“There are absolutely not enough words to express how grateful and thankful I am for my advocates at the Day Center…Thank you for showing me love, kindness, peacefulness, acceptance, and hope. They gave me every tool I needed, and believed in and supported me the whole way. It feels so good to breathe and to love my life again.” ” -Tesha, survivor and Day Center client
Earlier this year, Tesha* came in for services at our Day Center and shared something deeply personal.
She had been living without safe housing for months, as a result of the abuse and exploitation she had endured. That day, Tesha shared that she needed assistance in finding a safe, healing, comfortable living situation for her and her fuzzy companion, because she knew they both deserved to build a life free from further trauma and violence.
Advocates at the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment worked with Tesha. From safety planning, to providing toiletries and pantry items for her and her fur-baby, to tackling the complicated process of securing identification document, each step Tesha took towards healing was with a YWCA advocate by her side, ready to listen, hold space, and assist her with all of the resources she would need in the safety of her new home.
This summer, Tesha’s dream became a reality, and she is building a new life for herself in a healing and safe environment where she and her cat can live without fear of abuse or retribution in a place they can call their very own. (Tesha’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.)
Help us make sure that survivors can always turn to the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment for safety, support, and hope.
2022 at the CSE
This year, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment focused on growing in areas that meet the needs of survivors while also addressing the issue of gender-based violence in our community. Catch up on some of this year’s biggest happenings at the CSE:
Concealed Revealed Art Auction – The annual art auction benefitting the Center for Safety and Empowerment returned to the Jayhawk Theatre this year. We honored the Stormont Vail Forensic Team for their partnership and expertise as we work together to support survivors of sexual assault. In 2021, we saw a 321 percent increase in services accompanying survivors to the hospital for a forensic medical exam. Read more about Concealed Revealed here.
Week Without Violence, October 17-22 – The annual Week Without Violence is part of a global movement to end gender-based violence. This year’s them was Centering Survivors. The election season provided an opportunity to center survivors through advocacy, education, and civic engagement. Read more here.
Mayor’s Task Force – Also in October, the Topeka Mayor’s Task Force against Domestic Violence presented its first annual report to the Topeka City Council.
Celebrating 3 years at the Day Center – On November 22, Advocates, volunteers, and clients celebrated the Day Center’s third anniversary with a holiday meal and birthday candles! [picture] The CSE started providing services to victims of human trafficking in 2014, and, after a few years, we realized that survivors needed a different service model. So, in 2019, the Day Center opened as a safe place for survivors to rest and take a shower, enjoy a warm meal, have access to clean clothes and support from our specialized staff. Check out this blog from opening day three years ago.
Support is now available by text – There are many reasons that survivors may be unable to call our 24/7 hotline. We’re always looking for was to increase access, so we were excited to announce a new text line in November. Center for Safety and Empowerment staff are now available on Mondays and Fridays from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. by texting YWCANEKS to 847-411. Read more here.
What’s next? We’re already planning big things for 2023, including progress on expanded shelter capacity. We need your support to continue opening our doors and providing life-saving services, support, and resources to survivors in Northeast Kansas.