Thursday, December 10, 2009

Please consider supporting

Dear Friends,

In today’s economy, more women are experiencing domestic violence, a direct effect of the country’s soaring unemployment rates. Far too many women remain in abusive relationships simply because they don’t know about their rights or the legal protections created to help them.

Through a website, email hotline, and community workshops, empowers domestic violence victims with vital legal information and support, touching the lives of nearly one million individuals across the U.S. each year. We give women the information they need to take concrete steps towards escaping abuse.

Nearly 75% of the victims we help are mothers. Here is one mother’s story:

Today, we heard from a mother whose husband’s emotional abuse became violent soon after their baby was born. She wants to leave, but she is afraid he will charge her with abandonment and gain custody, as he’s promised he’d do. Through our email hotline, we explained complicated custody laws to her in a compassionate and plain-language manner, helping her think through the safest way she can leave and making certain that her chances for custody are not compromised. She is now feeling ready for the long road ahead. will be there to support her, helping her navigate a confusing legal system, for as long as she needs.

In the last twelve months alone, we have seen traffic to our website increase by more than 60%. In 2010, tens of thousands more women will be counting on us to provide them with the information they need to escape abuse. Similarly, hundreds of shelters, domestic violence coalitions, and other service providers will be relying on us to provide the information they need to help their clients.

We are deeply committed to supporting women and their families, especially at a time when they need us more than ever. We need your help to make this possible. Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 through this end-of-year campaign so we can keep up with the demand for our services. Please help us by making a tax-deductible donation today. Thank you!


Elizabeth Martin
Executive Director


2009 HIGHLIGHTS had a very productive 2009! This year, we:

Celebrated with Gloria Gaynor, the Queen of Disco! Gloria Gaynor and hosts Celerie Kemble, Boykin Curry, Bronson van Wyck, Mariska Hargitay, Amanda Brooks and Moby, put on a Night of Disco for The party featured performances by The Little Death and Gloria Gaynor, celebrating the re-launch of her eternal hit “I Will Survive” and the 10th Anniversary of (Our 10th Anniversary is technically in February, but we thought it was a perfect time to start celebrating!) Look for Gloria Gaynor in the press and take a closer look at her wrist where you’ll see a sparkly bracelet emblazoned with the words “SURVIVE” and We’ll send you one, too, when you make a donation to! Check out the pictures and read more here:

Received a Webby Award- Jury Prize for Best Website in the law category.
The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet and are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. (Some, including us, say it is like the Oscars for websites, only we didn’t get to wear gowns.)

Served 5,281 women through our Email Hotline, reaching all 50 states. Through our Hotline, we talked women through complicated legal information, such as custody and divorce, eligibility for restraining orders, and parental kidnapping (impacting a parent who may want to take her children out of state). We also continued to provide a first line of support, providing tips for safety planning, helping victims think through their decisions, and making referrals for local assistance.

Provided community workshops for 130 women in New York City. Through our Latina Outreach Project, we partnered with two local organizations, Voces Latinas and the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, to educate their clients about their rights and provide in-person support.

Trained more than 60 lawyers in North Carolina to represent victims of domestic violence. Through a partnership with the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, we supported advocates and helped to improve legal support for domestic violence victims around the state.

Women continually tell us that we are providing them with the information and personalized support they need to escape abuse:

I just wanted to express that I love you guys and I don't even know you. I just submitted some questions, but I have been following your site for years. Whoever wrote it did an EXCELLENT METICULOUS and SENSITIVE job explaining some pertinent details regarding domestic issues in a way that most women can understand. Thank you so much to those writers and editors. XXOO

I have to tell you I am so pleased to see this website for women! Having been a police officer for 16 years, now retired, however having gone through a horrendous custody battle from an abusive spouse, there was not this type of resource available back then. I found this while researching a paper for college that I am doing on domestic violence! Thank God for you guys, bravo!


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