The Willow Domestic Violence Center is now offering weekly drop-in sessions at the Lawrence Public Library.
Every Monday morning, an advocate from the Willow center will offer support and advocacy services to victims of domestic violence or human trafficking.
Will Averill, director of community engagement for Willow, said the center thinks the library is a good location to offer a trained advocate and may also be more accessible for some victims.
“Someone who may have their phone or computer monitored by their abuser may still be able to get to the library, as it’s a relatively innocuous sort of place to go,” Averill said. “And then they could get help once they were there.”
The library location — known as the Willow Branch — is open to all ages, and the drop-in sessions will provide the services offered by the center’s main location. Support services available to domestic violence or human-trafficking victims include personalized safety planning, counseling and support groups. Victims can also receive assistance with housing, employment, finances and court and legal procedures.
“It’s not just a place you can go if you have a crisis, but it’s also a place you can go if you have questions,” Averill said. “Or a place you can go if you want some information on support services that may be available to those who have recently come out of crisis or need additional support.”
All of the Willow center’s services are free of charge and confidential. Services are available to victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking who live in Douglas, Franklin or Jefferson counties. The center’s 24-hour hotline is 785-843-3333 or 1-800-770-3030.
The Willow center’s library branch is located in a study room on the main level of the library, within the library’s Teen Zone. Averill said that after six months, the branch location will be evaluated to see if any changes need to be made.
“We want to make sure that the time is a good time and the fit is a good fit,” Averill said.
The Willow Domestic Violence Center’s library branch provides drop-in service Monday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St.