24/7 Acute Intervention Services. Safe Emergency Shelter at Harbor House. Personal Protection Orders.

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24/7 Help Line. Individual Counseling and Support Groups.

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Stopping the cycle of violence, reducing harm, saving lives.

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Resource Support. Victim Housing Activism. Court Support.

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The Women's Center, Inc. supports victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Alger and Marquette Counties through programs that Protect, Educate, Advocate, Counsel and Empower! (PEACE).

The Women's Center believes that every individual is entitled to dignity and respect, and that women and men should be treated equally under the law and by society in general. No individual should be discriminated against or limited by society based on age, sex, career choice, sexual orientation, or other circumstances of legitimate life choices. The Women's Center provides services in a non-judgmental and supportive manner to individuals as they make decisions for their lives. The Women's Center advocates for change in the larger society to eliminate bias and to enhance the ability of all individuals to be fully functioning members of society.



How to Avoid Being Triggered by the News Cycle

How to Avoid Being Triggered by the News Cycle

Whether you follow politics or not, the recent news cycle has been rife with stories of sexual assault and abuse. For people who are recovering from physical violence, some of these stories – even the ones told in solidarity – can be a psychological trigger. A trigger is something that ignites memories of victims’ past trauma, causing further anxiety. A trigger can cause hours, days, or even weeks of emotional pain. If strolling through social media or watching TV has been difficult for you lately, here are some ways to avoid being triggered by what’s happening in the world.

Some people might suggest simply not watching the news during these times, but it can be impossible. The worst of the stories show up on all social media sites, and people share them without thinking about how others will react to the worst of these. From the Kavanaugh hearings to the various news reports regarding Kevin Spacey, Woody Allen, and Harvey Weinstein, among others, most of these mainstream media stories are trying to the change the world for the better by exposing predators. Some of that change, unfortunately, involves retelling stories of such trauma that hearers who have suffered violence must relive painful instances.

Negotiating a Traumatic Past When Assault Dominates the News

During this time of change for the nation, where we feel both relief that these stories are being told and fear those stories might be a trigger of past trauma, those who have suffered violence must protect themselves. Some of that involves creating an emotional toolkit to guard against the worst of these storms.

Here are some ways to help you with triggers when sexual violence is always the news lede.

  1. Plan for a calm moment. Sometimes, awareness is the only protection you have. Practice self-care by having a plan in place when you know the news cycle will involve triggers for you. If you’re reading Facebook and a story pops up that triggers trauma, have something in mind that you can do – meditate, go for a walk, or call a friend – so you don’t have to think about the next steps.
  2. Put on a timer. It can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of digital life or mainstream news, but if you set a timer, you can catch up and give yourself the time you need to recover. It’s tough going from news to real life, so add some time to do something positive if you’re feeling anxious.
  3. Support each other. If the news cycle is triggering for you, you can bet you’re not the only one. Take to social media and plan blackout for victims times for victims of domestic assault. Create a coffee date for those in your circle to talk about how they are handling what’s happening. Be active. When you become a leader for those who are suffering, it can help you handle the trauma you’ve faced.

It’s Okay to Switch It Off

Remember, you’re allowed to take some time away from the news. You don’t owe it to anyone to be in the “know” regarding current Supreme Court shakedowns, pop culture happenings, or even sports drama if it is a trigger. It also might help to know that things will get better. Healing after a trauma doesn’t happen in a line; some days are going to be fine and some will be a challenge to get through – and you can’t count on how you felt yesterday or how you’ll feel tomorrow. Give yourself space to heal and permission to shut the noise off when you need.

A Night Out

The Landmark Inn presents “A Night Out,” a benefit for the Women’s Center. Tickets are $50 per person, and includes food and music. A cash bar.

Tickets available by calling 906-225-1346, or stop in at The Women’s Center at 1310 S. Front Street.

Sponsors: Landmark Inn, UPHP, Downtown Eyecare, Elegant Seagulls, VAST, VANGOS, Huron Mountain Bakery, Andrew & Erica Griffin, Gary & Colleen Walker

We hope to see you there!

Filing a Personal Protection Order

Steps for Filing a Personal Protection Order in Michigan

Leaving an abusive partner is a difficult first step. Once you’ve left, protecting yourself from this person may still be an issue; many abusers continue to haunt their partners longer after the decision to leave.  Obtaining a personal protection order, known as a PPO, is one way for those facing violence or threats from a domestic partner to find more adequate legal protections. Not only will it mean another layer of protection for you, a record of a PPO may protect other people in vulnerable situations from this person’s violent tendencies. Here’s what you need to do to obtain a PPO against an abusive partner in Michigan.

We will explain the steps, but here at the Women’s Center ,we can help you through the process.

