VOICES started as the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Freeport. The organization’s commitment was to help primarily rural lifestyle women embrace urbanized life resulting from the Industrial Revolution. Over its lifespan, the Freeport YWCA supported housing, employment, education and racial justice for women.
The YWCA established the VOICES program with a goal to eliminate domestic violence in Stephenson County.
The VOICES program incorporated as a separate not-for-profit organization under the name of VOICES DV.
The VOICES Book Nook, a used bookstore in the Lincoln Mall, opened to help support the agency’s Domestic Violence program.
With the closing of Assault & Abuse Services of Stephenson County, VOICES DV began offering advocacy and therapy services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse in Stephenson County as well as prevention education for students. The organization changed its name to VOICES of Stephenson County.
VOICES moved to a new location to position itself for future growth.
VOICES opened the VOICES Survivors Shelter, the first emergency shelter dedicated specifically to survivors of domestic or sexual violence in Stephenson County.