VOICES of Stephenson County is a not-for-profit, inclusive organization. Services are offered in a handicap accessible facility, and available in English, and in a variety of languages using the Language Access line including speech/hearing facilitation. The organization welcomes all victims and survivors (and significant others) of domestic and sexual abuse regardless of income, age, race, creed, sex ethnicity, color, national origin, country of origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity , citizenship status, limited English proficiency, spoken language, disability, literacy or religion.
VOICES is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Attorney General’s Office, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, United Way of Northwest Illinois, 708 Board, FEMA Emergency Shelter & Food Program and numerous community businesses, organizations and individuals.
ALL SERVICES ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL
VOICES began as a YWCA (Young Women Christian Association) in 1917 in Freeport, Illinois. The organization’s commitment at the time 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, helping them to build mind, body and spirit. In 1982, the YWCA established the VOICES program out of the organization’s desire to eliminate domestic violence in Stephenson County. In October 2005, the VOICES program incorporated as a separate not-for-profit organization under the name of VOICES DV. The VOICES Book Nook, a used bookstore located in the Lincoln Mall, was launched in 2010 to help support the agency’s operations and direct services. In July 2014, with the closing of Assault & Abuse Services of Stephenson County, VOICES DV began offering advocacy and therapy services to victims of sexual assault and abuse in Stephenson County as well as prevention education for students. Today the organization provides a wide variety of coordinated services to female and male victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Stephenson County.
Board of Directors
The VOICES Board of Directors consists of no more than twelve members and at no time less than seven members. The Board is legally responsible for governing the organization. The Board acts on behalf of stakeholders including service recipients, funders, government and the taxpayers and is responsible for fulfilling the organization’s mission, policies/procedures, financial oversight and stability, program accountability, organizational performance and strategic planning. All Directors are elected for a term of one year and serve for the July 1 – June 30 fiscal year.
Diane Vaske-Vice President