Cultural barriers are obstacles to reporting domestic violence for many Latinos

November 17th, 2014


Advocates say Latino victims of domestic violence are less likely to seek help, especially those who immigrated to the United States, because of a variety of cultural, legal and practical concerns.

Read the entire article, click here.

3 honored at Daybreak event in Worcester

November 3rd, 2014


WORCESTER — Worcester Polytechnic Institute alumnus Zachary Gendreau ’14, now a graduate student, and Matthew Barry, a mental health counselor at WPI’s Student Development and Counseling Center, were recognized at the annual YWCA Daybreak Breakfast Oct. 24 at the College of the Holy Cross with its Great Guys Award.

Read the entire article, click here.

Zack Gendreau and Matthew Barry recognized by YWCA Daybreak for work on domestic violence

October 28th, 2014


There are a lot of good people in the WPI community. Even great ones. And two who have devoted much of their time and efforts toward ending, and educating about sexual assault and domestic violence were recognized by Worcester’s YWCA Daybreak for their efforts.

Read the entire article, click here.

Domestic Violence Survivors Say Culture Needs to Change

October 23rd, 2014


Jennifer Nicolas-Francois knows all too well about domestic violence. And she learned it all the hard way.

Read the entire article, click here.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 17th, 2014


The YWCA of Central Massachusetts is working to spread awareness about domestic violence through several initiatives during the month of October. One out of three women and one out of five men will be assaulted or abused by their partner.

Read the entire article, click here.

Worcester Arrests More Prostitutes Than Any Other MA City

October 7th, 2014


Worcester – a city that has long been associated with having problems with prostitution – made more prostitution-related arrests than any other Massachusetts city in 2013.

Read the entire article, click here.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

September 23rd, 2014

The YWCA of Central Massachusetts will be working to spread awareness about domestic violence through several initiatives during the month of October.

The campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month began on September 2, with The Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Campaign. As part of this campaign, the YWCA has the opportunity to raise funds and win prizes to help support the Domestic Violence Services program. This year the celebrity spokesperson was actress and activist Kerry Washington. Donations are being accepted through October 3; click here for more details.

The official kickoff for Domestic Violence Awareness Month will be the Dance for Peace: End Domestic Violence dance-a-thon to be held at the Fitchburg Senior Center. The event takes place on Friday, September 26 with teams from Mount Wachusett Community College, Worcester State University, Clinton Savings Bank, and Workers’ Credit Union, as well as board members, staff, and supporters coming out for a great cause. Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg will read the 2014 Proclamation.

Thank you to our sponsors who made this event possible: Headline Sponsors, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Clinton Savings Bank, Leominster Credit Union, Workers’ Credit Union; Media Sponsor, Worcester Telegram & Gazette; and Spotlight Sponsors, Fidelity Bank and Nypro. For more information, or to sign up as a dancer, click here.

On October 1, at 9 a.m. the YWCA will take part in a ceremony declaring October to be Domestic Violence Month. The event will take place on City Hall Plaza with a representative from the Mayor’s office reading the 2014 Mayoral Proclamation. A purple flag will also be flown at City Hall in recognition of DV Awareness Month. All are welcome to attend.

On October 27, the YWCA will host the Annual Daybreak Breakfast at the College of the Holy Cross. Keynote speaker, Craig Norberg-Bohm, Coordinator of the Men’s Initiative for Jane Doe, Inc. and Director and Co-Founder of the Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign, will speak to the crowd about Working Together: Engaging Men to End Violence Against Women. The event was made possible by Daybreak Breakfast sponsors, Fidelity Bank and Webster Five Cents Savings Bank. To register click here. 

The YWCA USA’s Week Without Violence will be held October 13 – 17 with the theme, Work Against Violence. According to the American Medical Association, more than 20 percent of women in the United States have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. Approximately 50 percent of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors will lose their jobs as a result of abuse. Learn more about the YWCA’s Week Without Violence here.

The YWCA’s travelling memorial, “An Empty Place at the Table,” will also be on display at different places around Central and North Central Massachusetts. The display memorializes all the victims of domestic violence who lost their lives in Massachusetts during the previous year with a place setting symbolizing the void left behind by each victim. It is intended to honor those who were lost and to increase the public’s understanding on the impact of domestic violence in our communities. This year the display includes the names of 10 victims of domestic violence. To view the locations of this year’s “An Empty Place at the Table” display, click here.

YWCA hosts Dance for Peace benefit Sept. 26 in Fitchburg

September 19th, 2014


The statistics are staggering, concerning and alarming. Among them, the fact that there are nearly 1 million estimated domestic violence incidents nationwide each year.

Read the entire article, click here.

LCU presents $1,000 to YWCA

September 8th, 2014


Leominster Credit Union contributed $1,000 to the YWCA of Central Massachusetts for their Dance for Peace event. Funds raised from this event support the YWCA’s BWR program to end domestic violence.

Read the entire article, click here.

Board Updates

July 17th, 2014

The YWCA of Central Massachusetts, the longest-serving agency by, for and about women and girls in central Massachusetts elected new officers and directors at its 129th annual meeting on June 19th.

Newly elected to serve a three-year term to the agency’s Board of Directors are: Sonya Atherly of Worcester, In-Home Therapist/Outpatient Clinician with the Multicultural Wellness Center; Amanda Baer of Grafton, an associate attorney at Mirick O’Connell in the firm’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group, Litigation Group, and Family Law Group; Mary Feeney of Pepperell, a Partner at Bowditch & Dewey; Deborah Gavron-Ravenelle of Worcester, the Chief  Compliance Officer and Director of Compliance and Privacy at Reliant Medical Group; and Sheila King Goodwin of Worcester, Senior Vice President of Retail with PeoplesBank.

Elected to serve a second three year term until June 2017 are: Deborah Bitsoli of Framingham, the Chief Operating Officer at Saint Vincent Hospital; and Susan Woodbury of Worcester, who retired in 2011 after serving as a Trustee of the Worcester-based George I. Alden Trust for 18 years. Elected to serve a one-year term until June 2015 is Micki Davis of Worcester, the Coordinator of the CEV Center at Clark University; and Linda Looft of Leicester, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations at WPI.

Also, elected by the membership are the members of the Nominating Committee who will serve a one-year term until June 2015. From the Board of Directors: Joyce Augustus of Northbridge, a Financial Analyst at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; Etel Capacchione of ­­­Worcester, Director of the Youth Academy at Dynamy/YOU, Inc.; Micki Davis; and Susan Woodbury.

Elected to serve as officers for a one-year term were: Linda Looft, President; Micki Davis, Vice-President/President-elect; Joyce Augustus; Karen Kempskie-Aquino of Worcester, of Seven Hills Bookkeeping, Assistant Treasurer; Etel Capacchione, Clerk; Christienne Bik of Shrewsbury, the Director of Government Relations for Fallon Community Health Plan, Assistant Clerk.

“All of us at the YWCA are honored and thrilled to have women of such high caliber leading the Agency and working on behalf of women, children and families in our community,” said Executive Director Linda Cavaioli.


The YWCA, through its many community programs, has gained recognition in being a community support organization. Find out what the news and media outlets are saying about us.

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The  actions of our government have an enormous impact on the daily lives of women across this country. Visit the YWCA USA's website to learn more about legislation, elected officials, federal agencies and how you can take action to improve the lives of women and girls. Sign up for Action Alerts and get an alert when your involvement can make a critical difference.