Domestic violence affects every community, including people who are Deaf.

Rochester is home to one of the largest Deaf Communities in the United States, with an estimated 42,674 individuals living in and throughout the city and its surrounding communities. Deaf individuals are 1.5x more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Through our Deaf IGNITE program, we serve more than 60 Deaf survivors each year.

Willow’s Deaf IGNITE program is staffed by individuals who are Deaf and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), who can provide support and services in a culturally and linguistically competent way.

Who does Deaf IGNITE serve?

Deaf Ignite is a signing-centric service supporting the needs of deaf survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual violence – for all gender identities within Monroe County.

What to expect from Deaf IGNITE

Advocacy Services

We provide a wide range of advocacy services such as ensuring dedicated interpreter access for survivors in the courtroom and court appointments, support and assistance with the Order of Protection process, accompanying survivors to any medical appointment, contacting law enforcement, and providing support in seeking shelter.

Counseling in ASL

Our short-term counseling is conducted in both individual and group sessions with American Sign Language as the primary communication mode.

Empowerment Sessions in ASL

Our empowerment sessions are conducted in ASL and works to help individuals increase their understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault. Sessions help survivors understand power and control dynamics in relationships so they may capitalize on their own strengths and work to build confidence and skills.

Education and Training in ASL

We provide a wide variety of workshops, training, and presentations related to domestic violence in the Deaf Community and supporting Deaf survivors of abuse.

We frequently work with local colleges and universities, Deaf clubs and organizations, health care and mental health providers, service providers, and law enforcement agencies. We work closely with groups requesting presentations and education to use our expertise in developing specific and tailored content for their group.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing abuse and would like to contact one of our Deaf advocates, please contact 585-286-2713 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you need to speak to someone outside of business hours, please text our 24/7 Hotline at 585-348-7233.