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About Us

Sarah's Friends is a safe haven for those harmed by crime in Williams County.   All services are free and strictly confidential.


To ensure those victimized by crime in Williams County receive compassionate support and individualized services necessary to not feel alone in their journey of healing.  To put the power and control back into the victim's hands, allowing them to become an empowered survivor. 


To empower victims of domestic violence and crime to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually.




Diverse & Inclusive




Our History

Founded in April 1991, Sarah's Friends, Inc. provided a safe and comfortable place for child victims of abuse to be interviewed by law enforcement personnel and Child Protective Services (CPS).  These interviews were recorded so that the child only had to go through the difficult process of telling their story once. 


Over the years, the organization has gone through many changes.  By 1996, law enforcement and Job and Family Services changed protocols for child abuse investigations and decided the interviews were no longer to be conducted at Sarah's Friends.  In 1997 after some revision, Sarah's Friends officially stated, "It is our mission to address the problem of violence in Williams County through prevention, education, and intervention, and by assisting victims of crime." In 2013, our mission statement was revised to state, "To empower victims of domestic violence and crime to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually."


Throughout the years, Sarah's Friends has provided various training and prevention efforts including training for law enforcement on family violence, evidence based programs for elementary students, and trainings for HR professionals on domestic violence in the workplace.  We have also provided support groups for children experiencing divorce, and another for adults who have gone through it as well.  Several support groups have been offered for women who have experienced relationship violence and mentoring programs have been offered as well.


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Most notable has  been our advocacy work for survivors of crime, most often those who experienced domestic violence.  These services include financial and material support as well as emotional.  We provide referrals for legal services, social services and counseling.  In 2001, we started a housing program that assisted individuals and families with rental deposits and short-term rental subsidy to help our clients, most often women and children escaping a dangerous living situation.  By 2010, this program grew when we started utilizing one of the apartments we own as Transitional Housing.  We have now expanded this frequently utilized service into four active units.

 Sarah’s Friends assists men, women, and children who are harmed by the following crimes:


  • Adults Molested as Children

  • Adult Physical Assault

  • Adult Sexual Assault

  • Arson

  • Burglary

  • Child Physical or Sexual Abuse/Assault

  • Child Pornography

  • Domestic Violence

  • DUI/DWI Incidents

  • Elder Abuse/Neglect

  • Hate Crime

  • Human Trafficking: Sex/Labor

  • Identity Theft

  • Kidnapping

  • Mass Violence

  • Other Vehicular Victimization

  • Robbery

  • Stalking

  • Survivors of Homicide Victims

  • Teen Dating Victimizations

  • Terrorism

  • Violation of a Court Order

Meet The Team

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Pat Burkholder

Board Secretary


Mollie Culler

Board Member


Amy Boothman

Board Member


Becky Kimble

Board President

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Jamie Vonalt

Board Vice-President

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Natalie Smith

Board Treasurer


Heather Mendez

Board Member


Ashleigh Hug

Board Member

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Niki Herold

Board Member


Katie Shaffer

Executive Director


Jaymie Lashaway

Office Assistant/Survivor Advocate

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Cathy Schmidlin

Survivor Advocate

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Derrick Friend

Board Member

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Tyson Moss

Board Member

Interested in Joining Our Board? Apply Today!

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"This place has been the backbone of my support in all areas. Sarah's Friends is a True Blessing to me and my children!"
-Anonymous survivor

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