Pathways For Change Inc

Ending the Silence....Ending Sexual Violence

Worcester, MA   |  www.pathwaysforchange.help

Mission

The mission of Pathways for Change, Inc. is to address the impact of sexual assault and abuse by providing quality and multicultural services to all persons whose lives have been impacted by sexual violence and education geared toward the prevention of violence.

Ruling year info

1994

President & CEO

Ms. Kim L. Dawkins

Main address

588 Main Street

Worcester, MA 01608 USA

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Formerly known as

Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts, Inc.

Rape Crisis Program of Greater Worcester

EIN

04-2734584

NTEE code info

Rape Victim Services (F42)

Women's Rights (R24)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An estimated 17% of women and 5.5% of men over the age of 18 in Massachusetts have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime (MDPH, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2016). In Worcester County, 19.4% of women have been the victim of sexual violence. 54% of female rape victims were less than 18 years old when they experienced their first rape. [Kilpatrick, DG, & Ruggiero, K.J. (2003) Rape in America: a Report to the State, National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina] In Massachusetts, 8% of high school students reported being a victim of dating violence and 9% a victim of sexual assault. Female students were three times more likely to report being victims of dating violence than male students (12% vs. 4%) and being victims of sexual assault (13% vs. 4%), with rates of unwanted sexual contact rising steadily from 9th grade (12%) to 12th grade (22%).

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Multicultural and Multilingual Counseling and Advocacy Program

Supported in part by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a VOCA grant administered by the Massachusetts Office of Victims’ Assistance, and a VAWA grant administered by the Massachusetts Office of Safety & Security, provides direct supportive services and counseling to survivors of, and those directly affected by, sexual assault throughout 47 cities and towns in Central Massachusetts. These free and confidential services are offered to any individual over the age of 10 and are offered in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. Free services include a 24-hour hotline, legal advocacy, court accompaniment, safety planning, and group and individual counseling.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Adults

The Deaf Survivors Program (DSP) was born through a collaboration of three agencies, bringing together expertise and experience in Survivors’ services, prevention and education, the Deaf community and culture, and the Deaf independent living movement.  This Program, built within the structure of the Pathways for Change, Inc., as the lead agency, and based on the expertise and experience of Our Deaf Sisters’ Center and The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Independent Living Program of The Center for Living and Working, established the first culturally appropriate and accessible counseling and advocacy program for Deaf Survivors of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and domestic violence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Population(s) Served
People with hearing impairments
Victims and oppressed people

The Sexual Assault Youth Education (SAYE) Program is supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the United Way, and several corporate sponsors including Target and Omnova. Operating throughout Central Massachusetts in cooperation with local School systems, the Program uses a four-level, social ecological model developed by the Center for Disease Control to better explain sexual violence and potential strategies for prevention. This model considers the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community, and societal factors, and allows us to address risk and protective factors from multiple domains.  The SAYE program has incorporated the development of comprehensive prevention strategies through a continuum of activities that address all levels of the social ecological model.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
At-risk youth

Males Advocating Change (MAC) specifically works to develop the peer leadership potential of young males in addressing the male culture of violence, and particularly sexual violence towards women and children. Often programs focus on how women and girls can avoid abuse by boyfriends or husbands or sexual assault by strangers or acquaintances. While this work is valuable, these are risk-reduction, not prevention strategies: they teach women and girls how to avoid victimization, but they don’t work to reduce the number of males who use violence. MAC works to engage middle school, high school, and college aged males throughout Central Massachusetts in the primary prevention of sexual & dating violence, harassment, and bullying.

