Alicia’s Voice changes focus
Written by KAREN NADLER COTA, Sentinel Lifestyles Editor
Monday, 03 March 2014 10:50
It's an era of change at Alicia's Voice, but not a swan song for the seven-year-old organization that has, until now, been based in Bowling Green.
|File photo. Kathy Newlove. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The visible face of Alicia's Voice for the past three years, the headquarters building at 344 S. Main St., is no longer in use, confirms board member Mimi Yoon, assistant prosecutor at Bowling Green Municipal Court, although the lease will not run out until March 31.
Alicia's Voice co-founder Kathy Newlove told The Sentinel-Tribune a year ago that the plan would be to maintain the lease at that location for only one more year. At the time, she and other board members agreed it was not the best use of their limited funds to pay $5,400 annually for rent.
Since then the board has crystallized its plans for a change in mission focus as well.
"We felt that the limited funds that we have are better used for education and awareness, with the goal of preventing a recurrence of domestic violence," said Yoon, rather than primarily trying to fulfill women's immediate needs such as rent money, gas cards and the like.
Yoon likened the latter approach to "putting a Band-Aid on stuff without getting to the underlying issues."
Recently, the 18-member board of directors developed the following mission statement for Alicia's Voice:
• To increase awareness and prevent domestic violence in the local community through the development of educational programs for elementary, middle school, high school and higher education level students; additionally, education for law enforcement officers.
• To empower victims in the community to use their voice.
• To provide victims who are leaving their abusers with resources necessary to become independent.
While there is no longer a building for the non-profit organization in Bowling Green, local and county residents trying to move on from domestic violence can still contact Alicia's Voice by calling 419-575-4725 and leaving a voice message, which will be returned.
"This has never been meant to be an emergency or counseling or shelter service like The Cocoon," pointed out Linda Schwartz, victims advocate for Perrysburg Municipal Court. Schwartz is the new co-chairperson of Alicia's Voice along with Jenna Wasylyshyn, wife of the Wood County sheriff.
"We wish that we had the funding to provide 24-hour staffing of the phone," Schwartz added, but that is not realistic.
"This is meant to be a way to help women move on, who have made the decision to leave a domestic abuser."
In that way, it serves as a companion organization or follow-up to The Cocoon shelter in Bowling Green.
Ultimately, Alicia's Voice has a goal "to provide women with the tools to become independent - emotionally, financially - so it is more feasible for them to transition out of abusive relationships," Yoon explained.
To that end, the organization is about to introduce a new service called the Women's Empowerment Group.
The group will meet monthly, with the first session slated for March 14.
Women can pre-register to attend by calling 419-575-4725. Pre-registration is required because the group is led by a professional counselor, and there is a limit to the number of women who will be served at each session.
"It is designed to be interactive," Yoon said.
Female college students are also welcome to participate.
Some recent media reports about Alicia's Voice stated that the non-profit has moved to the Perrysburg Municipal Court, but a more accurate characterization of the situation is that its supplies are currently being stored in the basement there, free of charge. No formal services are being provided out of the court building, Schwartz clarified.
Founder Kathy Newlove and her husband Tom remain on the board, with board members hailing from many parts of the county, including Perrysburg, Perrysburg Township, Lake Township, Bowling Green and Rossford.
For more information on Alicia's Voice contact the organization at
, the above telephone number, or via mail to: Alicia's Voice, P.O. Box 603, Perrysburg, Ohio 43552-0603.
How Alicia's Voice got its start:
From June 1991 to June 2011 there were 31 homicides in Wood County and of that total, 25 were a result of domestic violence. The average age of the victim was 39; the youngest was 24.
Twelve of the victims had children and in total, 28 children lost their mothers due to intimate partner homicide. Most were minors ranging in age from 9 months to 17 years old.
In 5 of the 12 cases, the children were present at the time of the homicide.
One of the women murdered was Alicia Castillion, Kathy Newlove's daughter. Her 2007 death in Bowling Green was the impetus for the Newloves to found Alicia's Voice.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 10:54