Kaja Wright
2013 Ripple Effect Awardee

Advocacy, Relief and Empowerment - Elizabeth Freeman Center

Vonetta Smith
Berkshire County

Kaja Wright is a brave and determined woman who was strong enough to flee a violent relationship and demonstrate to her two daughters, one only six weeks old, that there is a better life, one without abuse. She took shelter at the Elizabeth Freeman Center. Ineligible for subsidized housing at first, under the guidance of the Center’s staff she went through the daunting appeal process under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) protections but it required reliving her nightmare over and over again. Because she finally won her appeal, she was more inspired than ever. She has passed her cosmetology test, now has a job in a spa/beauty salon and is enrolled in an accounting course with a plan to start her own business...and she inspired two other women to enroll in school and one pursued the VAWA protection claims to win her own subsidized housing appeal. Kaja continues to receive support and counseling while continuing to support others in this journey…all to stop the cycle of abuse.