Population(s) Served
Men and boys
Adolescents

Since 2016, Pathways for Change has contracted with the City of Worcester to provide street outreach to victims of commercial sex trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world, fueled in large part by the lucrative business of trafficking women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation. Commercial sexual exploitation takes many forms, and the relationship between prostitution and trafficking for sex purposes can be complicated. However, “pimp‐controlled prostitution” is indistinguishable from human trafficking. This Program, therefore, provides outreach and engagement services to
benefit female victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in the City of Worcester. It provides easily accessible, non‐judgmental and confidential services, which
support women in harm reduction, assessing needs, planning care and reviewing progress as it ensures that their needs are met in areas such as child protection, housing, medical care,
criminal justice and mental health.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Sex workers

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 2015

National Organization of Women (NOW) 2015

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The unique role of a rape crisis center requires that we support our community while we work to identify and dismantle damaging myths and belief systems. We understand that sexual assault is rooted in the very fabric of our society, is fueled by media images, and is influenced by forms of oppression, especially sexism and racism. While rape is perpetrated mostly by men against women, anyone can be a victim or perpetrator - regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, education, race, socioeconomic background, or religion. When someone is sexually assaulted, the trauma can be experienced differently for each person and each survivor's response is shaped by their background, including their experiences as targets of oppression. As a societal problem, addressing the roots of the problem include addressing the underlying oppressions that contribute to a society that places women and children most at risk, while maintaining the myths that leave many survivors feeling themselves to blame for the violence that was perpetrated against them. The sense of shame and guilt evoked by these myths about sexual assault can also lead survivors to feel completely alone and isolated after an attack and can lead communities to isolate, rather than protect the victim and support, rather than hold accountable, the perpetrator.

While part of the role of Pathways is to raise awareness of the incidence and myths about sexual assault, we also have a role in building and expanding the resiliency factors and strengths of communities. By working in positive ways toward shared goals with the community, we can have an impact on the root causes of sexual assault. We recognize that every community has resiliency factors that can be identified and enhanced. By enhancing these factors, we play a role in proactive prevention, by changing the community conditions that affect the incidence and impact of sexual assault. Resiliency factors can be based in societal institutions such as anti-violence programs in schools and effective policies for creating safe schools, practices within medical institutions that train personnel to screen for sexual assault and to handle disclosures, and systems of accountability for perpetrators. Other factors are based collectively in individuals such as community connections of family and friends, capacity to cope with difficult feelings and work toward recovery from violence. In our prevention work, the content of our presentations and community discussions are aimed at enhancing resiliency factors in a variety of ways:

• We enhance the general knowledge, and help individuals identify as agents for
change.
• We work to improve systems of reporting and coordination of services.
• We enhance the network of support for survivors.
• We challenge the myths related to sexual violence.
• We support the development of programs and activities that strengthen families,
build community, and challenge isolation.

The commitment of our organization's founders continues today to lead the way toward a safer community while addressing the aftermath of violence for survivors. This has required that we build our leadership and expertise in the emerging field of violence prevention. We understand that we balance our multiple roles as educators, counselors, advocates, leaders, and activists. For us, these roles fit within the framework of community organizing. We realize our early prevention efforts, along with other rape crisis centers, were primarily focused on raising awareness about the incidence, dynamics, impact, and sociological underpinnings of sexual assault. While we are proud of our history in this work, we understand that in order to truly move toward a safer community, that we must lead this work with a vision, a clear picture of a society free of sexual violence. We embrace current thinking and strategies emerging from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and look forward to continuing to learn and adopt promising and effective strategies in this pioneering work. Our community organizing framework lends itself to being in the forefront of sexual violence prevention, because it has room for flexibility and adaptation as new ideas emerge.

The overall goal of our prevention efforts is to change social norms within communities to reduce the perpetration of sexual assault across the lifespan. Our activities are organized around three objectives: 1) Promotion of healthy, respectful, developmentally-appropriate relationships and sexuality based on the human rights of sexual autonomy and bodily integrity, 2) Promotion of community-wide responsibility for consistently supportive responses to survivors and for holding abusers accountable, 3) Sexual assault prevention community organizing and leadership utilizing culturally-appropriate strategies of community development, education, mobilization and professional training. As part of an overall strategy to reduce the incidence of sexual assault, activities reflect current principles of effective primary prevention strategies. Rather than focusing on limiting negative behavior and experiences, we focus on building community resiliency and protective factors within the general community and specific populations.

