How old is the WCA?
Providing safe places for women to live has been at the core of our mission for over 100 years. The WCA started in 1910 as the Boise YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association). It was established to provide a safe place for young single women to live, eat, and socialize. In addition to room, board, and other basic services, the YWCA offered classes, camps, and community service opportunities to Boise women for decades.
In the early 1980s, the YWCA began transforming into the organization that we have today. During this time, the Rape Crisis Alliance and domestic violence Crisis Center were established to continue embodying the mission to provide a safe place for women in new ways. In 1996, we officially became the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.
You can learn more about the history of the YWCA and its more recent developments as the WCA in our history book, Women Helping Women: A Centennial History of the Boise YWCA/WCA, available for $34.95 on-site or in our online store.
What is your mission?
Our mission and services are based on three Core Values: safety, healing, and freedom.
WCA provides Safety to domestic violence and sexual assault victims through our two 24-hour crisis hotlines, our domestic violence shelter, safety planning assistance, and court advocacy.
We provide Freedom through case management and residential classes in financial literacy, nurturing parenting, and life skills.
Through these core values we hope to provide security, hope, and empowerment and to break the cycle of violence. For more information on these and other services, a see our Get Help section.
Do you have anything for men?
We can understand why you might think that the Women’s and Children’s Alliance is for only women and children. However, the truth is that one in six men will be sexually assaulted in his lifetime, and at least 10-15% of domestic abuse victims are male.
We don’t have a secure shelter for abused men, but we do offer the same court advocacy, counseling and case management services for men who find themselves in an abusive relationship or are healing from sexual violence. You can call our 24-hour crisis lines, attend our “If These Walls Could Talk” tours, or check out our other resources for assistance and more information.
What about teens?
The WCA cannot accept teens in our shelter or for counseling without a parent or guardian. However, we recognize that teens are often the victims of sexual assault and abusive dating relationships, and may not always want to talk about it with their parents. We have collected some helpful links to resources tailored to teens and their parents.
I’m interested in volunteering. How do you use volunteers and how can I get started?
Volunteers are a vital part of the WCA and are used everywhere in the organization, in administrative roles, as court advocates, in the thrift shop, and at outreach events. The first step is to attend an “If These Walls Could Talk” tour.
Email our volunteer coordinator or call 208.343.3688 ext. 41 if you are interested in volunteering or would like to know more.
Domestic abuse and sexual assault aren’t bad here in Boise. We’re a very safe community, right?
That’s a very common misconception. The statistics across Idaho are very similar to national statistics. One in four women will be abused in her lifetime; and one in six men. It doesn’t matter whether they live in Boise or anywhere else. Our tour “If These Walls Could Talk” would be a real eye-opener for you. While the problem isn’t any worse here than the rest of the nation, it’s still a problem that we’re working every day to change.
What are Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault?
If you want more information about domestic abuse and sexual assault, check out our FAQ and Resource pages: