For nearly 40 years, WIN has supported victims of domestic and sexual violence in Franklin and Fulton counties. Since our inception, WIN has grown from a small group of volunteers to an agency employing approximately 25 staff members. What was once a hotline-only service has developed into a comprehensive organization offering a full range of services to sexual assault and domestic violence victims in our community.
WIN began in 1976, established by a group of concerned citizens who had become aware of the lack of services available to victims of rape in Franklin County. They formed what was initially called the Chambersburg Area Rape Crisis Center; a volunteer hotline service. In the organization’s first year, 6 volunteers provided crisis intervention and advocacy services to 16 victims of sexual violence.
In 1977, the agency incorporated and changed its name to Women in Need, Inc. (WIN). That same year, a grant from CETA allowed for the creation of two salaried positions to support the hotline volunteers. This grant also enabled WIN to expand the program to serve not only victims of rape but also victims of domestic violence. The primary purpose of this new organization was to empower victims of sexual and domestic violence to understand, identify, and utilize their own strengths to regain control of their lives. Information, education, and counseling services were provided to clients to support their journey from victim to survivor.
Today, WIN is a multi-service, private, non-profit corporation, serving over 1,500 victims per year. Services are provided free of charge to any victim of sexual and/or domestic violence. WIN provides a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, and preventative education. WIN also operates a legal office and acts as the project manager for the Franklin County Victim Witness Services Program.