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New Hope of Milford Brings Hope to Domestic Violence Victims

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the New Hope office in Milford at 291 Main St. took place on October 8. The non-profit works to end domestic and sexual violence by helping individuals live safer lives. New Hope photo





When staff from New Hope analyzed their statistics from the prior year, they realized that the town of Milford ranked within the top three of their most actively served communities. As a result, they took action and opened up a new office in Milford to provide additional services to help those suffering from domestic and sexual violence in the area.

New Hope is a nonprofit organization serving 54 communities in South Central and Southeastern Massachusetts whose mission is to end domestic and sexual violence by helping individuals live safer lives. "The clear need for enhanced services in this area, the fact that Milford/Franklin falls within the middle of our entire service area, as well as other factors, contributed to our decision to open an office here," said Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing and Development," Laura Hennessey Martens.

However, prior to opening the new location, New Hope served the Milford community and surrounding towns through a variety of programs including a SAFEPLAN Court Advocate who works directly within the Milford District Court by helping survivors obtain restraining and harassment orders; a toll-free 24-hour hotline (800-323-HOPE/4673); two emergency shelters; housing assistance; a batterer's intervention program; supervised visitation programs; and education and outreach.

Now, at the new Milford office, Marsden says there is even more capacity to provide additional services to individuals and their families, including counseling, community-based advocacy, volunteer opportunities, space to conduct meetings with community partners and collaborators; and added space to accept donations such as old cell phones, food, and monetary donations.

Marsden says New Hope offers its services to all those suffering from domestic and sexual violence, including men and those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. "Domestic violence crosses all genders, socioeconomic levels, education levels, and geography, so it is important to ensure that life-saving domestic violence services are available to all survivors," she said.

And the staff at New Hope in Milford is working hard to get the word out to the community regarding their services including handing out hotline cards and brochures to hospitals, doctors, dentists, mental health professionals, as well as public safety departments, schools, libraries, and houses of worship. New Hope also offers presentations to these groups to educate staff concerning such topics as bullying, teen dating violence, and domestic and sexual violence in the workplace.

"Word of mouth is also highly effective," said Marsden, adding that private one-on-one conversations between victims and their concerned family, friends, and co-workers can make a big difference to ensure "victims are supported and informed about help available to them." A year-long public awareness campaign is also in the works.

A ribbon cutting was held on October 8 for the New Hope Milford's opening. Senator Richard Moore D., Uxbridge, and State Representative John Fernandes D., Milford, were on hand for the ceremony.

New Hope in Milford is located at 291 Main St. Anyone looking for general information on the Milford organization may contact 508-226-4015, log onto www.new-hope.org, or view the New Hope Facebook page.




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