Women’s Law Caucus Program Looks at Initiative to Help At-Risk Women in Delaware
Web Editor - Published: November 6, 2012
“The reality is that we often have to give more than second chances,” said Commissioner Mary McDonough of the Delaware Court of Common Pleas as she discussed the Women in Support of Health or WISH program on Monday, November 5th. Calling the process of helping at-risk women engaged in prostitution “a long road,” McDonough said of WISH; “I don’t see this as a short term program.”

McDonough’s remarks were part of an event put together by the Delaware campus Women’s Law Caucus that included a screening of a short documentary film about WISH. WLC President Beth Steinberg, who organized the event, said, “This powerful documentary sheds light on an invisible, highly stigmatized group. I hope the film and our speakers will remind attendees of the importance of breaking down stereotypes and thinking outside the box to seek justice and compassion always.”

Developed to fulfill the Delaware Coalition for Health and Justice’s mission of promoting the health of at-risk women engaged in prostitution, and to reduce the target population's reliance upon sex work and related criminal activity, the WISH program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Office on Women’s Health. The program seeks to provide gender-sensitive case management, assistance with substance abuse treatment, trauma-focused therapy, education, and housing assistance.

Direct service provides and grant partners affiliated with the program include Beautiful Gate Outreach Center, Brandywine Counseling and Community Services, Stand Up for What Right and Just (SURJ) at the Delaware Center for Justice, and Survivors of Abuse in Recovery (SOAR).

In addition to Commissioner McDonough, guest speakers included: Associate Executive Director for the Delaware Center for Justice and Co-Chair of the Delaware Coalition for Health and Justice Joanna Champney; Sara Yarnall, Senior Program Manager, Brandywine Counseling and Community Services; and Sara Grainger, the Director of Community Planning and Policy Development.