RUTLAND—Rutland County Women’s Network & Shelter (RCWNS), a nonprofit organization serving women, men, and children in the second-most populous county in Vermont who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, will announce its new name on the evening of Oct. 5 at an event in Tuttle Hall on the College of St. Joseph campus in Rutland.
The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes live music, tarot readings, food, and beverages. The event is free and open to the public.
Founded in 1979 by a group of local women as the Rutland County Battered Women’s Shelter, the organization has undergone several changes over the years, while adding to service offerings.
Its services currently include emergency shelter, medical advocacy, legal advocacy, case management, clinical services, support during sexual assault nurse exams, and other assistance, accessible via a 24/7 crisis hotline. Although the organization was originally founded to support women, in recent years RCWNS has seen an increasing number of male victims, as well as those who identify with the LGBTQ community.
Given these changes, the organization is rebranding to more accurately reflect its mission and the population it serves.
“Our organization does so much more than provide shelter to women. We provide comprehensive services to all, regardless of gender expression or sexual orientation,” said Avaloy Lanning, executive director. “Our new name is more welcoming and supportive, and it speaks to our renewed commitment to the community.”