WXXI AM News

New fellowship to target gaps in services for survivors of domestic violence

Jul 16, 2019

Willow Domestic Violence Center has won a grant -- one of only two in the state -- to establish a fellowship aimed at improving the services it provides for survivors.

The $150,000, two-year grant will cover the salary of a fellow who will be embedded in the Willow organization, looking for any unforeseen gaps in the way programs and services are carried out.

"Even with the best of intentions, there can be some red tape in the system," said Meaghan de Chateauvieux, Willow's president and CEO. "As survivors go through court, or even providing that support in the medical community for providers who are working with survivors, being there and bridging those gaps that currently exist."

The position requires that applicants are new to the field of domestic violence.

"Because we are so involved in it and we know so many pieces of it and we are paying attention to those pieces," said de Chateauvieux, "someone coming in with a fresh perspective, with fresh eyes, looking at the issues in different ways and bringing their unique experience and expertise to this world of domestic violence services, they may be able to see things that we can't see."

Willow and its partners will host a community conference in two years to present the findings of the fellow's report.

The Ursula Forem Domestic Violence Program Fellowship is named in memory of an employee of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence who died in a car crash in 2001.  Forem worked in an understated, quiet way to help survivors of domestic abuse, according to de Chateauvieux.

She said the application for the fellowship will be posted on Willow's website in about a week.