The Network History
In the summer of 1985, both community members and social service providers met to discuss the need for a local agency dedicated to serving adult victims of domestic abuse and their children. The group conducted a survey of local and statewide service providers in order to gather statistics, survey the problem, and generate solutions. After analyzing the results, the group decided to open an agency to address the issues incorporated under the name Battered Spouses Network. Soon after, in an effort to clearly define its objective, the agency changed its name to the Network Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. of North Central Connecticut. It defined its catchment towns as East Windsor, Enfield, Somers, Stafford, Suffield, and Windsor Locks. The Network’s mission is to reduce the incidence of domestic violence and to assist adult victims and their children to live free of violence.
In the spring of 1986, the agency received a $20,000 start up grant. Using these funds, the board hired an executive director in May and a counselor advocate in June. With a group of trained volunteers, the hotline opened in July. By the fall, the agency was also offering community support groups and court advocacy services. Emergency shelter was provided through a series of safe homes. In 1987, the agency received a $333,000 grant from the State of Connecticut to open a shelter for women and their children seeking refuge from their abusive homes. The safe house, named the Tracey Thurman House, opened in January 1988. Several counselors and a child advocate were hired to staff the shelter.
Since then, the agency has continued to offer an emergency safe house, a 24 hour hotline, child advocacy, community outreach, support groups, information and referral, court advocacy, and community youth education. In 2001, The Network received an $188,000 grant from the Town of Enfield to construct a new building adjacent to the Tracey Thurman House for children’s programs. The Children’s Center is used to provide services to children while they are in the Safe House. In 2015 the safe house was renamed in memory of a dedicated board member Julie Fallon. It is now called Julie’s Safe House.
The demand for agency services has grown each year since 1985. In 2016 The Network served 145adults and children in our shelter, responded to 377 hotline calls, provided outreach, support, counseling, facilitated women’s support groups for 370 clients, initiated 7,237 advocacy, informational, and referral contacts on client’s behalf, and support services, provided court-based victim advocacy to 1,295 clients, and educated 5,050 youths in our schools about healthy relationships.
The Network Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. is a program member of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence along with 17 other agencies in CT. All services are available without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, physical disability, or sexual preference.
All services continue to be free of charge.