Willow Domestic Violence Center merges with RESOLVE

Willow Domestic Violence Center has merged with RESOLVE of Greater Rochester Inc. to expand staff clinical expertise and mental health services within Willow. A longtime collaborator with Willow, RESOLVE’s experience providing therapeutic support since 1998 will complement the continuum of services that Willow has provided to survivors of domestic abuse for more than four decades.

Willow is the only state-certified provider of residential and non-residential domestic violence services in Monroe County and is known as the hub and the resource for those experiencing domestic violence and intimate partner violence in the Finger Lakes region. Willow provides free and confidential services including a 24/7 hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, legal services, court accompaniment, mobile advocacy, prevention education and training.

“Survivors often face challenges on their journey to safety and their needs are unique and varied, especially with increased demand while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Willow President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauvieux in a statement. “This merger is a strategic partnership to ensure Willow’s community response continues to be agile, seamless and comprehensive while honoring the legacy and expertise of RESOLVE.”

The merger will seek to reduce the impact of trauma and strengthen the resilience of survivors.

“Our coming together will create a seamless survivor experience for those in the midst of a crisis and those further along in their healing journey,” said Mary Whittier, interim CEO for RESOLVE.

All RESOLVE team members have been offered positions within the Willow staffing infrastructure, including counseling, prevention and administrative support. Willow will assume RESOLVE’s current eastside counseling space in Penfield, adding to Willow’s central urban locations.

RESOLVE board member and treasurer Kristin Hughes will serve as a Willow board member. Whittier will serve as a consultant during the transition of the RESOLVE team through Aug. 1.

The partnership was made possible by the United Way of Greater Rochester Inc. Synergy Fund, which lends technical assistance and reorganizational support for nonprofit mergers and strategic affiliations.

“This is an example of the power of United Way’s Synergy Fund to support nonprofits in finding alignment and exploring opportunities to strengthen services and fulfill their core mission,” said United Way President and CEO Jaime Saunders. “This affiliation of Willow Domestic Violence Center and RESOLVE builds on the strengths of each organization to best serve survivors of intimate partner violence by providing a full continuum of services and support that empowers survivors and provides much-needed safety.”

The merger is the second time Willow has taken advantage of the Synergy Fund, following the creation of Deaf IGNITE at Willow last August, which integrated specialized services for deaf survivors under Willow’s umbrella of programs.

Willow was founded in 1979, while RESOLVE was founded in 1998.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Resolve unmasks domestic violence program

Resolve of Greater Rochester Inc., a local nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic violence, has partnered with 65 area businesses and organizations to become ambassadors to help #UnmaskDomesticViolence in October.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Resolve’s goal is to raise awareness about domestic violence and intimate partner violence and how it affects one in three people in their lifetime. The #UnmaskDomesticViolence program will distribute more than 5,000 face masks and 10,000 pieces of informational material to community members in order to raise awareness of the issue.

By working with a variety of community partners, Resolve is creatively and effectively reaching people throughout the Greater Rochester area. Partners include Harris Beach PLLC, Butler Till Media, Genesee Regional Bank, CooperVision Inc. and more.

Resolve also has created a unique partnership with Scratch Bakery, which will create sweet treats specific for raising awareness of the issue of domestic violence. The company is donating a portion of the proceeds from its October sales to Resolve.

“Being a survivor myself and working with Resolve, it truly turned my life around,” said Molly Hartley, owner of Scratch Bakery. “I think it’s so important to let others who are suffering from the trauma of domestic and intimate partner violence know they are not alone and that there is hope and healing. Being able to give back to Resolve in this way is something we all at Scratch believe in and support.”

Face masks will include Resolve’s name, logo and theme for October.

“We want to raise the awareness of DV/IP and let our community know that Resolve is here for those who seek life-changing therapy. Ninety percent of clients who successfully complete our Survivor Transition Program do not return to their abuser, nor do they enter into another abusive relationship,” said Mary Whittier, Resolve’s interim CEO. “Most people believe that when you hear ‘domestic violence,’ a person needs to have broken bones and be covered with bruises. So many people suffer from emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, as well as physical abuse.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Resolve has seen a 40 percent increase in services. Rates of anxiety and depression have skyrocketed and clients are often in close quarters with their abusive partner, officials said.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer