WAVE’s History

WAVE’s History

First Meeting

April 21, 1982

On April 21, 1982, seven Petersburg residents gathered for the first meeting of the Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence. From the beginning, it was a cooperative effort involving individuals…

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WAVE, Women’s Aid in Violent Emergencies

May 1, 1982

After a month, the group agreed to name the new organization WAVE, Women’s Aid in Violent Emergencies. They hosted two AWARE employees that advised them and spoke about child abuse,…

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Personal safety presentations for grade school children

July 18, 1983

WAVE volunteers designed and conducted meetings and presentations for school personnel and personal safety presentations for grade school children. Outreach expanded into churches, to health care providers and the public.

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Advocates on call

July 18, 1998

In 1998, advocates advanced to carrying pagers to receive emergency calls.

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WAVE becomes Non-profit

September 12, 2007

WAVE becomes 501(c)3 Non profit

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First Part Time Employee

July 1, 2008

WAVE was able to hire their first part-time staff position, paid for with special grant funding through WISH, which continued for approximately 3 years.

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WAVE becomes Working Against Violence for Everyone

March 9, 2011

In 2011, the board of Women’s Aid in Violent Emergencies decided their name should be more inclusive so renamed their organization, Working Against Violence for Everyone, yet still WAVE.

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On April 21, 1982, seven Petersburg residents gathered for the first meeting of the Petersburg Task Force on Domestic Violence. From the beginning, it was a cooperative effort involving individuals from many backgrounds: police dispatcher, alcohol counselor, fisherman, public health nurse, childcare provider. After a month, the group agreed to name the new organization WAVE, Women’s Aid in Violent Emergencies. They hosted two AWARE employees that advised them and spoke about child abuse, sexual assault and incest. WAVE quickly went to work planning seminars, finding safe homes, and setting up an emergency contact through the Petersburg Police Department dispatcher. They supported victims by helping with safety planning, obtaining restraining orders, and referring to shelters. In the following months and years, WAVE volunteers designed and conducted meetings and presentations for school personnel and since 1983, personal safety presentations for grade school children. Outreach expanded into churches, to health care providers and the public.

In 1998, advocates advanced to carrying pagers to receive emergency calls. Activities and community support grew as WAVE members started to regularly show up with fudge for sale at Petersburg’s big events, such as May Fest and Oktoberfest. They participated in the Health Fair and Early Childhood Fair. For all these events, representatives supplied educational materials to participants that increased, and increases, WAVE’s membership and awareness of its services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Many of WAVE’s clients come to the organization through the urging of friends, family, and even employers. WAVE receives referrals from health clinicians, the police, counselors, and other agencies; the hospital calls an advocate after they are alerted to sexual assaults and batterings.

WAVE became an official nonprofit in 2007. In 2008, a Petersburg Mental Health employee initiated the wildly successful Vagina Monologues, with all proceeds generously donated to WAVE. Also in 2008, WAVE was able to hire their first part-time staff position, paid for with special grant funding through WISH, which continued for approximately 3 years. The City of Petersburg donated office space and utilities until demolishing the building for new construction.

In 2011, the board of Women’s Aid in Violent Emergencies decided their name should be more inclusive so renamed their organization, Working Against Violence for Everyone, yet still WAVE. In the fall of 2011, WAVE attended a SART training with Petersburg Mental Health, Petersburg Police Department, and the Petersburg Medical Center. WAVE now has a strong membership base, an office space that is more accommodating to meet with clients and their families, and a full time employee working as an executive director .

In 2013 WAVE hired is first full time employee, paid for by an 2 year Emerging Programs grant through the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This grant was extended for an additional year by the CDVSA.

In 2016 the Petersburg Borough Assembly approved a budget including funding for WAVE.

In  fall of 2016, WAVE was awarded funding from Office on Violence Against Women for Rural Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Assistance Program. This is a 3 year grant will has allowed us to hire a second employee and provide training to local agencies for response to domestic violence and sexual assault.

WAVE continues to recruit advocates and volunteers that represent various groups in Petersburg and those from all walks of life.