The mission of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of Washington County is to educate, support, and empower survivors and their children who are affected by intimate partner violence by offering counseling, advocacy, shelter services, and community outreach.
- We have zero tolerance for all forms of violence: we believe in everyone’s right to live free from harm.
- We treat everyone equally with fairness and respect: we provide caring and compassionate services.
- We recognize everyone is unique: we embrace all forms of diversity.
- We support an environment of responsibility: we encourage innovation and creativity in all our endeavors.
- We foster the spirit of teamwork: we uphold honesty and integrity in community collaborations
The Domestic Violence Resource Center was established in October 1975, in Beaverton as Women Together, a community-based social group started by a domestic violence survivor that decided to address the needs of battered women in Washington County, Oregon. Incidentally, October is the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In 1977, the group received a large grant under the Comprehensive Education and Training Act (CETA), and hired four staff to provide services for survivors out of a tiny office in Hillsboro. The new organization adopted the name BEWARE, which stood for Battering Ended With Advocacy, Research and Education. The group promoted advocacy and empowerment as a way to end domestic violence, focusing on creating and providing opportunities in employment and education. According to Elena Uhing, one of BEWARE’s first staff members and a current Forest Grove city councilor, the group started out with a desk and a used typewriter.
In 1979, the group was offered a donation of a house and received a large grant to open the County’s first domestic violence shelter. To reflect the new focus and services, the organization changed its name in 1980 to SHELTER/A Resource for Battered Women. In 1982, another name change occurred, to SHELTER/Domestic Violence Resource Center. A 24-hour crisis line was also added. The Family Violence Intervention Program, a counseling and support group program, was established in 1986 with the help of the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services grant.
The late 1990s brought a dramatic expansion of services. In 1999, the old shelter building was sold, and another, bigger one acquired and remodeled with the help of Washington County Community Development Block Grant and a number of other generous donations. In October 2000, the shelter was renamed Monika’s House, in honor of Monika Voits who had been murdered by her husband on January 4, 1999. The Restraining Order Advocacy Program also began operating at the Washington County Courthouse in conjunction with Washington County Center for Victims’ Services.
In 2001, the agency underwent the final name change to its current form, Domestic Violence Resource Center. In 2004, the agency headquarters moved from the office in downtown Hillsboro to a more adequate space in the County’s Silicon Forest. DVRC is currently headquartered once again in downtown Hillsboro, and continues to grow to meet the needs of our clients.
Domestic Violence Resource Center remains Washington County’s sole provider of services specifically to victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Note: We are looking for our “founders” and anyone who can provide more detail about our history. If you are or know one of such people, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.