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WEAVE fights traditional images of domestic violence offering men help from abusers (USA)

SACRAMENTO, CA - When they first opened their doors and became incorporated in 1978, they likely had no idea how their role might evolve as a provider of crisis intervention services in Sacramento. Even their name indicated they were going into business with the intent of helping women -- not men.

The founders called their organization WEAVE: Women Escaping A Violent Environment. 32 years later, the name endures.

But the times have changed, as has the clientele.

According to people who have used WEAVE services, the perception of the group remains largely the same as it was 30 years ago.

"I didn't know about them, and I didn't know they would help men," said Paul Smith, a WEAVE client.

Another WEAVE Client, Michael Dimmitt, said he also thought the organization might not be for him.

"It's not well known among men that WEAVE services are available to them," Dimmitt said. "Men don't talk about it with each other."

The "it" he's referring to is domestic violence. Four years ago, Dimmitt and Smith both would have had a hard time talking about their situations. Now, they have no problem sharing details they once considered mortifying.

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