Teach kids early about healthy relationships

March 9th, 2015  |  Published in News

Kendra Massey is education and outreach supervisor at Women Helping Women.

One case of dating violence is too many.

Yet research indicates that one in three adolescents in the U.S. experiences abuse from a dating partner. It’s vital to empower our young people to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships and understand ways we can support the youth in our lives.

Women Helping Women’s dating violence prevention program arms young people with the knowledge and tools needed to recognize red flags or warning signs in relationships – in their own and in the relationships of friends. We teach youth what they can do to prevent dating violence in their communities as well as resources available when violence does occur.

One message we give youth is the importance of modeling healthy relationships by respecting their partner’s feelings and wishes in a relationship, paying attention to their body language, and stopping any physical advances if their partner says no or is unsure.

We teach youth that they can influence the way that their friends treat their dating partners as a method to prevent abuse. This can be done by telling a friend very clearly that abusive behavior is unacceptable and not making light of inappropriate behavior.

Sometimes youth don’t feel comfortable or safe handling a situation alone, so we encourage them to involve others when needed. They can alert staff at their school, call the police if they witness violence, or talk to a parent, teacher or other adult for advice.

Most importantly, we teach the importance of being able to talk about dating violence – whether it’s to parents, friends or someone they trust. It’s a difficult topic to discuss, so it’s vital that we all, as community members, take time to listen when youth come to us for support. We also have a responsibility to initiate conversations about dating with the teens in our lives.

It’s necessary that we recognize some red flags associated with an unhealthy relationship, including controlling behavior, threats of suicide or self-harm from a dating partner, extreme jealousy, put-downs and isolation from loved ones.

Common barriers to teens getting help include fear that others won’t understand, not knowing where to get help and fear of being judged. Therefore, it’s important when offering support that we listen without judgment, believe what is said, and offer information on resources such as Women Helping Women’s anonymous hotline.

It’s up to each of us to arm our young people with the knowledge they need to navigate relationships while they’re young. It’s up to us to get involved as a community to prevent dating violence and abusive behavior in all its forms.

If you know would like more support on how to talk with the youth in your life about healthy relationships or would like more information about Women Helping Women’s education and prevention programs, please give us a call at (513) 381-5610.

27th Annual She Screams Without Sound Candlelight Vigil Local 12 Story

October 8th, 2014  |  Published in News

Vigil to Recognize Domestic Violence Victims

Updated: Tuesday, October 7 2014, 08:21 AM EDT CINCINNATI, Ohio (Adam Clements) — Victims of domestic violence will be recognized tonight with a special candlelight vigil at the Hamilton County courthouse.. One of the biggest points the folks participating in tonight’s vigil are hoping to get across is that domestic violence is everywhere. Just because someone doesn’t come right out and say it, doesn’t mean they may not be a victim of some sort of physical or verbal abuse. In Hamilton County in the past year, four women have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence related issues. For organizers of Tuesday’s event, that is four too many. They are expecting upwards of 100 people at tonight’s vigil. The YWCA is partnering once again with women helping women. They serve around 12,000 people in Hamilton County. This is the 27th annual domestic violence awareness vigil. In the scene is expected to be a powerful one. It’s about remembering the lives that of been lost, and working to help other victims who can still be saved. Executive Director of Women Helping Women, Kendall Fisher said, “I think it’s critical that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. This is a really really important issue that impacts.. We serve twelve thousand people right here in Hamilton county. So it affects too many people to let it get swept under the carpet or overshadowed by something else.” In addition to candles being lit, they also plan to have several guest speakers, including Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, as well as family members of victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Follow Adam Clements on Twitter @aclementswkrc and LIKE him on Facebook.

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Opinion: What survivors of Domestic Violence Really Need

October 6th, 2014  |  Published in News

The Cincinnati Enquirer published an editorial from Women Helping Women’s Executive Director, Kendall Fisher. Read below…

Opinion: What victims of domestic violence really


Ray Rice and wife


Kendall Fisher 12:05 a.m. EDT October 5, 2014


(Photo: File photo )

Kendall Fisher is executive director of Women Helping Women.

Recently, we’ve seen the national and local headlines about high-profile domestic violence cases, and we’ve heard the public asking, “Why did she stay?”

As we begin a month of events to mark October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I write this letter to the women and men in abusive relationships, and also to those attempting to support survivors or understand why a survivor stays.

