As a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the WeWillSpeakOut.US coalition has been providing you with opportunities to get engaged in the fight against sexual and domestic violence by lifting up our partners’ recent initiatives every week.

This week we’re highlighting a unique program initiated by WeWillSpeakOut.US Coalition member, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, to provide support to Russian immigrants who have experienced sexual and domestic violence.

Recognizing that more than 100,000 Russian-speaking refugees and immigrants from the former Soviet Union reside in the Portland area, the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon launched the “Russian Oregon Social Services” (ROSS) in 1994 to serve the needs of this marginalized population.

The program includes a variety of support structures for the community, including a 24-hour crisis response hotline, individual and family crisis counseling, support groups for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and cross-cultural training for other service providers.

In addition to this inspiring program, the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon has worked with WeWillSpeakOut.US and IMA World Health to make Oregon a model state in the campaign to end sexual and gender based violence worldwide.

Their efforts reflect our mission as a coalition to work at the local, national, and global level to raise awareness, care for victims, encourage law enforcement and change our culture of tolerance and inaction.