Dear Friends,

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center works in crucial ways to directly address injustice, the root cause of the sexual violence that has received such intense focus at the University of Virginia this fall. In this our 25th anniversary year, I ask you to help sustain our essential programs impacting students.

Please donate now.

The number of students, faculty, and staff contacting the Women’s Center for cutting-edge sexual assault education and prevention training has risen dramatically, and continues to increase each day.

This is encouraging. And it means expanding our programs.

I have noted a marked increase in the number of male students passionately committed to effecting change. Our Men’s Leadership Project is one of the few formal University programs in which undergraduate men work to engender a climate of respect, safety, and dignity for women.

Student survivors of sexual violence must be surrounded by a network of faculty and staff who are truly prepared to respond to their needs. Individual faculty and staff members and even entire schools within the University are increasingly joining our efforts to achieve this through the Survivor Support Network training provided by our Gender Violence and Social Change Program.

In the current climate, the number of student survivors seeking Trauma Counseling has tripled. The University’s administration has responded with funds we will use to expand our Counseling Services staff including the addition of a second Trauma Counselor at the Women’s Center, where most University women who are experiencing trauma because of violence seek counseling. We are grateful.

Yesterday I sat with a student survivor with tears streaming down her face. It was hard to hear her say that she sought counseling at the Women’s Center and learned that all Center counselors had full caseloads. Referrals were given, but she was waiting for the Center to come through. And we must.

An emphasis on strengthening students’ leadership, confidence, and autonomy is at the heart of other expanding Center programs as well:  Young Women Leaders Program; Body Positive/Eating Disorders Prevention; Internships; Iris Magazine; Women, Girls and Global Justice; and high impact courses that foster the citizen leadership and service long associated with the University of Virginia.

As we expand, we need more support. The caliber of our services and programs cannot waver.

Your generosity has shaped and strengthened the Center as a core resource of the University. I am writing now with an urgent request. Please give to the Women’s Center today.

Give online or contact us to make a pledge at: womenscenter.virginia.edu/donate.

Thank you so much for your ongoing friendship and support, and for considering my request.

Warmly,

Sharon Davie, Director