Los Altos domestic violence group receives award for helping abuse victims

Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos resident Ruth Patrick helps abused women through the Women-of-Means-Escape Network, Silicon Valley.

It’s been less than a year since Los Altos resident Ruth Patrick planted seeds for the Women-of-Means-Escape-Network, Silicon Valley (W.O.M.E.N.~SV), but the nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women of affluence facing domestic violence is already receiving recognition for its work.

W.O.M.E.N.~SV is scheduled to receive the Santa Clara County Psychological Association’s Agency Award in April for enhancing the well-being of an underserved population and the community at large.

“Until I met Ruth, I did not realize how great the need was for her services in our affluent community,” said Jeffrey S. Kline, a clinical psychologist and past president of the Santa Clara County Psychological Association. “Simply put, the need is huge.”

Patrick noted that she receives several calls a day from women seeking support or referrals. Since the organization’s official launch last March, W.O.M.E.N.~SV has helped more than 50 women with resources ranging from referrals to lawyers, therapists and parenting coaches to offering information and support as clients file restraining orders or progress through the court process.

W.O.M.E.N.~SV – an official program of the Los Altos Community Foundation – received $20,000 in grant money last year. The program initiatives of the group include distributing a resource guide for victims of domestic violence, coordinating a weekly support group and reaching out to law enforcement agencies, psychologists and community organizations to build awareness and connect domestic violence victims to available resources.

“The love and care Ruth shows toward the women who come to her, who have nowhere else to turn, is inspiring,” Kline said.

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