To prevent domestic violence and ensure every survivor has access to the services, and supports needed along the journey to a safe and empowered life.


A community free from domestic violence, where healthy relationships thrive.


Willow Center operates by six core values which guide everything we do.

  • RESPECT | We actively listen, seek to understand others, and practice compassion without judgment.
  • INCLUSION | We are committed to reflecting the diverse communities and families we serve. We care about and value all groups and perspectives.
  • SURVIVOR-CENTERED | We support survivors in developing and achieving their own goals based on individual needs, strengths and values.
  • TRUST | We operate with honesty, integrity, safety and confidentiality. We can count on each other and those we serve can count on us.
  • EXCELLENCE | We are committed to the highest standards, quality of care and accountability in all aspects of our work.
  • COLLABORATION | We believe partnerships and teamwork are critical to the quality of our work and in achieving positive social change and outcomes.


The willow tree is a beacon of hope. It is sheltering. It lives with grace under pressure. Its strength comes from within and radiates out.

Willow Center is the only New York State certified domestic violence service provider serving Monroe County, NY. Just over half of our clients are from the City of Rochester and nearly half are from the surrounding suburbs.

Willow Domestic Violence Center has provided services for the Greater Rochester community for over 40 years. Each year, Willow Center reaches more than 15,000 people right here in Monroe County.

Services are free and confidential. Safety is paramount. We offer no judgments about whether a person should stay or leave the relationship. Our role is to empower those we serve, not tell them what to do.

A long-time advocate and staff member said it best:

Willow speaks to the tremendous strength, action, planning, determination, perseverance, tenacity, and power that the survivors we work with possess in their most difficult moments.


We are proud of our over 40 year history originally as Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW) and now as Willow Center, an agency that has been at the forefront of the domestic violence movement locally and nationally. Our name has served an important role and helped draw attention to what was hidden in the shadows as “a private family matter.” ABW’s legacy remains our strong foundation.

While the name Alternatives for Battered Women served a specific and important purpose to bring attention to this hidden crime – our mission and our services have evolved.

In 2015, Willow Center changed its name from Alternatives for Battered Women (ABW) to better reflect the breadth of services we provide and the clients we serve.

Everyone has the right to be safe

Today, while over 90% of those we serve are women and children, our name change is meant to be more inclusive of the services we provide (by mission and law) to men and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary, and transgender community. We recognize entire families are impacted by domestic violence. Nearly 300 children receive services from our agency each year. Dating violence is also on the rise – with youth reporting abusive relationships in record numbers.

Domestic violence is not only physical.

Domestic violence is the power and control of one person over another that can be physical, psychological, emotional, verbal, sexual, and/or financial abuse.

In 2019, Willow celebrated 40 years of shelter services for survivors. Watch the video below to learn about our foundations and how we continue to support survivors today.