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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Women Against Abuse, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Human Services, Mental Health, Victims Services

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.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Linette Hosendorf and I am a Survior of mental and physical abuse. When I look back and see where God has brought me I can only give God the Praise. My ex husband was my abuser and everyday I had to wait and see how his day was going to be. He also was on crack, the abuse was before the addiction it just got worst. I was not able to go to church but when I did I couldn't stay for all the services, he would pick fights so when I wouldn't argue he said I was ignoring him, so he would do the finger poking in the face or the hits to the body, because he knew I would never show my body, and if he hit me in places people could see he knew people would question me. One time he made me go down into our basement and just argued and took a pole from off my son swing and held it to my neck while he just fussed. He went to pick up a 20or 30 pound weight because he stated that he was going to hit me with and I start praying hard and loud pleading the Blood of Jesus, my abusers eyes were red and his face was so angry that he looked like a demon. Thanks be to God that weight he use to be able to pick up he couldn't lift , I knew that was no body but The Lord, I continue to pray and I heard the basement door open and someone yelled down the steps, what's goin on? That's how I got out of that that time. I would always think that he would get better each time it was getting closer to my death. One day he hit me with a piece of wood and I put my arm up to block it and he injured my wrist, I had been to go to the emergency room so many times that this time the Dr came in the room and he saw me and he asked me what happened I said, a car door slammed on it.. He stopped writing and looked at me and said, one day your gonna have a tag hanging from your toe. The Dr. Left the room and sent a nurse to wrap my wrist.
I did not have the courage to leave some years later it wasn't just about me I had to get my children out of that environment. My girlfriend was taking a class I beli in Social Work and she came across some information but she said don't tak it if your not going to use it, because if he finds this information he will probably try to kill you. Some months went by I got in touch with my girlfriend told her I was ready. She gave me the info, I hid the card. He never stopped putting his hands on my, but the mental was getting just as bad. One day he hit me over the head with the phone handle, because I wasn't mad that his girlfriend was on the phone. I had already started packing, in trash bags cause he would think that was laundry. He went to work that morning I dropped my children off my to oldest to my moms took my youngest with me. I called the WAA hotline and they told me I had to be dropped off in west philly in a specific spot alone. They took me to a shelter, then transitional housing (Sojouner), to Diginity Housing. I don't know where I would be if it wasn't for WAA.