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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. 

Letter from Barack Obama

Today we received a letter from the Barack Obama for our anniversary. It reads:

“I send warm wishes as you gather for your 35th anniversary.

For centuries, engaged, active women from all walks of life have shaped our Nation–imagining a brighter future and stopping at nothing to achieve that dream. The results of their efforts can be seen throughout our country and serve as examples of the tremendous progress that can be made when we come together in common purpose.

Today, women across America help carry forward a proud tradition of empowering others and lifting up lives. Demonstrating the hard work and compassion that represent the best of our national character, these leaders and doers show what can be accomplished when we embrace our obligations to one another and to the world we share.

I hope you take pride in your efforts and dedication, and I wish you all the best.”

Volunteering Pays Off

Thanks to Joe Del Guercio, the MetLife Foundation just awarded Women Aware a $1,250 grant. The grant is part of their Volunteer Ventures program, which supports charities where Metlife employees volunteer.

Joe (pictured with Women Aware employees) has supported Women Aware for years and is an honorary member of Women Aware’s Board of Directors. Thank you, Joe!

Does your workplace match gifts, or reward volunteers? Send us an email and let us know.

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.”

Keep Reading…

Remembering Giorgina Nigro

Message from the Executive Director

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Giorgina Nigro. This tragedy will not serve to break our resolve, rather it will strengthen our commitment to keep fighting the good fight.

Click here to read more about Giorgina’s life.

There is hope. Every year lives are saved.

In 2014…

  • 1 out of 8 victims who sought help in New Jersey were served by Women Aware
  • 1 out of 8 children sheltered in New Jersey were protected at Women Aware’s Safe House

Your support changes lives. Behind these numbers are real people with dreams, children, and unique stories. Our families found hope when they found you… You will find peace as you work for justice.

Simply put: Love wins.

Thank you for your commitment to move families beyond abuse.



News Coverage

  • “She was wonderful. She was a breath of fresh air. She was sweet. Anyone who knew her would say that…” http://mycj.co/1DqR2TB
  • Giorgina Nigro allegedly killed while sleeping by ex-husband. “She was the best at what she did. She was a bright woman…” http://mycj.co/1gRXOYd
  • Funeral services for Giorgina Nigro are being scheduled. Family members have been asked to wear purple, the color representing the courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending domestic violence. http://mycj.co/1h2MAjD
  • “A lot of people loved her. She was a great person. She wanted to help everybody.” http://mycj.co/1SjSspz

Remembering Tamara Seidle

Our hearts go out to the Seidle children and their community following the tragic death of Tamara Seidle.

News 12 reached out to Women Aware to help understand her murder, and spoke with Assistant Executive Director, Sheila Fichtner.

“We know that typically violence escalates when a couple is separating–so when they’re breaking up, when they’re going through divorce, when there’s a restraining order. Anytime that there’s access to weapons, that level of danger increases.”

Continue reading

Fathers Moving Beyond Abuse

When it comes to domestic violence, our first priority is helping the victim. But what if we could also move the batterer beyond abuse?

Now in its second year, our Responsible Fatherhood Program works with fathers to help them build healthier relationships with their partner and their children. Not everyone can make the transformation but, for some, it’s life-changing. Here are their stories.

One young dad, who came into the program because of how he was treating the mother of his two young daughters, shared: “Every person who is a father should have to do this program every year. You get stuff out of here you don’t even realize. It just teaches you how to be a man, to be a dad so that your kids have a positive example to look up to.”

In response to an assignment in which the men are asked to write a statement articulating appreciation for their partners, one dad wrote the following: “I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. Thank you for giving me my daughter and helping me raise her as well as you have. Thank you so much for being there for me and supporting me through some hard times in my life. And even though we aren’t together, it means a lot to me that we are still friends and that you are always there if I need someone to talk to.”

Other men shared:
“Thank you for helping me to believe in myself to play a better role as a dad for my kids’ sake and learning to control my emotions and behaviors.”

“I learned here that I have to do the right thing for my daughter. I’m not a kid anymore, I’m a father and she’s gonna look at me for how a man should act. If I don’t act the right way, she’s gonna try to find security from some clown in the street when she gets older.”