How to Get Help

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Womanshelter/Compañeras operates a confidential emergency shelter for women and children who are trying to escape from dangerous relationships. The goal of the shelter staff is to keep families safe in a homelike atmosphere and assist them in their efforts to establish violence-free lives.

Because most families are forced to flee without their personal possessions, including financial resources, Womanshelter/Compañeras provides sheltered families with food, clothing and other essential items. All services are free of charge. While in shelter, families are connected to community resources and receive housing advocacy. Shelter stays range from several days to three months. The average length of stay is 3 weeks. On average, Womanshelter/Compañeras shelters 80 women 140 children annually. For more information, call (413) 536-1628.

Safety Planning

Womanshelter/Compañeras strongly encourages individuals to speak with a staff person who can assist in developing a customized safety plan that will meet the needs of individual situations. Staff and volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (413) 536-1628 to discuss individual safety planning.

The following safety plan brochure is a general guide on methods of keeping safe:

Safety planning for domestic violence victims

Court

To a victim of intimate partner violence, the thought of going to court to take action against the batterer can be frightening and intimidating. Understanding that, Womanshelter/Compañeras has advocates in the Holyoke and Chicopee District Courts and in Hampden County Probate and Family Court, located in Springfield. Court advocates can help guide victims through the court process and accompany a person seeking a restraining order into the courtroom. Court advocates also provide safety planning and offer referrals to valuable community resources. For further information call (413) 536-1629.

Support Groups

Women who have been in abusive relationships find strength and comfort in sharing their experiences in a support group setting. Womanshelter/Compañeras offers support groups in both Spanish and English. Childcare is provided. For more information call (413) 536-1628.