Working to end violence


The Center for Empowerment and Education helps save and rebuild lives and create safer communities.

Since our founding in 1975, The Center for Empowerment and Education has been a safe haven as the sole provider of services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Fairfield and Southern Litchfield County areas.

Each year, the Center serves over 30,000 individuals from our area communities.  Our free and confidential services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Center’s key areas of focus include emergency shelter and support services, counseling and advocacy, crisis intervention, and community education, primary prevention and training.

All funds provided to the Center support our critically needed domestic violence, sexual assault and resource services for adults and children in our 13-town service area, including:  Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Sherman, and Washington.

The Center is a member of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

Our History

In 1975, Mary Elizabeth Corso, Alice Chapman and Bonnie Law founded The Center as a place where individuals and families could gather and explore ways to improve their lives. Harnessing the energy of the Women’s Movement, the Center served as a place for “consciousness-raising” and awareness of new opportunities for women.

From this foundation, The Center quickly evolved and broadened its mission as volunteers realized the depth and breadth of the community needs – in particular displaced homemakers and victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Working with other community groups to develop critically needed services, the The Center evolved into the multi-faceted social services agency that it is today.

Top 10 facts about The Center

1. We provide confidential services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including individuals and families, at no cost.

2. We staff two 24-hour hotlines: One for domestic violence and one for sexual assault.

3. We have a 13-bed shelter, Patricia House, to house individuals and families fleeing violence in their homes. Alternate safe housing options are provided for adult male victims.

4. We are on call 24/7/365.

5. We provide on-site emergency response at local hospitals and police departments, and at court. Walk-ins are served at our main office at 2 West Street office in downtown Danbury.

6. Our counseling services cover a broad range of topics such as self-esteem, ending relationships, separation and divorce, coping with stress and anxiety, bullying, and GLBT issues.

7. We provide free education programs for all ages—from preschool to senior citizens. These programs are provided in schools, colleges, businesses, social and civic groups, and faith-based organizations.

8. We are the only state-certified provider of these support services in our 13-town community: Bethel, Brookfield, Kent, New Milford, Redding, Roxbury, Warren, Bridgewater, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, Ridgefield, Sherman and Washington.

9. We serve more than 30,000 individuals and families annually.

10. We rely on donations for more than half the funds needed to run The Center, so we can be there for all those who turn to us for help.