We get many questions about the programs and the services the WRC provide. We will continue to add and update questions and responses.
What is WRC’s service area?
WRC provides advocacy services for victims residing in Barrington, Bristol, East Providence, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Warren. WRC currently provides statewide assistance to victims through the Family Violence Option Advocacy Program.
Is there a charge for WRC services?
There is no charge for services provided by WRC. However, for counseling services, the WRC will accept most major health insurance plans. If a client does not have insurance, the WRC will still provide counseling 6 – 12 counseling services for free. There is also a charge for professional trainings and some workshops.
Does WRC provide services for male victims of domestic abuse?
Yes. Hotline, crisis counseling and advocacy services are available to men as well as to women. Although our shelter cannot accomodate male victims, our shelter staff will work with male victims of abuse to access safe, temporary emergency shelter.
I called the police to report an incident involving my abusive husband. I told the police I did not want him arrested – but they did anyway. Why?
Today, the law requires police to make an arrest when they find enough evidence to show a crime occurred. The police, on behalf of the town they serve, “bring” a charge against the perpetrator – not the victim of the crime. In fact, when a victim requests an individual not be arrested, under the law, their wishes are not taken into account. However, their wishes and concerns are important, when a case goes to court. The town brings the charge, and acts as the “prosecutor”, and the victim is the “witness.” Domestic violence advocates work with the victim/witness during the court hearings, to “advocate” for their client’s (victim) wishes, whatever they may be.
If I come to the shelter, I fear I won’t have any privacy. What is it like?
You will have your own bedroom that you will share with your children, if you have children. The common areas (e.g., kitchen, bathroom, family room, dining areas, play areas etc.) will be shared by other families at the shelter. Our shelter staff work very hard to make the living space comfortable and are there to support you throughout your stay. The WRC also serves as a safe place for you to get the help that you and your family need.
Why don’t victims just call the police?
Someone may be apprehensive about calling the police because they do not want “to get their partner in trouble”, or they may be worried about their safety with the police. The victims may also not know that what is being “done to them” is against the law.
Why do women stay?
Economic dependence, wanting a parent for the children, religious beliefs or extended family pressure to keep family together, fear of being alone, loyalty to partner, pity (feels sorry for partner) victim feels they can help abuser get better, fears partner will commit suicide, denial, ( “It’s really not that bad”) duty, (marriage vows) guilt, (feels problems are all of the victims fault) victims have been socialized to think that it is up to them to make a relationship work, shame and humiliation, victims have been socialized to believe that they need a partner to be complete, internalization of abuser’s words, (“I deserve this treatment”) and survival (fears that partner will kill them if they leave).