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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Crime & Legal-Related, Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Victims Services, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center works with abused Americans and their children in foreign countries to provide domestic violence andchild abuse advocacy, resources and tools so that they can navigate thecomplicated jurisdictional, legal & social international landscapes,to be able to live their lives free of abuse either in the foreign countryor back in the United States. This is achieved via an international tollfree crisis line, 866-USWOMEN, accessible from 175 countries, servinga population estimated at 5.25 million American civilians overseas.

Results: In the past 10 years, 2001-2011, we have received 13,175 crisis calls, emails & live chats. We helped 2,848 Americans callers, mostly women, in 101 countries. We have provided "Flights to Freedom" for 81 families, provided 49 legal consultations and paid 24 legal retainers to enable battered mothers to file for custody of their children. We have also provided 62 families with funds for emergency needs and provided counseling services to 56 families.

Target demographics: Americans overseas civilian population estimated at 6 million and military personnel and their families estimated at 1 million

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 families

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: The organization provides a lifeline of hope to American victims of domestic violence and sexual assault that live and travel overseas. Through our international,toll-free crisis line (accessible from 175 countries) we serve the approximately 7million Americans living abroad and 68 million who travel abroad annually. We help these populations navigate the complicated jurisdictional,legal, and social landscapes,the services we provide include danger to safety planning, relocation assistance, legal consultation, assistance with housing, and professional counseling.

Community Stories

53 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Spascuma70

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2007 I was in a very abusive marriage & in Santiago Chile. I was desperate for help & had no idea how I was going to get out out alive with my 3 children. I received a call from my brother & his wife who had just seen Paula Lucas on the Today show and her interview about the American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center. They gave me the information I needed to get in touch with them. They helped me get a birth abroad for my daughter ( she was a newborn ) & paid for her US Passport as well as assisted me with the US Embassy to get a way home for us. I can not express the grateful heart I have for Ms Lucas & her organization. My children were 13, 1.5 years & 3 months old. We came back to the states & the help continued every step of way to rebuild our life. I owe it all to this organization. My children are safe, I am safe and we have over come a very traumatic time. I can not say thank you enough & on holidays & birthdays Paula Lucas's name is mentioned, because with out her, I know for a fact I would of not made it out of Chile alive. I often share the American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center Facebook page to let more people know about them. September 29,2016 I finally shared my story with my community at Night of Hope. It was to bring awareness to Domestic Violence in the community as well as an evening out for the women who are living in the shelters here starting over. Donations of dresses, shoes, purses & jewelry where collected so the victims could feel beautiful again. A night just for them. I would not be able to help theses women if I didn't receive the help I received from American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center.
Pictures below are 1st pic when we knew we were going home,2nd the kids after arriving in FL, 3rd us now, 4th my picture from Night of Hope.

Thank you Paula Lucas. I owe my life to you, I am grateful everyday I see my children's faces.

Susana P
Ocala Florida

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

As a long serving director of non-profit programs throughout the world, it has been extremely gratifying to learn of the absolutely amazing work of this organization. AODVCC is composed of caring and committed persons who provide unique services to those in need of urgent help.
Americans abroad encompass a vast amount of people including students, tourists, students and military. To cover this population, AODVCC has established an outreach program of professional services that are unique and meet the variety of emergency situations encountered by these mostly women and families. Their services are delivered in a most professional and sensitive way by a most amazing staff. Please continue to support their efforts.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center during the summer of 2015 through a serving learning requirement for school.

Being a domestic violence/sexual assault survivor myself was the driving force behind me choosing this organization to fulfill my service learning requirement. Upon meeting with the ladies of this organization, I knew instantly that the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Women's Crisis Center was an organization that I wanted to continue to volunteer with once I completed my service learning requirement.

Besides the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Women's Crisis Center being a great cause and worthy of all the praises given, the level of love, dedication and concern that the ladies provide to the clients is simply amazing. I couldn't have chosen a better organization to volunteer with.

Donor

Rating: 5

I think that there is a great need for organizations like Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center! What with so many documented abuses going on right here in the US, I am so glad that there is an avenue for women (mostly) living in foreign countries, to contact should they be in such a terrible situation.

Many of the Middle Eastern countries show little outward respect for women's rights as we enjoy in the US! I can't help but believe that without anywhere for US female citizens to turn to while living in such situations in these countries, there would probably be more extreme abuse or even death! Thank goodness for this well-run organization helping so many literally escape such horrible situations.

This organization has the blessing of many others in the community of crisis and aide to those caught in these conditions. For several years, AODVCC has received the award for one of the best nonprofit organizations in Oregon. When individuals see the value of such an organization, and then donate to it, it affirms it's mission. It affirms the need for it's place in a world so distraught with many just trying to survive, let alone survive with an abuser!

World peace is, of course, a concept that many hope will happen in the future. However, until and if that ever does happen, it is a blessing to have such a well-versed, finely-tuned outreach organization like AODVCC there for those who truly need it. God bless this organization for it's mission of well-being and ability to reach out to those in need for their very own safety and possibly even their lives!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization just placed in the top 100 Best Non-Profits to work for in Oregon for the 5th year in a row. They have been in operation since 1999 and have grown into a globally respected program. Hats off to the amazing folks that run this organization. You go above and beyond in your mission.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is the only one of its kind. They serve both American civilian population overseas, 6.3 million people, plus the American military overseas, over 1 million. They are doing amazing work!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started out with AODVC as a volunteer several years ago and am honored to now serve on the Board. The founder is a survivor with true grit and determination to help others in similar situations, and the staff are dedicated professionals who go above and beyond to help clients, who are usually overwhelmed by the challenges of dealing with domestic violence or sexual assault so far away from home. This is the only organization offering these case management services!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a victim of domestic violence, I summoned the courage to leave my home with my 2 year old child. I had no job, little money, a car, some toys, and a very selfless female friend who sheltered us for months until I could get back on my feet. AODVCC is such a great organization, offering resources when someone is at a very vulnerable and low point. I was in the U.S. when it happened to us. I cannot imagine what it must be like for women and their families who are in a foreign country. A place where they may not speak the language, hold little or no currency, don't understand the laws, and need papers to leave. AODVCC is that resource. I was lucky to have a friend who held a hand out to us. AODVCC is that friendly place women can go for help.

2 jabraham75

Former staff

Rating: 1

I take back everything i said about this organization. They need to be investigated.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is truly an amazing organization that makes it possible for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault overseas to be heard and to receive help. These victims often fall through the cracks due to the lack of support and resources available while living abroad. For many of these victims, this organization is their only hope. I am proud to work for such a passionate and dedicated team.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AODVC has been a God-send since my children and I first left to a domestic violence shelter in Europe. They have provided support in finding help, contacts, and guidance overseas as well as in the USA. AODVC has written letters and amicus briefs to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for our case to help secure Interim Measures of protection. We would not have survived this far if it had not been for the good people at AODVC who have been unwaveringly there for us when there is no one else to help Americans overseas but AODVC. There are no words to describe these amazing people and how grateful I am for being there for us for services that were necessary for our life-threatening situation and were not provided anywhere else.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A truly amazing team of professionals that make a global crisis line and ongoing advocacy possible. It is so empowering to see AODVC continue to expand their services world wide and be available to so many more that desperately need an advocate.

Debbie69

Donor

Rating: 5

Since this is the ONLY organization on the planet that does what it does, it deserves recognition. Americans who live overseas rarely have resources to leave a domestic violence situation - this organization gives them safety planning and other resources to get them to safety and sometimes are able to return them to the US. Many people believe the Embassy's take care of these issues but that is not necessarily the case. AODVCC also educate people here about the risks of leaving American soil. I certainly know what it is like to have a family member in a violent home thousands of miles from the US - there is a sense of helplessness and hopelessness - with AODVCC there is HOPE and HELP!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

When an American leaves America, she is basically on her own. If this American lives with an American or foreign boyfriend or spouse, she is basically on her own. If this American is being abused by her American or foreign boyfriend or spouse, she is basically on her own. There are few resources to assist in foreign countries. There is ONLY ONE organization that assists worldwide, and that is the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center.
There was NO assistance when the founder of this organization needed help. There was no one to advise her of her options when the founder needed that advice - not even her family could help. When she finally escaped a foreign country on her own, Paula decided to do something that had never been done before - help other American women and children who faced similar circumstances to her own. This organization is a Godsend to Americans everywhere. They inform the victim on many fronts and are sometimes able to get them home. They do this with little funding and careful planning and budgeting. Any financial help to this organization would be appreciated.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Most amazing organization I've ever been involved with. I am proud to say I am part of their team!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am awed by the hard work, wealth of knowledge and generosity of spirit I see every day in my co-workers at AODVC. The diverse community we serve faces an array of challenges and our organization is often just about the only resource they can reach out to. We provide the kind of help that matters most to the survivors who contact us. We listen without judgment, and we provide direct concrete help whenever possible. Our director is a visionary and every individual employee adds a body of experience and perspective to create the most internationally DV/SA savvy staff in the world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff at AODVC understands the range of issues affecting victims of Domestic Violence and survivors of sexual assaults abroad. They handle sensitive situations and often overwhelmed people, with respect, integrity and compassion. They help clients--male or female, American or spouse of an American-- who have been abused overseas, navigate complex situations in a way that is empathetic and empowering. It can feel like a ray of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation. DV is challenging in any case, but when a victim is isolated from support, and under laws that differ from the ones they are familiar with, it can be completely overwhelming. This agency is a Godsend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The necessity of a one-of-a-kind organization which navigates uncharted entanglements of national and international policy where meet the lives, safety and personhood of women was revealed to me through the inconceivable survivor experiences of an old friend. He detailed his emigration from the UAE in a series of heartbreaking secrets he held distant from the happiness and smiles he seemed to have been born wearing. The harrowing escape from the UAE- from abuse, from policy which would not protect him- was unlike any of us had ever heard amongst the circle of friends.
To the uninitiated, these stories may seem rare: far from the realities we live and our contingent expectations of the world. These survivor stories are real, important and much more common than I had ever expected. The phone rings here with new clients daily who fear for their lives, for their children's lives. AODVC provides a depth of services few other organization take to charge. A non-profit that seeks to establish care, education, reform, attention, movement in a world otherwise deplete of options for women; AODVC is an organization I am proud to work with.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From my experience working with AODVC, this organization is very knowledgeable and goes above and beyond to assist Americans living abroad who suffering from domestic violence.

2 lesliecollingridge

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an outreach ambassador for the AODVC I have referred a number of women living outside of the U.S. and experiencing abuse. This is the only resource for these women, some of whom live in countries where there is little or no support for them as foreigners. The U.S. has laws protecting American women living in the U.S., and for non-U.S. nationals living in the States experiencing abuse - there is nothing that protects an American woman living outside of the U.S. The AODVC is a critical resource that does amazing work for women and children who desperately need their continued support.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was in the United States trying to fight a return order to Ireland. The AODVCC gave me support in many ways and although I still had to return to Ireland, I was fully prepared coming back and knew that if I needed help, they were there.

Stephanie70

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization assisting Americans abroad in extremely difficult situations. I am honored to have witnessed such wonderful and dedicated volunteers and employess working for a much needed cause. The need for this organization grows daily. Thank you

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you for an opportunity to rate this wonderful and much needed non-profit! There aren't any such organizations like this one oversees, that addresses the issues of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse, regarding US citizens living in foreign countries! We need this kind of solid support for those finding themselves in such isolated situations while living overseas. Paula Lucas, the founder of this organization, is a fantastic individual, who, after experiencing her own spousal abuse from her husband, while living in the Middle East, had to find her own way out of the situation--without help from any service or agency. Fortunately, for those who find themselves in such scenerios today, it is because of Ms. Lucus' harrowing experience, that they can seek aid and assistance from this well-run organization. Well-trained telephone counselors are on duty 24 hours a day! An individual experiencing spousal abuse, whether that person is female or male, can call for counseling, or financial assistance if they are needing to leave the abusive situation. Please support this non-profit organization! If you find yourself in need of more information or assistance, please call 503-203-1444! Dr. M. A. Humphrey-Keever