WXXI AM News

Willow and Deaf IGNITE announce partnership

Aug 4, 2020

Credit deafignite.org

Two organizations that have collaborated for several years have now announced a formal partnership to strengthen the ways this community responds to domestic violence and increase access to services and programs.

Willow Center President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauview says staff from Deaf IGNITE, which advocates for Deaf domestic violence survivors, will join Willow, so now the center can offer specialized services.

Rochester has one of the largest Deaf populations per capita in the country, and de Chateauview says an RIT/NTID study suggests that Deaf individuals are 1.5 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence.

"The sexual assault stats are staggering, too," she said. "So we know that Deaf individuals are impacted significantly by this. And that the services perhaps are not as strong as they can be.  One of our aims with this partnership is to really leverage the strength of each agency and make sure that we list those services for people.”

She says with having Deaf IGNITE as a program of Willow, survivors will now have access to additional support, programs and community partnerships. 

Susan Demers-McLetchie, executive director of Deaf IGNITE, released a statement saying this is a win-win situation for both organizations.

She says it allows Deaf IGNITE access to a wealth of resources, which will enhance the quality of services for Deaf survivors

Among the many services offered by Willow are a 24-hour hotline at (585) 222-SAFE, and a 24-hour textline at (585) 348-SAFE.