Mission Statement

To promote the empowerment of and equality for Ohio’s diverse Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing communities by offering culturally affirmative advocacy and education, while inspiring community accountability, in response to oppression and relationship and sexual violence.

We are a Deaf-run agency

We have been providing direct advocacy service for 20 years to the Deaf, Deaf Blind, Deaf Disabled, and Hard of Hearing Communities.

HERSTORY

In the spring of 2000, a group of Deaf Women from Columbus was concerned about the safety of women and their children exposed to violence. An opportunity came along when Abused Deaf Women Advocacy Services (ADWAS), located in Seattle, Washington, received a federal grant provided by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide a series of training on domestic violence and sexual assault experienced by Deaf Women and their children.

2002

After attending the training in Seattle, Washington, the group of Deaf Women returned to Columbus and formed a working committee that eventually became DWAVE’s Board. The Board developed bylaws and secured non-profit status by February.

2003

DWAVE developed a working partnership with Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO) recruiting Deaf volunteers to become Hospital Advocates. After attending SARNCO’s 40-hour hospital advocate training, DWAVE’s volunteers began to work in hospital settings.

2006

DWAVE received its’ first grant money from the Columbus Fountain. The grant allowed DWAVE to hire several community presenters to educate the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Communities about domestic and sexual violence.

2009

Ohio Department of Health and Department of Justice granted DWAVE funds to hire full time staff members. DWAVE was thrilled to hire a program director, prevention coordinator and an office assistant/interpreter.

2017

DWAVE grew and currently employs four full time staff members that are actively involved in providing prevention and intervention of crime and trauma in the Deaf and Hearing Communities.

DEAF WORLD AGAINST VIOLENCE

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Personal Stories

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DEAF WORLD AGAINST VIOLENCE

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Meet our Team

Rose Larson
Rose LarsonExecutive Director
Sarah Bernholtz
Sarah BernholtzOutreach Advocate
Michelle Campbell
Michelle CampbellOutreach Advocate
Alli Kisker
Alli KiskerTrauma-Informed Communication Advocate
Denny Stark
Denny StarkTrauma-Informed Communication Advocate
Marla Berkowitz
Marla BerkowitzMA, CDI, ASLTA Certified

DWAVE Consultant