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Independence House, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Abuse Prevention, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health, Sexual Abuse Prevention, Spouse Abuse Prevention, Suicide Prevention

Mission: Independence House helps all domestic violence and sexual assault victims, survivors and their children by creating opportunities to find safety and empowerment through crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, referral, outreach, prevention and education.

Target demographics: Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Survivors and their children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,770 lives empowered and well-being restored.

Geographic areas served: Barnstable County

Programs: Independence House is the only comprehensive community-based organization on Cape Cod providing free and confidential specialized services and widespread programs for children (ages 5+), teens, adults and the later-in-life community who are survivors of, or impacted by domestic or sexual violence. All Independence House staff meet the statutory requirements of The Massachusetts General Laws (MGL Chapter 233, Sections 20J and 20K).

Since 1979, Independence House, Inc. has been sharing knowledge and skills with survivors in order for them to regain self-confidence, make informed decisions and initiate changes in their lives in order to live empowered, independently, and free from violence.

Independence House has been a consistent and continuous leader in increasing safety options for adult and children survivors of domestic and sexual violence; increasing knowledge and awareness about domestic and sexual violence prevention; elevating and improving Cape Cod’s response to domestic and sexual violence; and actively engaging with the community to end domestic and sexual violence.

Independence House offers assistance through the following programs:
Domestic Violence
Sexual Violence
Children Exposed to Violence
Child Sexual Abuse
Emergency Shelter
Teen Program
SAFEPLAN Court Advocacy
Prevention, Education and Outreach
Abuse and Disabilities
Abuse in Later Life
Homicide Survivor Program
Housing Stabilization

Independence House provides culturally and linguistically appropriate individual and group counseling opportunities that incorporate psycho-educational sessions addressing the myriad of issues related to and resulting from domestic and sexual violence including planning for safety in the present and future, and advocacy that results in life-changing skills for emotional, mental and financial health.

Independence House operates a 24-hour hotline and emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter; offers legal advocacy with a staff attorney; assists with safe home and shelter searches; provides medical and police accompaniment for sexual assault survivors at Cape Cod police departments and hospitals; and offers child care for survivors during the time they attend Independence House services.

Independence House’s capacity to effectively and positively impact the lives of people who are victims of domestic and sexual violence is greatly enhanced through committed collaborations and advocacy, individually and with systems. Ongoing services are provided for women who are victims of domestic violence and who are also incarcerated. Collaboration with other service providers are in place to enhance trauma informed services that include on site groups at various community agencies, which serve domestic violence and sexual assault victims at their point of entry into services.

Independence House offers training for individual organizations and groups on topics related to sexual and domestic violence, healthy relationships and the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Additionally, in collaboration with the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office and the Immigration Resource Center, funded in part by the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) Independence House provides sexual and domestic violence training for law enforcement officers, prosecution, probation/parole officers and victim witness advocates.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

My connection to Independence House began many years ago when I was working on my BA. I was looking for an organization that would offer me the opportunity to complete an internship. (I actually did two, another during my Master's degree) Of course, I wanted an organization that would arouse my passion for my love of justice and the right to live a life of peace and harmony for all. Independence House fit that bill, it's mission statement says it all, and from that day forth it was evident to me that I had picked the absolute best internship. In the ensuing years, I have volunteered in many ways..... as a co-facilitator of a batterer's group, coaching IH counselors, as a Board member, and finally, as President of the Board. I am honored to be part of this amazing organization. Our Executive Director is unmatched in her skills in leading IH. She is a dynamic woman, who leads this organization with an unswerving commitment and passion. The work IH does for our community is so very important and essential and has helped many through crisis intervention, advocacy, education, counseling, referral, outreach, prevention, and inspiring change in our community. I am so glad to have this opportunity to give this review for Independence House.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Independence House is an organization that is in great need in our community. Their efforts for providing safety and security, mental health resources and being an advocate for those that can't advocate for themselves is what makes them so special. From the employees, to the Executive Director, to the Board of Directors and the Executive Committees, the care, concern and passion each shows for their position is evident when you talk to them about the organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's hard to believe that I have been involved with Independence House (IH) for nearly 30 years since moving to Cape Cod in 1991! At that time, I was researching a non profit that spoke to my heart of supporting non violence and assisting Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence and and their families! I started out first as a Volunteer and Fundraiser, then became a Staff member in Development for 3 years and since then have served as a Board Volunteer and have been President of The Board of Directors for 2 terms. My positive experiences with IH are too numerous to mention. The Executive Director is a powerhouse! The Staff are extremely educated and hardworking! Our Board members and many other community Volunteers are dedicated and Mission Driven! On every level, this is a highly professionally run and fiscally responsible organization that has provided critical services and programs for hundreds of thousands of clients and their families since it opened in 1979. I have been to countless IH events and heard amazing speeches from many Survivors of their incredible stories of survival and hope after receiving services from IH. I'd also like to add that IH is inclusive, diverse and does not discriminate against anyone!
Personally, I have chaired several committees on their Board of Directors and plan to continue my volunteer support and work efforts toward this excellent organization...because truly Everyone Has a Right to a Life without Violence!

To learn more about IH and its comprehensive services programs, I encourage you to please visit the IH website at:

Ginny Stratton T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Independence House has served Cape Cod Massachusetts for the past 40 years and addressed the needs of survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. There is nothing like this on Cape Cod, and especially now with COVID-19 and the increased rates of domestic violence in our society its more important than ever! I worked at IH for two years and saw how IH has changed the lives of the people they served and the positive effect on their lives. Each client they served left with confidence in themselves with a renewed hope for the future. Now I'm on the board and I'm honored to be part of the team that will continue to serve the community. I meet people all the time and when I mention Independence House they tell me stories of how someone in their family or friends were impacted positively from their experience and how IH changed their lives. I'm so proud of IH and all that they do.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became aware of Independence House years ago through my employment in the public schools. Prior to retirement, I worked as a Teacher in a facility for Juvenile Offenders, as a School Adjustment Counselor, an Elementary School Principal and finally a Director of Special Education. My experiences in all of those work situations taught me that the mission that Independence House is embarked on is a critical one in our society. Independence House provides compassionate, comprehensive and coordinated support for families and individuals impacted by domestic violence. They meet the needs of each child, woman or man that requires their services by: offering counseling, maintaining a presence in the courts, legal and medical advocacy, housing, meals and support in seeking employment. Independence House is also proactive in their approach in that they have a presence both in the courts, and in the schools. They work with teens to educate them about healthy and unhealthy relationships. As a Board Member now, I'm happy to share my belief that the Independence House staff is professional, caring, skilled, and committed to their mission of providing both respite and longer term support for survivors of domestic violence, and they are very, very good at meeting the needs of our families here on Cape Cod. Ron Larrivée, Ed.D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

About 20 years ago my life was in shambles and I needed someone to help me and my children get out of an abusive and impossible situation. Independence House was there for us. They met and counseled me and my children and today because of their efforts our family is a healthy family living a great life. I can't thank Independence House enough for all they did for us.
I am now serving for the second time on the Board. I can't think of a greater organization to give back to. They are all my HEROES!!!!!