Why hospitals and police point sexual assault victims to the YWCA

Yesterday, a news report was aired about a victim of sexual assault’s unfortunate experience in attempting to access medical-forensic services. Without exception, a victim of sexual assault gets to determine the course they take when seeking care. Their wishes should be respected. By nature, news reports are condensed, often oversimplified representations of much more complex…Read more

LGBTQ: 5 Questions You Might Have About Coming to the YWCA

By Jazz McKinney, YWCA Therapist You might have seen a rainbow flag on our website. Maybe you saw our table at Pride. But if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, and you’re facing things like domestic abuse or sexual assault, you understandably might want more than that before deciding to come here for help.…Read more

This Pride Month, an Open Letter and Call to Action

To our LGBTQ+ Community, Catholic Charities West Michigan, and Kent County’s Foster Care and Adoption Agencies The YWCA West Central Michigan is, at its heart, a social justice movement – a movement enriched by 120 years of history in our community. Although today the YWCA is secular, our founders were women representing congregations from throughout Grand…Read more

Meet Team YWCA

by Amber Jones Development and Communications Coordinator Who run the world? Gazelle Girls! This weekend is one of our favorite days of the year, the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K. The YWCA has been a proud beneficiary of the event since it started seven years ago, and we love being out on the…Read more

Why I Advocate for Survivors

  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in honor of that we are pleased to share one of the stories of the many people who make the YWCA’s comprehensive services for victims possible. Volunteer Advocates provide support to victims of sexual assault (adult, adolescent, and pediatric) and domestic violence, as well as their friends…Read more

Making Spirits Bright at the YWCA Shelter

This time of year, you might hear on the radio that familiar refrain: There’s no place like home for the holidays. And for many, that’s true. For those who live with abuse, leaving home is what’s needed this holiday season. And because of a warm, welcoming cohort of YWCA friends, the YWCA-Wege Sojourner House is…Read more

A YWCA Healing Garden for Giving Tuesday

First impressions matter. Inside the YWCA, we’ve taken many steps to make sure that our 96-year-old building makes a strong one – that it’s a place for healing, for safety, for empowerment. Outside? It’s a different story. An outside not yet reflecting the beauty inside Construction. Weather. Pedestrian traffic. It’s all taken a toll, and we…Read more

A Letter to the Men of our Community

A letter to the men of our community, from the YWCA’s CEO and the men of the YWCA’s Board of Directors: We are concerned for boys and young men. We are concerned they are seeing short-sighted, vitriolic, partisan rhetoric eclipsing thoughtful conversations that could lead to the end of sexual assault; that the self-image of too…Read more

These Young Women Made Rape Exams a Little Less Intimidating

What’s a rape exam? It’s something many have heard of, but unless you work in the field of sexual assault or have experienced one yourself, you might not know exactly what it entails. So imagine being a sexual assault victim and needing one – already feeling traumatized, and faced with what could be a frightening, invasive…Read more

Helping Children Deal with Tragedies in Response to School Shootings

Guest Post by network180 In response to the recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, network180 shared this valuable resource for navigating the tough conversations with children after such tragedies. What parents should talk about with children: Recognize the sudden, unexpected, tragic event. Be clear that children and teachers were hurt, don’t…Read more