We’ve Come A Long Way – 45 years Strong!

The Women’s Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community based organization funded by state, federal and local grants, United Way, individual and community donations, and special project fundraising. We are dedicated to serving the survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families.

Since 1973, the Women’s Center has served thousands of individuals who have experienced domestic or sexual violence, dating violence or stalking. We are one of Michigan’s longest standing domestic/sexual violence agencies, and we are proud of what we have accomplished. You should be too.

From humble beginnings on Northern Michigan University’s campus as a department in the Division of Continuing Education to today, the Women’s Center has grown into an organization that has three office locations, a safe shelter (Harbor House), a resale shop (PakRatz), and twenty-four employees. We are based in both Alger and Marquette counties, including a recently opened office at Sawyer’s Community Center.

Our services are for all persons that have been affected by domestic or sexual violence, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. All of our services are free and confidential for persons who qualify for them.

We provide:

  • 24/7 Emergency support at 800-455-6611 or Text  35Needs
  • 24/7 Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Response Team
  • Emergency shelter
  • Threat assessment and safety planning
  • Information on domestic/sexual violence, dating violence and stalking
  • Youth and adult individual counseling
  • Support groups
  • Referrals and advocacy in these areas: medical, legal, financial, housing, education, and employment
  • Court advocacy
  • Life skills training
  • Education to the general public, schools, and groups

During the last fiscal year, the Harbor House and Women’s Center staff and volunteers assisted 525 individuals with domestic and/or sexual violence issues. Our trained volunteers provided 8,250 hours of time in direct service to survivors at the Harbor House and in service to the entire organization. You can help out too by volunteering at our agency.

In addition to this, are involved in these innovative programs:

Blueprint for Safety Project

This project is an initiative of the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office in cooperation with the Women’s Center. This project was made possible by a grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, Arrest Grant Program.

The Blueprint project involves a number of partners, including dispatch, all county law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, jail, probation and parole, pretrial services, and the Women’s Center. It is a system-wide analysis to see how entities respond to domestic violence.

It focuses on putting the victim’s experience first and foremost and identifying any gaps in the process that decrease victim safety. It also puts attention on the offender in holding them accountable during the process.

Using a model recognized by the Department of Justice that was first implemented in St. Paul, New Orleans, Duluth, and Memphis, the Blueprint for Safety is based upon research and sound principles of evaluating a community’s systems response to domestic violence.

Marquette’s program is the first rural and county-wide jurisdiction in the nation to be implemented.


Domestic violence often includes animal abuse. Abusers threaten, harm and even kill pets to control, intimidate and retaliate against their intimate partners and children. A large percentage of domestic-violence survivors with pets or service animals choose to remain in dangerous situations for fear of what will happen to their animals if they leave.

The Sasawin Project was designed to help survivors create escape plans that include safe placement for their pets. Sasawin helps survivors transition into the safe haven of shelter knowing that their pets are safe from harm. Check our SASAWIN page on this website.


PakRatz Resale Shop

Our resale shop, Pak Ratz, has been rated one of Michigan’s top resale stores. When you shop here, your purchase helps support Women’s Center programs. The store is also a resource for our clients and their children. They receive vouchers from the Women’s Center for needed clothing, shoes and household goods.

Your donations of gently used clothing, accessories, household goods and furniture are greatly appreciated and help us further our cause. We welcome them daily. We have a convenient drop off and assistance.

Pak Ratz is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located on the back side of the Women’s Center building on S. Front Street in Marquette.