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March 26, 2009 – Salem, MA – After thirty years as “Help for Abused Women and their Children” (HAWC), the organization has changed its name to “Healing Abuse Working for Change.” The new name better aligns with the agency’s commitment to serve all those who are affected by domestic abuse.

“Intimate partner abuse is not defined or limited by gender or sexual orientation,” said Candace Waldron, Executive Director of Healing Abuse Working for Change. “Tactics of a controlling and abusive partner whether male, female or transgender; straight or gay; married or dating, are similar. It is those behaviors that need to be named, confronted and changed to protect those who are targeted.”

HAWC‘s new name also reflects the organization’s dramatic growth over thirty years, expanding language capacity, cultural diversity, and its ability to work with those in same gender relationships to be better able to meet the needs of individuals in the twenty-three diverse North Shore communities it serves.

“Our new name underscores HAWC‘s two-fold mission: to support the healing process individuals and families go through as they work to free themselves from abuse and to change the social norms and individual behaviors that perpetuate violence and oppression,” said Waldron.

In conjunction with the new name, HAWC announced a contest to find a new logo. HAWC is asking members of the community to share their vision of what the new HAWC logo should look like. The designer of the chosen logo will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000. Details of the logo contest can be found at:

Anyone that sends in their logo by April 21th, 2009 will have the opportunity to have it displayed at the annual Walk for HAWC in Salem on Sunday, April, 26th, 2009.

About HAWC: Healing Abuse Working for Change, formerly Help for Abused Women and their Children, provides services and support to victims of domestic violence in 23 North Shore cities and towns. The mission of HAWC is to create social change by taking action against personal and societal patterns of violence and oppression.  For more information on services and upcoming events visit the HAWC web site at: If you or someone you know needs immediate assistance call HAWC‘s 24 hour hotline at: (800) 547-1649.