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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Crime & Legal-Related, Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, 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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!


Board Member

Rating: 5

The founder, Paula Lucas, is an extraordinary person. Her story and her passion to assist other women and children that are going through what her family went through is very powerful and moving. AODVC serves a population that has no other national voice in this country, or around the world. US women and children overseas who are the victims of domestic violence often have many barriers to support and escape from the violence that is tearing apart their lives. The staff and volunteers are committed and smart, and are a lifeline to women and children who would otherwise often be out there on their own. I spent many years as a prosecutor, worked on legal reform in former Soviet countries and worked for the National Center for Victims of Crime, where I trained on the national level to prevent stalking, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. I am continually impressed and proud of the work that AODVC does supporting US women and children overseas in every way that they can.

Board Member

Rating: 5

AODVC offers comprehensive services to American women experiencing domestic violence while living overseas. As a pediatrician living in the Netherlands for 6 years, I met women struggling in domestic violence situations and was pleased to find AODVC to recommend to them. On returning to live in the US, I've actively volunteered and helped to organize information/training sessions in countries around the world.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I helped build this organization from a grass roots effort to a more sustainable entity. The experience was challenging because of a general lack of understanding of the difficulties abused American women face in foreign countries.