Vision and Mission
The Womanline Board of Trustees, staff, and volunteers envision a community where children grow up safe from abuse and survivors of abuse have hope of being emotionally and socially whole again.
Our mission is to help women overcome the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, and to teach young children how to protect themselves from abuse.
Forty Two Years Serving Women in the Greater Dayton Area
Womanline's forty years of service began in 1971 when Jane and John Britt started up an affiliate of the international movement, Birthright. As a non-sectarian, non-political counseling center, Birthright/Womanline would go on over the next twenty years to provide thousands of hours of free counseling almost all by volunteers, always leaving the door open to women who were facing very difficult decisions. For the next ten years Womanline would shape and be shaped by how the community responded to the needs of women with a variety of emotional and social needs. What follows is a roughly sketched timeline of the history of Birthright and Womanline.
The Early Years: 1971 to 1976
Originally operating out the Britt's home, Birthright moves into space provided by the South Park Methodist Church. Volunteers, both lay people and professionals (nurses, doctors, social workers, attorneys, etc.) begin staffing phones banks, answering questions from hundreds of women.
1976 - Birthright moves to 1132 Brown Street in order to accommodate an ever-growing demand for service. In September, 1976 the name of the center is changed to Womanline, to reflect a more holistic approach, recognizing that women have emotional, social, and spiritual needs, as well as physical needs.
1978 - Jane Britt resigns to take a six month sabbatical with her husband in Ireland, and beyond that to new challenges. Donna Reichart Spaeth is hired as the new Executive Director. In April Womanline is selected as one of 15 agencies nationwide to receive the National Volunteer Activist Award.
1981 - Donna Spaeth resigns to take another job.
1982 - Linda Mercuri, a long time volunteer, is hired as the Executive Director.
1986 - Womanline purchases a building at 1024 Brown Street and celebrates its fifteenth anniversary. Over those fifteen years 30,000 volunteers hours were logged; over 50,000 client sessions held, and 200,000 phone calls for assistance taken.
1990 - Womanline expands its outreach to the community. ABCs (A Better Chance for Babies), a teen literacy program teaches pregnant and young mothers the importance of reading to their children. In 1995, ABCs will be recognized by Family Circle magazine as of one of the 20 Best Programs That Can Make America Great. In 2006, this program will be re-named From Day One.
1991 - Womanline is recognized by President Bush as the 528th Daily Point of Light for the Nation.
1994 - Developed out of the agency's Vision workshops, the Kindervision program begins to teach young children how to recognize the signs of child sexual abuse. In 2003, the program will be renamed I Can Tell.
1996 - The Board purchases the Kratochwill building at 301 East Sixth Street in the Oregon District, and mounts a capital campaign, raising over $400,000 to make improvements.
1998 - Recognizing that the majority of clients have been victimized or emotionally wounded, the Board changes the mission of Womanline to be a professional mental health counseling center for women, specializing in sexual abuse/trauma treatment and prevention.
1999 - Womanline becomes a United Way Partner agency and is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
2002 - After thirty years of volunteering and serving as the agency's Executive Director, Linda Mercuri Fiscbach retires.
2003 - Leslie McClain appointed Executive Director. She will serve in the position until the Spring, of 2005.
2005 - John O'Bryan hired as Executive Director. John had been engaged as a consultant in 1998 to help the agency prepare for certification by the Ohio Department of Mental Health.
2008 - Womanline becomes accredited by the Council on Accreditation, one of the three major accrediting organizations for health and mental health services in the country.
2009 - Womanline certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and receives a Medicaid contract with the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Services Board of Montgomery County.
2012 - Womanline re-accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
2013 - New program, Insight, for the treatment of eating disorders created.
2014 - Relocated offices from the Oregon District to 4617 Presidential Way, Kettering.