In 1976, twelve dedicated women met at the YWCA in Reading to begin the monumental task of providing services to women victims of domestic violence. They met to discuss the details of providing hotline, counseling and temporary housing services to victims. They were pioneers locally and statewide, as they sought to find solutions to end family violence and to help all victims. They attended the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Coalition against Domestic Violence held on November 12, 1976 in Lancaster and became one of the Coalition’s first members. They worked tirelessly, putting together the framework to make families safe, piece by piece. They pooled their resources and doggedly pursued the support of the greater Reading community. They did not give up and the community responded.
Safe Berks, formerly Berks Women in Crisis, is the product of the inspirational leadership, determination and insight of our “Founding Mothers.” We owe them much more than a “thank you” or an award. We owe them honor, respect, and gratitude.
Our Founding Mothers included: