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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

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

WAA is an excellent organization with a dedicated staff and a proven record of success. As the only DV shelter in a city of millions, it is incredible what they do to help survivors. Support for WAA is so great that even in this time of difficult funding, WAA has managed to completely reconstruct its transitional housing shelter and even add more beds. Women and families are scheduled to move back into a brand new space in December 2012! Way to go WAA!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with Women Against Abuse as a Board member and also in advocacy efforts to improve state and local policies on domestic violence. I am always impressed with the skill and caring shown by staff members, and the breadth of vision and holistic response by the organization. WAA provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal services, counseling and community education to thousands of individuals each year. Staff provide training to police, district attorneys and judges in an effort to improve responses by the courts and legal system. Advocates assist survivors in both civil and criminal court proceedings, as well as providing services to survivors who choose not to use the court system.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women Against Abuse offers safety, shelter, support and legal counseling to thousands of women and their children each year whose lives are endangered by domestic violence. As the demand for services has increased over the past few years, the resources needed to meet that demand have not. However, the dedicated staff of Women Against Abuse has worked hard to fulfill its mission and provide life-changing help to the many who need it. As a member of the Board of Directors,Women Against Abuse is an outstanding organization that provides critically needed services. I am very proud of the commitment of our staff, volunteers and Board to offering sanctuary to those exposed to intimate partner violence and to their strong advocacy to end domestic violence in our community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

WAA is committed to ending domestic violence period end of story. Each day, WAA is providing shelter, long-term housing, legal representation, education, legislative advocacy and hotline services in support of its commitment. This commitment is supported and contributed to at every level of the organization. I am proud to serve on the board of such a worthy organization.

Sheila A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Sheila E. Armstrong and I am a former client of Women Against Abuse and current board member. I am a mother of two boys and I am a survivor of domestic abuse. If you had asked me where would I be today, my answer would have been slightly different than where I am. On October 10, 2003 my son’s father assaulted me. My injuries were a concussion, both eyes swollen with one shut, lip busted and a broken arm. When I was in the hospital I spoke with a social worker about my fears of returning home. During this conversation the social worker told me about Women Against Abuse and how they have an emergency shelter that helps woman that have been through traumatic situations like mine. I was very hesitant to go into a shelter but I knew I didn’t want to go home and any other options I may have were very limited. So with the social worker's assistance I called Women Against Abuse and I am very thankful to God I did!

Even though I was a physical and emotional mess my very first night at Women Against Abuse emergency shelter was very comforting because this is when my relationship began with God.

I am proud to say today that I have my own two-bedroom apartment with intentions on becoming a homeowner within the near future. At one point of my life I was a high school dropout but now, I can say that I am a student at University of Phoenix Master's Degree Program. I am employed with the School District of Philadelphia and I have a peace of mind, body, and soul that I can only thank God and Women Against Abuse for. I feel that if it wasn’t for the incredible support I received from Women Against Abuse I would have never been given the opportunities I received and I may still be living in a life of fear.