Our Story

In 1976, twelve dedicated women met at the YWCA in Reading to begin the monumental task of providing safety and services to battered women. These women were pioneers locally and statewide. They attended the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence held on November 12, 1976 in Lancaster; eventually, BWIC became one of the Coalition’s original group of 13 member organizations. They put together the framework to help women and children achieve safety, piece by piece. They pooled their resources and doggedly pursued the support of the greater Reading Community. They did not give up – and the community responded!

Safe Berks is the product of the inspirational leadership, determination and insight of our “Founding Mothers”. We owe them everything.

Our Founding Mothers:

  • Lorraine Condeelis
  • Nancy Eldon
  • Genny Esterling
  • Louise Grim
  • Barbara Hart, Esq.
  • Donna Heckman
  • Judy Henry
  • Paula Herman
  • Linda Ludgate
  • Marie Morrisey
  • Cathy Saunders
  • Marge Swanson