ASADV founders ask for name to stay AS IS

UPDATE: ASADV board released an announcement stating upon further community dialogue, it decided to keep the name ASADV as is for now.  See

NOTE: ASADV is an important Rochester, NY based organizations – not only does it provide direct service to victims of relationship violence, it also provides prevention workshops, training, advocacy, and has established some traditions for fundraising and awareness – Family Fun Day being one of my favorite ones.  In a word – ASADV is GREAT.  However, there are plans to change the name against the wishes of the founders and members of ASADV – Sharon Haynes, Vicki T. Hurwitz, Beth Metlay, Martina Moore-Reid, Sharon Staehle, Mary Mowl, and Deirdre Schlehofer.

I know each of these wonderful Deaf women personally and they would never take this STAND wrongfully.  As their just and good letter spells out there is no need or cause for changing the name and the problems that will come with doing so are abundant.

As per the request of the letter below pls circulate this link and add your name and comment in support of keeping name ASADV AS IS.

Save the name of ASADV!

Dear Rochester Community,

Last June, the Board and the Executive Director of Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV) informed us as the co-founders that they decided it would be most beneficial for them to change the name from Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims (ASADV) to DeafPEACE (Deaf Prevention Education Advocacy Community Empowerment). They are considering renaming DeafPEACE, without consulting the Deaf community, the community they are supposed to represent. The name DeafPEACE suggests a peaceful approach toward the Deaf without special reference to violence or abuse.  First, abused persons are victims.  Second, they are survivors.  But not all victims are survivors.

To support the values of openness, transparency and community involvement, we believe in engaging YOU for feedback on the important issue. We are writing to ask for your support to keep the name ASADV.

The Board and the Executive Director further stated, “…a name that is more contemporary, and in alignment with the work in the broader domestic field, will position us well as we look forward to move the agency to new levels.  We want a name that reflects gender-neutrality, does not have the word “victim” in it especially seeing that the term used these days is “survivor,” unless it pertains to a fatality, and is easy to remember, spell and sign.  Such change will allow us to gain more recognition and visibility within the deaf community and with local, state and national organizations as we continue to seek new funding sources to sustain and grow our agency.

From 1998 to 2009, we built up ASADV from the ground up with the training support from Seattle’s Abused Deaf Women Advocacy Services (ADWAS) founded by Marilyn J. Smith in 1986 and monetary support from the Deaf Women of Rochester (DWR).  In a historic moment, we received two federal grants under the name of ASADV resulting in the hiring of an Executive Director and a volunteer coordinator as full-time salaried staff to ensure service quality to deaf and hard-of-hearing victims who need advocacy.  This action plan has been a result of 11 years’ hard work and fundraising efforts, so ASADV was turned over to the new board in good hands.  Their letter also stated, “It is our desire to have a community event where we announce our new name and re-introduce ourselves to the community.

Our sister agencies modeled after Seattle’s ADWAS have never changed their names once they were founded.  Why is it important to re-name ASADV now while it is already in existence and well-known by the Rochester community, service agencies and local/state/national organizations?  Instead ASADV should spend time and energy into making sure the funding continues each consecutive year. ASADV is a member of the Justice for Deaf Victims National Coalition (JDVNC). It is a national coalition, which is comprised of all sister agencies serving Deaf victims. The Office for Victims of Crime has provided scholarships for state, local and community-based victim service providers to attend JDVNC’s conference.  The US Department of Justice: Office on Violence against Women funds many grant programs.

Please take action on this important issue and express your concerns through DeafTimes. Feel free to post this letter to other links.

We urge you to sign NO to name change!

We feel that ASADV’s history with its name intact should continue. Your support during the early years for ASADV is valued and appreciated by co-founders, the former board members and us.


Sharon Haynes, Co-founder, former advocate trainer, former Board member and interim Executive Director, Vicki T. Hurwitz, Co-founder, former Board member and Executive Director, Beth Metlay, Co-founder, former Advocate trainer, and former Community Educator, Martina Moore-Reid, Co-founder/former Board member, Sharon Staehle, Co-founder/former Executive Director/former Board member, Mary Mowl, former Board member/former Executive Director, Deirdre Schlehofer, former advocate trainer/former Board member.

Cc:  ASADV Board members: President Jamie Munro, Sally Atkins, Barbara Bushart, Lynn Finton, Bryan Hensel, Chad Ludwig, JMatt Searls, Anne Steider, Erin Esposito, ASADV Executive Director, Marilyn J. Smith, Founder and former Executive Director, ADWAS


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. handeyes
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 16:19:35

    copied and pasted from

    pls do add yours there also

    Patti Durr
    September 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    I support each of you in your STAND and in sharing this strong and just letter with our community. Thank you for all the care and heart you have put into this organization, this issue, and this letter. There is no reason to change ASADV’s name. It is grand and services to victims as they make the transition to becoming survivors is of greatest importance and should forever and forever more be the focus of the organization.

    Knowing the good folks on the ASADV board – I hope they too will see the wisdom in leaving ASADV’s name AS IS and that they will see the good heart and good courage each of the signatories of this letter display in communicating your commitment to ASADV’s origins and its future.

    I thank you again and I STAND with you in requesting that ASADV board keep the name of the organization as is.


    Patti Durr

    NOTE: as per the letters request – i am sharing the letter –

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