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Safe Voices remains fixture in community
REGION- The Board of Directors of The Abused Women’s Advocacy Project voted to change the name of the organization to Safe Voices. Why the name change? Their name became a misnomer of who they are today and where they will be in the future.
They heard for years that there is some confusion over who they serve. They serve all people who are experiencing domestic violence in any kind of relationship. Many believe that because AWAP says “Women” they only serve female survivors. In actuality, they provide services to men and children, as well.
However, their name created a gender bias that resulted in some individuals thinking there was no place for them to turn. In addition, AWAP has been in business for 34 years: They are not a short term “project” but a fixture in the community. What’s more, “Abused” is a hard label for someone to carry with them, and many survivors do not even identify with the term.
The change to Safe Voices is the result of a deliberate and careful process with input from consultants, staff, board, survivors, and community members. It was chosen because it is uplifting, gender neutral, short, and easy to remember. However, the truly decisive moment came from the women of their support group. Upon hearing the possible name “Safe Voices” they gasped and said, “We had no voice, now it is safe to have a voice.”
Safe Voices will honor the mission and continue the high quality service delivery of Abused Women’s Advocacy Project.
The Mission of Safe Voices is to support and empower those affected by domestic violence and engage the community in creating social change in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.