Kristin Shrimplin: Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Written by Tiffany White. Photography by Maggie Heath-Bourne.

On a gray, chilly, “spring” day we were afforded the chance to visit the Women Helping Women office and to speak with a bright light in our community, WHW’s president and CEO of Women Kristin Shrimplin. She’s a voice who speaks when others may not be able to do so for themselves. We learned about the mission of the agency and their Light Up the Night Superhero Soiree on April 26.

When we say "all survivors," we literally mean any, every, and all survivors are welcome.

WHW is a local social justice agency focused on empowering survivors, assisting witnesses of domestic violence, and raising awareness about gender-based violence across four counties. Though the agency is called Women Helping Women, Shrimplin says that “when we say ‘all survivors,’ we literally mean any, every, and all survivors are welcome. Now our name is super old, so you may think it’s only women who work here and we only help women. No. We serve all; doesn’t matter if it’s boys, men, trans individuals, those who are gender non-conforming, women, and girls.”


In describing herself as a leader of the agency, Shrimplin told us, “I would say that I have a sense of urgency in creating change in systems for survivors. I’m impatient. I don’t believe that in 2018 we need to keep waiting to make situations better in this region for survivors. And I think that goes on the heels of what we saw rise up in 2017 with the TIME’S UP movement. I think as a leader I am very clear about that. Time has been up.”

This type of attitude is imperative considering there has been a recent increase in sexual assault services. WHW is active in providing support and preventing this increase from continuing. The agency serves 16 hospitals and maintains a 24-hour hotline. Their partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department allows the agency to immediately tend to victims to provide them with relocation assistance and any other support that they may need in order to get back on their feet. Provided that the agency offers so much to the community, they are in need of the community’s attendance and support.


This Thursday, April 26, WHW is throwing their 12th annual gala, the Light Up the Night Superhero Soiree at JACK Cincinnati Casino. The event will be filled with retro superhero imagery, acrobatic aerialists, costumes, hors d’oeuvres, dancing, and good company. It will be a celebration of survivors, advocates, sponsors, and the community’s continued effort to combat domestic violence and sexual assault. (Stay tuned for Women of Cincy’s coverage of the event in next Friday’s “Reported By Women.”)

Tickets can be found on the WHW website; under 30’s can purchase two tickets for the price of one! And even if you’re unable to attend next week’s gala; there are ways to help the cause, from donating funds to contributing items such as hygiene products, clothes, diapers, and more for victim care packages.