Women’s Center of Greater Danbury (WCOGD) Announces Save-the-Date and Honoree Danbury and New Milford Hospitals for Spring 2019 annual fundraising dinner, An Evening Together, slated for Friday, April 5, at Danbury’s Amber Room Colonnade.
2019 Event Co-Chairs Vicki Taylor-Bloch, Owner, At Home Design and Jessica Tobin, Ridgefield volunteer, and the entire regional event committee are busy securing event sponsors, program advertisers, and donations of auction items, as well as selling tables and individual tickets now for one of the area’s most highly attended and anticipated events of the spring season.
The Women’s Center is pleased to announce that Danbury and New Milford Hospitals will be the recipients of this year’s Founders Award. The Emergency Departments at both hospitals partner with the Women’s Center every day in caring for domestic violence and sexual assault victims in our 13-town service area. This award is a symbol of the ongoing and comprehensive relationship shared by the Women’s Center and the Western Connecticut Health Network. Caring and compassionate medical treatment by experienced doctors, nurses and emergency responders offers hope and renewal to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It is best practice that the Emergency Department contacts the Women’s Center hotline if they are treating a victim of domestic or sexual violence so we can send an advocate to be with the client and immediately link them to our services.
“The Women’s Center hotline counselors and the hospital emergency department work as a team to provide ‘HOPE’ to victims in crisis. In fact, this year’s hashtag is #traumatohope. They do this by listening, explaining procedures and options and often just by holding a hand or spending time with friends/family in the waiting area. When the victim is ready, the Women’s Center is there to provide ongoing support,” commented Jessica Tobin.
During the summer of 2018, the Women’s Center received a call on the hotline from a nurse at New Milford Hospital asking if an advocate could come to the hospital to meet with a sexual assault victim because they were going to begin a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. The care, attention and treatment provided to the victim, and the respect given to the advocate by both the doctor and the nurse during the emergency room visit, was beyond measure and was a way that an advocate could only hope all victims coming to the hospital for such a sensitive reason would be treated.
Throughout the exam, both the doctor and the nurse paid so much attention to the victim, making sure to explain and walk them through every step prior to conducting it, in order to make the victim feel as calm and in control as possible. The emergency room doctor stayed in the room for the full length of the exam, giving the victim their undivided attention. This level of attentiveness spoke volumes about the doctor as well as the hospital and the rest of the staff. This particular victim was originally very hesitant to open up to anyone about the specifics of what happened, but due to the nurse’s decision to call the hotline, the victim was able to be set up with incredibly necessary follow-up services that proved to be helpful.
“Our mission is to address the needs of our community and it is a privilege to do so in partnership with the Women’s Center. Our teams work closely together and with great sensitivity to take care of those suffering from sexual assault and domestic violence. We are very grateful to receive the Founders Award and we are committed to continuing this important collaboration,” said John M. Murphy, President & CEO of the Western Connecticut Health Network.
In addition to entertainment provided by the Ridgefield Chorale, Dr. Jackson Katz, Anti-Gender Violence Activist and Author will be joining us as our guest speaker. His TED talk, “Violence against Women is a Men’s Issue,” has been viewed more than 2 million times.
“This past year was another where sexual assault and domestic violence claims against celebrities, politicians and others were in the news all too often. In addition to responding to the overwhelming number of calls on these issues, the education team launched new initiatives to raise awareness regarding human trafficking, teen dating violence and online bullying. As the only state certified agency in the 13 towns served, the Women’s Center stands ready to offer help and meet the increased need for services,” offered Taylor-Bloch.