Mission: The mission of Women Against Abuse is to provide quality, holistic and compassionate services, in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons who have been victimized by domestic violence. The program and services offered by Women Against Abuse are guided by a philosophy of service that seeks to empower women and respect their diversity.
Results: WAA is the leading domestic violence service provider in Philadelphia. In fiscal year 2012, WAA served 13,900 individuals through emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal services, behavioral health services, hotline counseling, community education and advocacy.
Geographic areas served: Philadelphia
Programs: Women against abuse operates two emergency safe havens offering a total of 200 beds and cribs to women and children escaping abusive homes. The safe havens are the only domestic violence shelters in philadelphia, and serve a total of approximately 1,200 women and children each year for 60-90 day stays. The safe havens provide a holistic scope of on-site support including trauma-informed case management for adults and children, children's services, nutritious meals, 24-hour security, direct needs assistance through clothing and toiletries, and linkages to transitional and/or permanent housing. Women against abuse is also the lead operator of the philadelphia domestic violence hotline - a free, citywide point of access for crisis intervention, safety planning, resources and intake to the emergency safe havens. This 24-hour hotline received 15,090 calls last year - a 54% increase over the year before! Women against abuse operates the hotline with support from three other local providers. The children's services team at women against abuse care for the developmental and academic needs of the youngest victims of domestic violence, serving children and youth in women against abuse's residential programs through an early learning center as well as an afterschool program and young survivors summer camp.
legal services provide critical protection from domestic violence. The women against abuse legal center works with women and men who have been abused to navigate the justice system by providing attorney representation, court advocacy and telephone counseling. Attorneys represent victims seeking protection from abuse orders, child custody and/or support. Last year, this program - in conjunction with the affiliated women against abuse legal center, inc. - served 1,117 individuals with free attorney representation, 1,640 with court advocacy, and 827 with telephone counseling. Additionally, 923 victims at high risk of lethality were contacted by women against abuse staff members through the legal center's collaboration with the philadelphia police dept. This innovative partnership connects women against abuse with victims that have called 911 due to an abusive relationship. The legal center also recently expanded its fast-track attorney program, which places attorneys directly in courtrooms where protection from abuse cases are heard. This program has greatly increased the number of victims receiving free attorney representation, opening access to women against abuse's services to vulnerable populations like never before.
women against abuse ensures that survivors are not forced to return to abusive relationships due to financial instability through the sojourner house and safe at home programs. Sojourner house is an 18-month transitional housing program that provides 15 apartment units, equipped with on-site services including case management, children's programming, life skills workshops, and housing options counseling. Last year, 96 women and children received housing and support services at sojourner house. The majority of the families who left the program moved on to permanent housing.