Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree, 2016
acrylic on canvas 
16" x 20" (40.6 cm x 50.8 cm)
© copyright Mike Kraus

This piece was created for the Willow Domestic Violence Center (formerly Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW)) as they growth and transform the organization to better serve survivors of abuse.

Willow Center provides life-changing, often life-saving, services reaching over 7,500 each year – right here in the Greater Rochester area. Last year, Willow Center responded to more than 5,000 calls to our crisis and emergency Hotline 222-SAFE.

The needs in our community are bigger than our current space and programs can accommodate. While more than 500 survivors and their children found safety in the shelter, there were 1600 on the waitlist, with many ending up in hotels or worse, staying with their abuser. 

Willow Center’s comprehensive campaign embraces innovation and will fund major capital renovations and critical program expansion that will work together to ensure the sustainability of services for survivors in our community.

The Safe Place Campaign will expand the emergency shelter from 40 to 49 beds, adding more than 3,200 bed nights for the community. New shelter rooms will be more accommodating to family living, with individual bathrooms and showers (compared to the three showers shared by 40 residents in the current shelter). The rooms are also flexible in size to accommodate larger families and separate enough to accommodate mixed genders. Three units will be designed to accommodate Deaf, hard of hearing and visually impaired survivors. The shelter will also have increased security, bullet-resistant glass and emergency response monitoring. Families who stay in-shelter will now be able to bring their family pets, making Willow Center the 2nd pet-friendly shelter in New York State. Adding pet living quarters will eliminate an unnecessary barrier to safety, as almost half of domestic violence survivors stay in abusive situations for fear of what will happen to their pets if they leave.

For more information about  the Willow Center's A Safe Place campaign, please visit:

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