Our Mission

The Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive range of quality services to meet the needs of those affected by domestic violence and or sexual assault, and to reduce the elements that foster violence through community collaboration, education, and to empower victims in Campbell County, Wyoming.

Our Philosophy

The Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation believes that violence, whether sexual, emotional or physical should never be used as a form of power and control over another person.  We believe every person has the right to a life free from violence and abuse. We provide shelter and non-judgmental services for victims, enabling them to affirm their own strengths and choices to live free of violence.  We strive to reduce the elements in our culture that foster violence through awareness and community education.

Our History

During the 1970’s, domestic violence victims were being housed in the private homes of Gillette residents.  This presented a number of problems not only for the victim but also for the safety of the host family.  As the number of victims needing a safe place to stay grew, a group of concerned women began to see the need for a domestic violence advocacy program in Campbell County.

The Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation (G.A.R.F.) was formed in 1980 as a non-profit corporation designed to tackle the long-term task of developing a network of support services for battered victims in Campbell County.

G.A.R.F. received grants from the University of Wyoming and the American Association of University Women to begin the process of achieving its three goals:

To create an advocacy program involving recruiting and training of volunteer advocates to provide supportive crisis counseling on domestic violence. To provide a 24-hour crisis line. To ultimately provide a “safe house” in Gillette where battered victims and their children could go in crisis.

The initial grant money was to be used for a survey in Campbell County to determine if there was, in fact, a need for services.  Preliminary results from this survey showed that 30 to 35% of victims polled were being abused.

G.A.R.F. then sought help from the County’s 1% sales tax receipts to institute its programs.  In May 1981, the county awarded $68,000 to G.A.R.F.

In January 1982, G.A.R.F. opened its doors and by March was providing full services to victims with the exception of a safe house.  Staffed with 12 trained volunteer advocates G.A.R.F. provided services to 62 adult victims and 85 children in the first four months they were open.

In March 1982, G.A.R.F. was chosen to receive funding from the State.  This funding allowed G.A.R.F. to pursue a safe house project and in October 1982, G.A.R.F. purchased its first safe house two years ahead of schedule.  By the end of its first year G.A.R.F. had provided services to 275 victims and housed 88 women and 119 children in the safe house.

During the 2008/2009 fiscal year, G.A.R.F. provided services to 445 victims and housed 62 adults and 68 children in the safe house, reflecting an increase of 62% since G.A.R.F. began providing services.

Today G.A.R.F. not only continues to provide services to victims of domestic violence and their families but also to victims of sexual assault.  G.A.R.F. has 10 staff, 9 board members and 14 volunteers from the community to assist victims.

Our Services

Shelter is available for female victims and their children.  Alternative shelter is available for male victims.

Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day to help individuals explore options; provide emotional support and information on resources available.  G.A.R.F. staff can provide assistance to clients with job searching, acquiring job skills, budgeting, parenting, childcare and other life skills.

A number of self-help groups are offered to provide support and information.

G.A.R.F. staff will assist with the filing of Family Violence Protection Orders, Sexual Assault Protection Orders, and Stalking Protection Orders.  These provide temporary protection to individuals who are being abused, threatened, or harassed.

G.A.R.F. provides educational presentations concerning domestic violence/sexual assault, stalking, bullying, and GARF services to community organizations, agencies and schools.

This is a state program designed to reimburse individuals for personal expenses obtained as a result of violent crimes.

G.A.R.F.’s Life Skills Coordinator provides services to clients in the Shelter to help them find employment, childcare, and educational opportunities as needed to assist them in starting their lives over free from violence.

Help

We are always here to help. 307-686-8070

Volunteer

GARF offers rewarding and challenging volunteer opportunities. A free extensive training program is offered which can lead to a volunteer advocate position with our agency.

Donate

Donations are always welcome at the GARF office. For more information on our specific needs please contact us at (307) 686-8070.