As we recognize Women’s History Month, The Center for Women and Families reflects on the role we’ve played in women’s lives since our founding in 1912.
From our humble start in a one-room office at the Downtown Louisville YMCA, our first domestic violence shelter in Kentucky opened in 1977. The Center expanded to Southern Indiana in 1999 with the opening of a comprehensive domestic violence facility, followed in 2005 by the dedication of our current Joan E. Thomas, MD (JET) campus in downtown Louisville. This campus serves as headquarters for our administration as well as counseling, sexual assault services, 24-hour hotline, and 79-bed emergency shelter, among other supports. Most recently, in 2021, we relocated our Southern Indiana services to Jeffersonville, on the campus of Clark Memorial Health.
Partnerships we’ve formed over the years—including with the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault—has resulted in collaborations that allow us to provide the very best support, advocacy, and education for people experiencing intimate partner or sexual violence – and the people who love them.
Today, awareness-building and fundraising events throughout the year like Denim Day, Shop and Share, Celebration of Service and Survival, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), and more give us the chance to educate and rally local citizens to help us create a more loving, safe community for everyone who lives and works here.
With more than a century of work behind us and tens of thousands of survivors served, we’re focused on how we can positively impact women’s futures, empowering them to change their trajectory so they’ll have a different story to tell.