeing a jump in calls. “High profile cases like this really help raise awareness in every one of our communities,” said Phyllis Adams, executive director of Women Aware, the domestic violence agency for Middlesex County. ... Read More.