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New domestic violence center will offer wrap-around services for survivors

meaghan de chateauvieux, wearing purple, points to a field of purple flags
Max Schulte
Meaghan de Chateauvieux, director of the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Rochester, is seen in this file photo.

Rochester’s Willow Domestic Violence Center announced Tuesday morning that the American Rescue Plan Act has awarded it $1.5 million over three years for the creation of a Family Justice Center.

It’s the first step toward creating a center that will offer services and support for survivors of domestic violence. Willow President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauvieux said the plan was developed in “a survivor-driven partnership.”

“They may have driven to 12 different places, they may have waited in line six times, called 10 people, and they might still not have what they need,” she said.

To avoid that, the new center will have law enforcement, therapists and volunteers, making it a one-stop resource. Plus, an actual home for survivors of domestic violence.

De Chateauvieux said they’re organizing a “study tour” to plan the expansion, and they’re being intentional about placing survivors first.

“Being more aware of who is receiving our services, who is at high risk of (domestic violence) homicide,” she said. “Being able to respond to that high-risk need in a really collaborative way is most critical. But every survivor deserves to have that respect and coordinated wrap-around services.”

Willow Domestic Violence Center plans to have its study tour completed within the month, with a series of planning meetings over the next six to eight months. Until then, de Chateauvieux said, “What we’re talking about now is how do we work better with the resources we have?”

“That’s the vision of the Willow Domestic Violence Center, to bring all of those players to the table, and ensure we’ll build the biggest table we possibly can, to get everybody’s voices there,” she said. “And, most importantly, the survivors themselves.”

Jeff Spevak has been a Rochester arts reporter for nearly three decades, with seven first-place finishes in the Associated Press New York State Features Writing Awards while working for the Democrat and Chronicle.
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