Center for Women and Community Awarded State Funding for Three Years

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has awarded the Center for Women and Community (CWC) $235,964 annually for the next three years to continue its work battling sexual violence.

CWC receives funding from a number of sources, but the DPH support is what Rebecca Lockwood, associate director of counseling and rape crisis services, called “our foundation funding.”

In all, the state awarded more than $34 million in contracts for the next three years to 68 nonprofits to provide emergency shelter, crisis intervention, housing stabilization and other services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Over the three-year period, the contracts will total $102 million.

The 68 awardees statewide were selected by open bid from 300 applications.

Lockwood said the DPH award is “essentially level-funded,” but more of the CWC budget is being dedicated to community education. “Only the community working together can prevent sexual violence,” she said.

Lockwood credits the CWC community education team with advancing innovative and continuing programs. “There’s more research on what is effective, and that has really helped make these programs effective,” she said.

The focus on education as prevention is supported by the federal Rape Prevention and Education program, which supplies funding through DPH for education services.

Started in 1972 as the Everywoman’s Center, CWC took its new name in 2012 to better reflect its work serving all genders, the campus and the larger community.

CWC serves people of all gender identities within Hampshire County, including the Five Colleges and the University of Massachusetts, providing violence prevention services, an all-hours response hot line and services for survivors.

CWC also partners with Safe Passage on local domestic programs and to develop better services for transgender individuals.