Community: REACH’s Community-Based Advocacy Program offers a similar range of services to domestic violence survivors who do not live in shelter. Sometimes a person is not ready to leave an abusive relationship, or has left but either doesn’t need a residential program or does not wish to participate in one. Because we take a survivor-centered approach, we believe that these decisions are deeply personal and up to the survivor to make. The Community Program makes it possible for these survivors to get help when they need it most, without having to leave their home and community ties behind. They can come to us for help with safety planning, finding a job or housing, or accessing benefits. We accompany them to court, and support them through any other important steps on their journey to independence. Our Community-Based Advocacy Program also includes several innovative initiatives:
- The Latinas Know Your Rights Program (LKYR) is a legal advocacy training program in collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services. LKYR is designed to build capacity within the Waltham Latina community, encouraging the women who participate to educate others and break systemic barriers that immigrant female domestic violence survivors face in accessing their rights.
- Through our Survivor Speakers’ Bureau, survivors are trained to share their stories and engage community members in discussions about domestic violence. Through an initial writing-intensive training and ongoing supervision groups, speakers build individual writing and speaking skills, while increasing self-esteem and peer relationships.
Child and Adolescent Therapy: Whether living in shelter or accessing community-based services, survivors who work with REACH have access to our Child and Adolescent Therapist, a licensed social worker. Using age-appropriate play therapy, our therapist works with children ages 3-18 to help them deal with the violence they have seen or experienced. Parents can also receive specialized support with parenting questions and techniques.