The Bolton Refuge House Story

Watch these videos of our history below to learn how our services evolved to fit the needs of our community. Or, view the slideshow summary of our history below.
Every year, Bolton Refuge House hosts the Day of Unity to commemorate Officer Robert Bolton, who was killed attempting to intercept an abuser on October 6th, 1982.

On the anniversary of this event, we take a moment to honor the memories of the many victims of domestic violence, especially those whose lives were taken by these horrific crimes.

These videos were created as a way to as a way to preserve and share the history of Bolton Refuge House, and to provide historical context for how we came to be the institution we are today.
Girl by the Sea

Women's Community Center

In 1976, a group of concerned community women developed the idea of a Women’s Community Center. Before the center even opened, they received a call from the local police department, asking them to provide shelter for a woman and her children who were fleeing a domestic violence situation. In response to that call, The Women’s Community Center was opened as Wisconsin's first Domestic Abuse Shelter.