The work of Pathways and its expertise and depth in the field of sexual violence has been recognized over the years by organizations as varied as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Office of Victims Assistance, the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, and the United Way of Central Massachusetts.

Our experience in hotline management dates back to 1973. We have refined our work; incorporated data gained through evaluation, and responded to changes in the social service and political environments. In 1995, Pathways was successful in procuring the state's statewide Spanish language Helpline, Llámanos y hablemos and continued to manage it until 2009. Pathways was integral in generating the concept for this Helpline and applied its experience and expertise in establishing the nation's first hotline for Spanish-speaking survivors.

We are leaders in the provision of individual and group counseling, advocacy, and supported referral services. We understand and integrate the needs of sexual assault survivors while we focus on the goals of providing culturally diverse and appropriate services to people of all cultures and communities within our area. We operate from a strength-based model of empowerment, meaning that we support survivors in building support networks, and emphasizing their strengths in coping with crisis. We understand that systems advocacy, especially within the medical and criminal justice systems, is a key part of supporting the safety and recovery needs of survivors and is a unique and crucial role of rape crisis centers. Our approach in advocacy is to assure that survivors' rights within systems are in the forefront and that survivors have the information and support they need to make the best choices possible for themselves. We not only have offered accompaniment through these systems, including round the clock emergency room advocacy and legal advocacy, but we have worked on improving the systems overall.

We were one of the moving forces to shape the public policy regarding client record confidentiality. Pathways, along with other rape crisis centers, led the way for developing survivor informed judicial policy by taking numerous stands regarding confidentiality. Because of our policy to follow the law regarding counselor privilege, we were party to several legal precedents established through the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that helped to solidify the legal privilege for rape crisis counselors.

Pathways has extensive experience in professional training. The Agency has sponsored several community-wide conferences and has served on panel discussions and community forums related to the issues of sexual and domestic violence. We have delivered trainings to police, mental health professionals, health care personnel, nurses, teachers, clergy, and other social service workers, including a targeted effort toward workers in disability service organizations.

For more than 40 years, Pathways for Change has been the leading voice on the issues of sexual assault and abuse within Central Massachusetts. Staff at Pathways were involved as early as 1982 in the development of the first statewide training manual developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and helped establish the first statewide Sexual Assault Coalition. Through the years staff from Pathways have provided leadership in the ongoing development of the anti-rape movement, especially in the area of cultural diversity and anti-oppression. Pathways provides tailored services for specific populations, while it maintains a commitment to the entire community. Currently, priority populations include communities of color, Youth and college populations, communities of Deaf and Hard of Hearing survivors, and the GLBQTI communities. In addition, people from urban neighborhoods and rural communities remain key in our efforts.

Through our prevention work, we are leaders in building and expanding the resiliency factors and strengths of communities. This frames our prevention work in positive and proactive terms so that we can play a role in changing the community conditions that affect the incidence and impact of sexual assault. In our prevention work, the content of our presentations and community discussions are aimed at enhancing resiliency factors in a variety of ways:

• We enhance the general knowledge, and help individuals identify as agents for change.
• We work to improve systems of reporting and coordination of services.
• We enhance the network of support for survivors.
• We challenge the myths related to sexual violence.
• We support the development of programs and activities that strengthen families, build
community, and challenge isolation.
• We provide leadership and training opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to
get involved in organizing their communities.

Financials

Pathways For Change Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Pathways For Change Inc

Board of directors
as of 8/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Jessica Potts

NuPath, Inc.

Term: 2021 - 2021

Jessica Potts

NuPath, Inc.

Todd Buxton

Buxton Construction

Joan Trigiano, L.M.H.C.

Private Practice Clinician

Ann Cascanett, Esq.

Ann E. Cascanett, LLC

Michelle Smith

Aids Project Worcester

Danielle Saari

Waters Corporation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability