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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Shining a Light on Domestic Violence: Nonprofits Providing Access to Safety and Support


“1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.”

- As reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The very sobering statistic above underscores the need for more education, awareness, public policy change, and advocacy for the millions of individuals, regardless of race, age, gender, and sexual orientation, who are subjected to and affected by violent relationships. Domestic violence expands further than just bruises and black eyes; it includes humiliation, manipulation, threats, isolation, stalking and more. There are nonprofits working tirelessly to address these needs. Scroll down to see Charity Navigator’s list of highly-rated charities to support their initiatives.

According to a University of California, Davis study, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed as a result, coupled with the isolation of the many millions of people staying at home, “created an ideal environment for increased domestic violence.” The added stressors affected relationships, and victims who may have otherwise left abusive situations were forced to remain because of pandemic restrictions. Clare Cannon, assistant professor of social and environmental justice in the Department of Human Ecology and the lead author of the study said: “[T]hese data do not suggest causality and there is no way to determine if intimate partner violence was present in those relationships prior to the pandemic. What the data do suggest, however, is that experiencing such violence is related to reporting more exposure to stress.”

In our efforts at Charity Navigator to shine a light on the scourge of domestic violence, in addition to the National Domestic Violence Hotline directly below, we are presenting a small sample of organizations that provide services, safety, support, advocacy, and educational resources to those affected by or victims of domestic violence.  

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

Please use keywords within our Advanced Search to find additional nonprofits (3- or 4-Star-rated or Encompass-rated with a score of 75 and above) providing services by state or across the nation. 

National Domestic Violence Hotline (100/100)

24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. Contacts to The Hotline can expect highly-trained, expert advocates to offer free, confidential, and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education, and referral services in over 200 languages. They answer the call to support and shift power back to those affected by relationship abuse.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (4 Stars)

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) believes that a world free from violence is possible. We work to make Dane County, WI, a safer, more just, more equitable place for people who have experienced domestic violence, their children, and the people who love them. Our mission is to empower those affected by domestic violence and advocate for social change through support, education and outreach. To make this happen, DAIS offers a wide array of crisis intervention and community education/prevention programs, including a 24-hour Help Line, programming for children from violent homes, legal advocacy, support groups, emergency safety planning, and the only domestic violence shelter for all of Dane County.

Domestic Violence Action Center (100/100)

The Domestic Violence Action Center is committed to addressing domestic violence and other forms of harm through leadership, unique services, legal representation, survivor and system advocacy, community education and social change work.  We believe all persons should be treated with equality, dignity and fairness. With high quality and culturally sensitive programs, delivered with integrity and compassion we are creating safety and self-sufficiency for survivors and their children.

Domestic Violence Intervention Collaborative (100/100)

Domestic Violence Intervention Collaborative works creatively and collaboratively with systems and agencies in Santa Clara County,  supporting development of best practices, promoting adult and child safety, and supporting worthwhile endeavors that heighten awareness of domestic violence. 

Futures Without Violence (4 Stars)

For more than 30 years, FUTURES has been providing groundbreaking programs, policies, and campaigns that empower individuals and organizations working to end violence against women and children around the world. Providing leadership from offices in San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Boston, we've established a state-of-the-art Center for Leadership and Action in the Presidio of San Francisco to foster ongoing dialogue about gender-based violence and child abuse. Striving to reach new audiences and transform social norms, we train professionals such as doctors, nurses, judges, and athletic coaches on improving responses to violence and abuse. We also work with advocates, policy makers, and others to build sustainable community leadership and educate people everywhere about the importance of respect and healthy relationships. Our vision is a future without violence that provides education, safety, justice, and hope.

InterAct (4 Stars)

InterAct provides safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault. InterAct also promotes violence-free relationships and communities through collaboration, public information, education, and advocacy. InterAct is the only confidential domestic violence prevention program serving Wake County's twelve municipalities.

La Casa de las Madres (4 Stars)

Thirty years ago, La Casa de las Madres opened San Francisco's first domestic violence shelter for women and their children. The once-quiet shelter has grown into the city's leading voice for abused women, their children and teens - educating, promoting awareness and changing the community's and the media's perceptions about domestic violence and its victims. Through a broad service continuum, we also provide expert intervention and prevention services to more than 10,000 community members annually. Our service continuum offers emergency residential shelter and community-based services to women, teens and their children while providing advocacy, counseling, family-based services and referrals. All services are free of charge and confidential.

L.I. Against Domestic Violence (100/100)

L.I. Against Domestic Violence is committed to the empowerment of victims and survivors of domestic violence through supportive services including hotline, counseling, vocational training, emergency shelter, prevention and education resources, and legal advocacy. 

LifeWire (4 Stars)

Founded in 1982, LifeWire (formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program) works to end domestic violence by changing individual, institutional and societal beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate it. LifeWire provides safety, life-changing programs and supportive services to survivors and their children throughout their individual journey to regain strength and courage. We provide a continuum of innovative services that help victims survive abuse, mend and rebuild their lives. From advocacy and counseling to flexible housing solutions, we provide a comprehensive range of programs and supportive services for survivors and their families as they work their way through domestic violence, legal issues, homelessness and ongoing barriers to independence.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (3 Stars)

Established in 1978, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) works to organize for collective power by advancing transformative work, thinking, and leadership of communities and individuals working to end the violence in our lives. NCADV's work includes coalition building at the local, state, regional and national levels; support for the provision of community-based, non-violent alternatives - such as safe home and shelter programs - for battered women and their children; public education and technical assistance; policy development and innovative legislation; focus on the leadership of NCADV's caucuses and task forces developed to represent the concerns of organizationally under represented groups; and efforts to eradicate social conditions which contribute to violence against women and children.

National Network to End Domestic Violence (4 Stars)

Founded in 1990, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is a social change organization that is dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists. NNEDV offers a range of programs and initiatives to address the complex causes and far-reaching consequences of domestic violence. Through cross-sector collaborations and corporate partnerships, we offer support to victims of domestic violence who are escaping abusive relationships, and empower survivors to build new lives, work closely with members to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs, and provide state coalitions with critical information and resources.

New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence Inc. (100/100)

The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence leads collaborative community and systemic responses to domestic violence by providing public awareness, training, advocacy, policy development, technical assistance, and supportive services.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence (4 Stars)

For 42 years, Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV), the largest nonprofit domestic violence organization in Georgia, has provided professional, compassionate, and empowering support to battered women and their children in metro Atlanta. PADV works to end domestic violence by: offering safety and shelter for battered women and their children; restoring power, self-sufficiency and control to domestic violence survivors; and educating the public on the dynamics of domestic violence.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) (3 Stars)

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE [4673], online.rainn.org or rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

TESSA (3 Stars)

TESSA's mission is to help women and their children achieve safety and wellbeing while challenging communities to end sexual and family violence. TESSA will foster a community free of domestic violence and sexual assault by raising awareness in the community, working with key partners, and educating children and teens. Simultaneously, TESSA will empower survivors to forge new paths to wellbeing and self-sufficiency, by supporting them with evidence-based services such as housing, counseling, legal help, advocacy, and other services they tell us they need located at multi-service sites.

Authored by Stacy Steele, Director of Marketing and Communications at Charity Navigator.

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