Alicia’s Voice gives up headquarters, to help educate women who are victims of domestic violence

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Alicia’s Voice gives up headquarters, to help educate women who are victims of domestic violence

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Victims of domestic violence in Wood County will no longer be able to go to Main Street in Bowling Green and pick up supplies or get a rent check.

Instead, they’ll have to meet someone from Alicia’s Voice in town or in Perrysburg for assistance.

The non-profit organization, which works to raise awareness about domestic violence and provide resources to victims, has been at 344 S. Main St. for three years.

Rather than pay $5,400 for a year’s rent on the organization’s building, the board members decided to use it to help victims of domestic violence, said Kathy Newlove, founder and education chairperson.

“It’s not changing anything,” Newlove said. “[Women] can still get a hold of us the same way they have been.”

Once the lease is up, the organization will still exist, but its supplies will be stored in the basement of the Perrysburg Municipal Court, where one of the board members works.

The organization was considering giving up its headquarters last year, but when word got out, the community offered support to keep it in Bowling Green for another year, Newlove said.

Newlove said the organization had the money to stay open this year, but wanted to use the funds elsewhere and had a space available for free that it didn’t have last year.

The board reorganized in September, said Linda Schwartz, co-chair of Alicia’s Voice.

“[What we’re] focusing on now is education,” Schwartz said. “We’re hoping to serve them more but in a different capacity.”

Alicia’s Voice is now hoping to offer victims a longer-term solution, she said.

“We’re trying to empower them to make good choices,” Schwartz said.

One way the organization is hoping to do that is by hosting a women’s empowerment group that will meet once a month and discuss traits of an abuser and how to stay out of an abusive relationship.

“A lot of the women want to go back [to their abuser],” Schwartz said. “Education is the key to making good decisions. We’ll keep doing this and hopefully something will click.”

Alicia’s Voice can also provide money for car payments, deposits on apartments, gas cards, bus tickets, money to go to job training programs and more.

Immediately after a woman leaves her abuser, the organization offers supplies “everybody needs that you can’t buy with food stamps,” Newlove said.

Amy Urbanowicz, 31, of Millbury, Ohio, has benefitted from the supplies Alicia’s Voice offers.

After her abusive husband left, Alicia’s Voice supplied her and her family with common household items like toothpaste and toilet paper.

In August, he constantly called her and wouldn’t leave her alone. Ten complaints of telephone harassment were reported against Urbanowicz’s husband, according to the Perrysburg Municipal Court website.

He’s been at the Wood County Justice Center since Dec. 30, 2013, and won’t be released until March 16, according to the Wood County Justice Center.

While she was adjusting to life without her husband, Urbanowicz wasn’t able to pay her electric bill. Alicia’s Voice paid it for a month.

Urbanowicz is one of 1,000 women the non-profit organization has helped since it began in 2007, when Newlove’s daughter, Alicia, was killed by her abusive ex-husband.

From June 1991 to June 2011, there were 31 homicides in Wood County, of those, 25 were domestic violence related, according to the “Report of Intimate Partner Violence Fatalities in Wood County, Ohio.”

The numbers show “it’s not just Alicia,” Schwartz said.