The mission of the Violence Prevention Center is to foster a community which cultivates healthy relationships, empowers systems to serve individuals with equity and compassion, and does not tolerate violence. We serve all who have been affected by or subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Our Vision Statement
A highly aware community free of sexual and domestic violence; the certainty that violence prevention and support services will always be available to those in need.
Everyone has the right to live free of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking regardless of age, race, gender, financial status, religion, ethnicity, ability, immigration status, sexual orientation, country of origin, socioeconomic status, gender expression, gender identity, relationship status, citizenship status, criminal activity, relationship identity, or any other identifier.
Everyone must have free and confidential access to services.
Community awareness and education are necessary to eliminate violence and build healthy relationships.
Those who choose to perpetrate must be held accountable for their violent behavior.
Zero tolerance for violence must be a community standard.
What is the history of the VPC?
The foundation of Violence Prevention Center is deeply imbedded in the nationwide, grassroots movement to address and end violence against women. Our organization was incorporated in 1986 as the Cook County Women’s Collective. The Cook County Women’s Collective was started by passionate community members who saw a need for services and education regarding women and girls who were being subjected to violence.
In 1991, the organization was renamed Center for Family Crisis and, after restructuring in 1993, employed two full-time advocates, was supported by numerous volunteers, and received funding from the State of Minnesota, Cook County, and several foundations. The current name, Violence Prevention Center, came about in 2002 to reflect our continued growth, expansion of services, and hope to prevent violence.
As we look to the future of our organization and the community we serve, we will continue to provide emergency services to survivors and commit to partnering with communities within Cook County to create a future free of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
What populations do you serve?
Anyone can be affected by or subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or human trafficking (DV/SA/HT) though statistics show trends of gender-based violence: women and girls are more likely to be subjected to violence and men and boys are more likely to choose to perpetrate violence. *This does not mean all women and girls nor all men and boys. As we learn more about the trends and causes of violence, we can direct our work toward education and prevention.
Further, individuals who are part of a marginalized community are at a higher risk of being subjected to violence. This is no fault of the individuals in those communities. We know power and control are driving factors for those who choose to perpetrate DV/SA/HT and, as a result of systemic oppression, marginalized communities are already subjected to higher vulnerabilities.
The VPC does not discriminate and works with anyone who currently is or has been affected by or subjected to DV/SA/HT including minors. We work with primary survivors as well as secondary survivors. Secondary survivors are those who are close to the primary survivor and suffer consequences of the violence alongside the primary survivor. Secondary survivors can be friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, religious leaders, coaches, community members, and other roles. Our staff and volunteers create a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for everyone.
What legal advocacy do you provide?
We will assist you in getting an Order for Protection or a Harassment Restraining Order, we can also assist you with getting financial assistance for this process. We can be emotional support in court both in civil and criminal matters. We can offer resources for legal advice, but we do not give legal advice. We work closely with Standpoint MN, attorneys and advocates against domestic and sexual violence.
How are you funded?
The VPC is funded by state and private grants as well as local financial support. We could not provide these life-changing services.
Are you the same entity as Law Enforcement or the Health and Human Services?
We are not enforcers of public policy. We serve clients by offering resources and letting them decided how to proceed. We do not give legal advice nor make decisions for those we serve.
What are the costs and requirements to receive our services?
There is absolutely no cost to speak with us nor income requirements to work with us. Every person is welcome and encouraged to contact us for free and confidential services.
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