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Working Towards a Better Tomorrow

Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. Working Against Violence for Everyone- WAVE emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the community, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words. Established in 1982, we’re an organization driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support.


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 from many backgrounds: police dispatcher, alcohol counselor, fisherman, public health nurse, childcare provider.

Woman's Aid in Violence Emergencies

May 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, 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.

School presentations and outreach

Within WAVE's first year, 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.


WAVE goes high tech

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



2007 WAVE becomes 501(c)3 Non profit


First employee


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.

Name change


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.

First full time staff

December 2013

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.

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

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