WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – When you think of pest control, women probably don’t come to mind at first, but within this primarily male-dominated profession, you’ll find a group of women looking to create change.

“So how it started was 4 years ago during COVID,” said Shelida Haddad of Southington. “We thought, how can we gather women together when we were isolated?”

From a walk at the height of COVID-19 to a global movement, Professional Women in Pest Management are swarming communities creating positive change and it starts with Connecticut!

“Connecticut is going to be the kickoff for our global walk across the United States and globally,” added Haddad who is one of the women leading the way.”What we want to do is a fundraiser that’s very impactful.”

That’s when Safe Haven came to mind.

“Safe Haven is a nonprofit in the greater Waterbury area that provides sexual assault and domestic violence crisis intervention services to victims and survivors,” said Amanda Nardozzi, Executive Director of Save Haven of Greater Waterbury. “The money that we receive from donations often goes towards clients’ expenses…on-going programs as they go through learning how to re-establish their lives.”

Providing hope and help. “Just in our greater Waterbury area, we support 11 towns.”

In 2022 Safe Haven responded to over 4,000 individuals in crisis. 23 sexual assault victims were met at the hospital by a Safe Haven victim advocate and 131 children impacted by sexual violence were helped by a Safe Haven advocate.

“We have people like the professional women in pest management support and believe in our mission just helps us go out there and do the work we do every single day to support the people that need us the most,” said. “And I want people to be aware of that it’s not small numbers, they’re large numbers so we made a commitment to safe haven,” Haddad added.

The 5k to support Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury is happening on Saturday, September 23rd at Rails to Trail in Southington. Sign-in is at 8:30 a.m.

If you are in need of help and wish to contact Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury you can learn more here.