In 1978, a group of young mothers met around a kitchen table to explore women’s issues in their community. With no paid staff and no equipment, these visionaries opened the Battered Women’s Project in the annex of the Hope Valley Baptist Church and incorporated as the Women’s Resource Center of Wood River in April, 1978. Their first budget totaled $183.79, with the bulk allocated for telephone service. CETA and VISTA funding paid for a 4-person part-time staff during the late 70’s with a priority on what have remained our core programs – referrals, support, legal advocacy, hotline and safe housing for clients.
Back then, women fleeing from their abusers were hosted with families during times of emergency. Since that time, the Domestic Violence Resource Center has evolved, purchased real estate, moved, grown in staff and number of volunteers, increased the number of services and provided proactive education to prevent abuse.
In 1985, the Safe Home was purchased and renovated. In 1989, the Drop-In Center at 61 Main Street in Wakefield was purchased.
In 2004, recognizing that approximately 1/3 of our clients were men, the name was changed to the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County to truly reflect the people we serve. In recent years, we have experienced a significant reduction in both state and federal grants. As a result, we have had to continue offering our services with 50% less staff, and we have substantially increased our fundraising efforts. The community has responded positively and continues to support the work and vision of this agency.