If you are in an abusive relationship or experiencing domestic violence, call SafeLink, a statewide domestic violence hotline, at 877-785-2020. If you and/or your children are in imminent danger, dial 911.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three Massachusetts women has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. And nearly 50 percent of women in the state have been subject to non-rape sexual assaults.
But women facing domestic violence situations don’t have to do it alone. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness month, we’ve put together a list of resources to keep women safe and sheltered from violent encounters.
Here is a full list of domestic violence shelters across Massachusetts. If you’re interested in supporting these services, they all accept monetary donations and volunteer applications. You can also check out our volunteering guide for other ways to support women in need.
Casa Myrna is Boston’s largest provider of support services to survivors, serving over 1,000 people every year. It operates three different residential programs, including emergency housing and a teen-parenting program. In each housing setup, every woman has her own room with her children, and communal kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces are made to simulate a welcoming, homey environment. Casa Myrna also provides legal and housing advocacy, prevention education, and economic stability support. All services are available in English and Spanish.
Run by the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, Renewal House is a temporary, emergency shelter for individuals and families fleeing abuse. It offers safety planning, in-house support groups, bilingual Spanish/English assistance, housing, health care, and children’s advocacy. Renewal House works closely with programs serving the LGBTQ community and specializes in the spiritual needs of survivors.
For over 40 years Transition House has been serving domestic violence survivors in Cambridge. It offers emergency shelter, transitional housing and housing advocacy, and permanent housing for survivors with disabilities. Other services include court accompaniment, public benefits advocacy, counseling for children and adults, referrals for employment, mental health providers, and housing. Free legal support is available through a partnership with Community Legal Services and Counseling Center.
HarborCOV (Communities Overcoming Violence) serves domestic violence victims with a particular focus on survivors, including immigrants, facing language, economic, and cultural barriers. It provides emergency, transitional, and permanent affordable housing and legal advocacy. Its financial assistance program helps with everything from budgeting and credit repair to managing debt and finding employment. HarborCOV is also committed to community awareness and public education about domestic violence.
Located in Jamaica Plain, Finex House serves battered women and children, particularly survivors with disabilities or those who have been trafficked. Its motto is “I belong to no one.” Finex provides emergency shelter and housing advocacy, mental health counseling, day care, and special needs services as well as elder care. All of this assistance is available in a number of languages, including American Sign Language, and all of its facilities are wheelchair accessible.
DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended) works in trauma-informed approaches to support victims of domestic violence who have suffered financially and emotionally as well as physically. It provides emergency shelter, individual counseling, safety planning, support in obtaining restraining orders, assistance in the Address Confidentiality Program application process, and other services. It also runs training for friends and family of survivors to learn how to support their loved ones.