Each member of the group reported a regained sense of personal power by feeling less guilty and ashamed of their experiences.”

The Advocacy Center of Winona received a $10,000 Cycle 2 Community Grant from the Winona Community Foundation in 2021. This grant was to fund a support group for survivors of sexual violence facilitated by a licensed social worker. The group incorporated both experience-specific support and tools for managing surrounding circumstances. It covered health, collaboration, coping, and empowerment through discussion.

Support group provided healthy coping strategies which improved self-esteem, self-respect, and self-care. The biggest goal of the group was to improve a survivor’s interpersonal well-being. The feedback that we received from each member show that there is a huge gap in resources for people who have experienced sexual violence. However, each member of the group reported they felt their interpersonal relations improved knowing they had a safe place to discuss the experience.

One older woman, who was a victim decades earlier, said it was the first time she felt comfortable speaking about the experience and began to understand the impact it has had over her during her life.”

Another member said she made lasting connections with member and grew comfortable sharing experiences. She said, “I have really appreciated all the support. This group gave me a voice and allowed me to start healing from my experiences.”

Another member said, “In a very big way, I would not be the same woman I am today without this experience. Thank you.”

The ACW will continue to apply for funding from a variety of sources such as private foundations, community foundations and other grants available. The ACW will continue looking for individual sponsors who may sponsor group.  To learn more about the Advocacy Center of Winona, please visit www.advocacywinona.org.

An important part of the Winona Community Foundation’s mission is realized though awarding community grants to meet the ever-changing needs of the community through a competitive process. By doing so, a variety of interests are supported with the goal of helping local charities make a difference in the Winona area. Our community grants for nonprofits are broad and inclusive to meet the current community needs in the Winona area. Make a gift in support of the Community grant program to make a difference today.