To the survivors: You and I both know why survivors stay. For you, and hundreds of other people in similar situations across the Tri-state, the answer isn’t an easy one. You and I know that sometimes a person’s decision to leave saved her or his life. And we also know that sometimes, the decision to stay is what’s kept her or him alive. You and I know that everyone is quick to denounce domestic violence, but many are also quick to judge the woman or man who stays.

What you may not know is no matter what decision you make, the dedicated staff and volunteers at Women Helping Women are here to help you and other women, men, and families suffering from domestic violence. We know that there is no one right answer. We know that your decision to stay or leave is yours alone.

Women Helping Women advocates assist survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking in Hamilton County. But if you’re in Butler, Warren, Clermont, Kenton, Boone, or Campbell County, our staff can connect you to the right agency in your area. These groups will partner with you to do all they can to keep you safe, and help you make the right decision for you.

To those struggling to help someone suffering from abuse, or to those struggling to understand why a domestic violence survivor stays: What these women, men and children need are friends, family and a community that does not judge them, question why they stay or attempt to persuade them to leave.

Survivors need for you to believe them – to believe IN them. They need you to let them know that the abuse they suffer is not their fault and they don’t deserve it. They need you to provide resources to help them develop a safety plan, whether they stay in their relationship or leave.

Survivors need for you to educate yourself and others about domestic violence. Women Helping Women’s Community Outreach educators are happy to meet with your school, work, church or other group to provide information on recognizing the signs of domestic violence, responding appropriately to survivors and taking a stand in your community.

Volunteer for Women Helping Women, the YWCA, Women’s Crisis Center or another domestic violence agency in your community. Agencies such as these need compassionate, dedicated volunteers to assist survivors, promote understanding and make a positive difference in their communities.

Attend awareness events this month throughout the Tri-state. The Candlelight Vigil on October 7 remembers the domestic violence homicide victims in our community, and Bark Out Against Battering Pet Fest on October 25 increases awareness and understanding of the links between pet abuse and domestic violence.

And most importantly, domestic violence survivors need you to respect their choices. Understand that staying is sometimes the safest choice, and each and every survivor of domestic violence has a unique situation that should not be judged at first glance. Stand by them and respect them enough to help them get in touch with the right resources.

If you know someone suffering from physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological abuse – or if that’s you – please call us day or night at (513) 381-5610. Women Helping Women is here to help you, support you, and give you the resources you need.

Domestic Violence Story on WVXU

October 1st, 2014  |  Published in News

On September 30, 2014 WVXU did a story about domestic violence. Take a moment to read the online story WVXU Domestic Violence Story and listen to the broadcast of Cincinnati Edition.

Second Annual Purple Light Walk on Channel 5 News

August 11th, 2014  |  Published in News

The second annual Purple Light Walk will be held Friday, August 15. The event is a collaboration between Women Helping Women, the Cincinnati Police Department and the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati. To see the interview with Ellen Newman, the Purple Light Walk co-chair, and Officer Princess Davis, committee member and emcee, click here Second Annual Purple Light Walk on Channel 5 News. For more information and how to register visit Purple Light Walk Registration. You can also visit the Purple Light Walk Facebook Page.

Soapbox Cincinnati Story featuring Sunday Salons

January 28th, 2014  |  Published in News

Brittany York with Soapbox Cincinnati conducted an interview about the 2014 Sunday Salon season with Kendall Fisher, Women Helping Women’s executive director. Read the entire story here: Soapbox Cincinnati Featuring Sunday Salons.

Purple Light Walk to Mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month

September 9th, 2013  |  Published in News

Purple Light Walk to Mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Women Helping Women today announced that on Friday, October 11 at 5:30 pm Cincinnati will play host to the first ever Purple Light Domestic Violence Awareness Month Walk.  The event, which is designed to raise awareness to the issue of domestic violence, is a collaboration of Women Helping Women, the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Police Department.  October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

During the Walk, which will start and end at The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, participants will carry purple glow sticks – purple is the color of domestic violence awareness.

“Women Helping Women is pleased to team up with the YWCA and the Cincinnati Police Department to sponsor the Purple Light Walk, which will serve as a striking visual reminder that domestic violence is a problem facing both women and men regardless of race ethnicity or social status,” said Kendall Fisher, executive director of Women Helping Women.

Those interested in participating may register online at or in person on the day of the event.  Registration is free for all participants and will begin with a resource fair at 5:30 pm, program at 6:30 pm and walk starting at 7 pm.

Women Helping Women Expands Rape Crisis Services to Butler County

November 1st, 2012  |  Published in News

Cincinnati – Women Helping Women today announced that it has acquired the Butler County Rape Crisis Program (BCRCP), ensuring a continuation of those services to the Butler County community.

The Board of Directors of the BCRCP’s parent organization voted last month to suspend operations as of October 31.  Women Helping Women’s acquisition of the program ensures uninterrupted crisis intervention, advocacy and outreach services will continue.  BCRCP provided services to more than 1,000 people in Butler County in 2011.

Women Helping Women is Hamilton County’s dual rape crisis and non-residential domestic violence agency.  The agency’s acquisition of the Butler County Rape Crisis Program represents a significant expansion of Women Helping Women’s service area.

“Women Helping Women understands fully the importance of providing services and support for survivors of sexual assault,” said Kendall Fisher, executive director of Women Helping Women.  “We are delighted to take this action so that local services will continue to be available, and we look forward to serving the Butler County community.”

Fisher added that Women Helping Women received support from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Miami University’s Parent Fund and individuals and organizations throughout Butler and Hamilton counties which made continuation of the program possible.

To access local program services, survivors of sexual assault and service providers in the Butler County area should call Women Helping Women’s 24-hour hotline at 513-381-5610 or 877-889-5610.

“Women Helping Women is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1973 to serve women and men who are survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking in Southwestern Ohio.  The agency provides crisis intervention services to including hotline, hospital accompaniment, court advocacy, support groups and face-to-face advocacy for abuse survivors and also conducts training and education in the community to increase awareness of these crimes and aid in their prevention.”

October 2012 Purple Light Nights Kick-off Breakfast

September 28th, 2012  |  Published in News

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Join us as we recognize October as Domestic Violence Month and launch the Purple Light Nights Campaign. This PLN campaign remembers domestic violence homicide victims, celebrates the courage of survivors and their families, and provides hope, information, and services to individuals living with abuse.

Guest Speakers

Thomas F. Boat, MD, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine Dean and Vice President Health Affairs

Juwana Hall, Director, Amend, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

Eric H. Kearney, Seantor, Ohio’s 9th Senate District

Walter McLary, Sr. Vice President Human Resources, TriHealth

Charlene Ventura, President & CEO, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

Date: Ocober 10, 2012

Time: 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Location: YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, 898 Walnut Street

RSVP by October 5th to 


Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, Mercy Health, Macy’s, TriHealth, Family Violence Prevention Project, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati, Jewish Family Service, Women Helping Women, Catholic Health Partners, Parents of Murdered Children, Inc., Cincinnati Police, Starbucks, Norton, The Castellini Family Foundation

25th Annual Candlelight Vigil She Screams Without Sound

September 27th, 2012  |  Published in News

Please join us in observing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month as we remember and honor victims of domestic violence homicide.  These are individuals who were killed in the past 25 years by an intimate partner. We celebrate the lives of those who have survived domestic violence and provide support and hope to children exposed to violence and loss. The candlelight vigil will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 5:45 p.m. The location is the Hamilton County Courthouse Steps, 1000 Main Street, Cincinnati.

Music will be provided by MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Bagpipers. At this evening program, candles will be lit for the victims who have died this year in Hamilton County. There will be seven candles and four pairs of shoes as a reminder of the lives lost in the past year.

Master of Ceremonies - Shannon Kettler, News Reporter, WCPO, Channel 9 News


  • Keynote: Honorable David Davis, retired Hamilton County Judge
  • Executive Director of Women Helping Women, Kendall Fisher: Responding to Domestic Violence
  • Lt. Joe Hall (retired, Cincinnati Police Department): Remembering Major John (Johnny) Adkins


Women Helping Women and the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati; both funded in part by the city of Cincinnati and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.

Other Participating Organizations

Cincinnati Police Department, Hamilton County Probation Department, Prosecutor’s Office and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and their Bagpipers, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Mayerson Center, MUSE Cincinnati Women’s Choir, Parents of Murdered Children Inc. and Talbert House Services.

Special Note

To memorialize a family member or friend during this vigil who was a domestic violence homicide victim, please contact Peggy Caldwell (513-977-5559) or Rhonda King (513-241-9400).