Steps for Obtaining PPOs in MI

The first step for obtaining a PPO is to file a petition with the circuit court clerk. The one in Marquette is located on 234 W. Baraga Avenue, but you can file in any Michigan county. Your petition, which you can download here, should detail the abuse you have suffered at the hands of your partner and how you’ve been emotionally and physically harmed. You are the “petitioner” and the abuser is the “respondent.” When possible, offer dates or time of the year you suffered abuse, threats, or fear. Though police reports or medical evidence are helpful, they aren’t necessary. If you have them, attach them to your PPO petition.

Ex Parte Orders for Immediate Danger

If you are in eminent danger or fear your abuser will try to harm you immediately, ask for an emergency order, called an ex parte order. In these cases, if a judge gives you an ex parte order, you won’t have to wait for a hearing. In these situations, the abuser won’t know you are asking for a PPO until after you have one in hand. Ex parte orders become active as soon as a judge signs them. They are usually valid for six months but must be served to be effective.

For other PPOs where victims aren’t in immediate danger or if a judge needs more information before granting a PPO, there must be a court hearing. This hearing will be within 21 days of your filing the PPO. Before the hearing, you must serve the abuser a notice of the hearing.

How to Serve a PPO

For an ex parte order or a PPO hearing, you must serve your partner notice. The sheriff’s department in Marquette can serve notice for $26 (applications are available for those who can’t afford the fee). You can send the PPO through registered mail, or you can have a friend or adult family member hand the notice to the abuser. Keep in mind, this is not an optional component to obtaining a PPO. If you get a PPO but never serve it, your domestic partner cannot be prosecuted for violating the order.

What Happens After Filing a Protection Order

After you file, a judge will review your petition. If a judge immediately grants your ex parte order, it’s effective immediately, and you just need to serve it. In other cases, a judge may request a hearing or deny your petition for a hearing. Even if you do not receive a PPO, know that the police are there to protect you – call someone for help if an abusive partner is threatening harm or actively pursuing harming you.

If you’ve filed a protection order and the courts have granted it, keep a copy with you. Though it can’t guarantee your safety, it may stop an abuser from:

  • Having access to shared domestic records, like telephone numbers or work addresses
  • Buying a firearm
  • Entering your home or stalking you

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and many orders depend on the situation or the types of abuse.

When to Get a PPO

You may consider obtaining a PPO in preparation for leaving an abusive relationship if you fear this person will continue their abuse after you leave. If you’ve left someone who continues to threaten or abuse you or your children, it’s time to file a PPO. When you need help getting protection from an abuser or getting out of an abusive relationship, talk to one of the counselors at the Women’s Center, available 24/7. We believe in empowering sufferers of domestic abuse and work to make their lives better.

Why You Should Be Shopping At PakRatz

Why You Should Be Shopping At PakRatz


If you haven’t discovered PakRatz ReSale Shop in Marquette yet, you are missing an Upper Michigan gem. Conveniently located near the shores of Lake Superior at 1310 S. Front St, PakRatz features a spacious showroom and ample parking. It is a favorite stop among locals and out-of-towners alike.


PakRatz receives fresh inventory almost daily and is excellent at keeping the merchandise timely – which allows for some awesome end-of-season clearance sales! The best part? All proceeds from PakRatz support the mission of The Women’s Center.


Here’s the kind of gently used items you can expect to find during your visit to PakRatz:


  • Women’s Clothing
  • Men’s Clothing
  • Children’s Clothing
  • Housewares
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Decorative Items
  • Jewelry
  • Accessories
  • Books

…and much more!


They even have a special boutique section for name brand finds. Current Women’s Center board member, JoAnne Garrow, notes she often goes a bit early to board meetings so she can take a peek at what’s new. “I love coats, so I’m often looking for a unique one to buy just before winter,” says Garrow.


When you shop at PakRatz, you are not only getting a good deal, you are supporting your community and a great cause to boot! Revenue generated from the PakRatz Resale Shop is reinvested into The Women’s Center’s endeavors. Shopping and helping make your community a better place — it’s a perfect combination.


For more than 45 years, The Women’s Center has been supporting victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Alger and Marquette counties through programs that:


  • The Women’s Center provides 24/7 acute intervention services. They operate Harbor House, the only safe house of its kind in Marquette and Alger counties. They also provide assistance to women seeking Personal Protection Orders (PPO).


  • Education is provided to victims/survivors regarding their rights and the services available to them. It also educates the public about the prevalence and danger of domestic and sexual violence in our community.


  • Our professionals offer court support and provide judicial officers with information on resources when possible.


  • Trained staff answer questions on our 24/7 call line. Additionally, one-on-one and group counseling is provided by The Women’s Center.


  • The Women’s Center strives to empower all victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence in our community through education and awareness.


So, the next time you are doing a bit of spring cleaning or looking for a new pair of jeans, stop by PakRatz. They are doing great things!