The Empowerment Model
The foundation of our work at Women In Transition is empowerment counseling. We believe that you are the expert on your life and can decide what is best moving forward. Empowerment counseling is guided by the unique strengths and challenges that you bring to the table, as well as acknowledging steps already taken towards safety and sobriety.
The relationship with your counselor is key to empowerment counseling. She will not dictate what you should or should not do; instead, she will work with you and empower you to understand the dynamics of your situation, honor your needs, and make your own decisions for your life. Your counselor will guide, coach, mentor, support, and provide you with resources, advocacy, information, and education in a way that is personalized to your situation.
Through empowerment counseling, you will learn to take back your power.
Feminism & Intersectionality
WIT is guided by a feminist philosophy that is based upon a commitment to work for social change to create equal access to power – political, economic, cultural, spiritual and institutional – for women. Here at WIT, we recognize that women who experience domestic violence or substance abuse face unique challenges due to sexism, including:
- The wage gap, which leads to fewer resources for women
- Vulnerability during pregnancy, which can be one of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship, and lack of widespread support for reproductive rights
- The responsibility of being the primary caregivers for children, which can make it more difficult to leave an abusive relationship
- The stigma around seeking help for domestic violence or substance abuse
We also recognize that a woman’s social identities, such as race, class, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation can influence her experience of domestic violence and substance abuse. For women of color, race and gender intersect to create experiences different from those of women who are white or people of color who are men.
In addition to race and gender, other aspects of a woman’s social identity also impact her experience of violence, the options that are available to her, the response to her situation by institutions such as law enforcement and the court system, and her personal resources. Is she an undocumented immigrant? Can she speak English? Does she come from the poverty class? Did she grow up in the foster care system? Is she disabled? Is she a lesbian or bisexual? What is her religious identity? Is she gender nonconforming? Is she elderly or very young? All of these aspects of social identity add additional dimensions to the oppression she experiences.
At Women In Transition, we acknowledge that although all women experience sexism and can unite to fight to end sexism, we also acknowledge that we come from different places and walks of life, and experience sexism as it intersects with the other facets of our identities. This inclusive feminist perspective is a thread woven through all of WIT: our service delivery, our management style, and our collaborations.