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Featured Image for Reflections from NCALL


As we celebrate 2018 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I find myself proudly looking back on the year and on our many efforts at the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) to further our mission of fostering a collaborative, inclusive, survivor-centered response to abuse in later life. I want to share some of that progress with you. Over the past year, NCALL has: 

  • Supported grantees of the Office on Violence Against Women’s Abuse in Later Life grant program to train criminal justice systems professionals and victim services providers and other professionals, to create or enhance a coordinated community response to abuse in later life, and to provide effective victim services to older survivors in their local communities.
  • Collaborated with the VERA Institute of Justice’s Center on Victimization and Safety, the Office for Victims of Crime, and many other project partners to help to co-create the new National Center for Reaching Victims (Center). The aim of the Center is to enhance services and resources for older survivors and other underserved populations of crime victims.
  • Elevated the voices of older victims through our Lifting Up Voices of Older Survivors video project. Through this project, we will create educational videos for professionals and community members. The videos will focus the lived experiences of older victims and help build the capacity of a range of professionals, who work with older victims of abuse.

I am excited about the work we have done at NCALL and where we can go in the years to come through hard work, partnership, and with an unwavering focus on centering older victims who live at the margins of the margins.

 Author and social critic, James Baldwin, once said of the struggle for dignity, equality, and racial justice: 

“One can give nothing whatever without giving of oneself – that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving. And, after all, one can give freedom by setting someone free.”

In an increasing challenging environment, we, as a field, must ask the critical question of what we can give of ourselves to older victims who live a daily struggle for dignity and justice. Communities of color, immigrants and refugees, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and many other historically marginalized individuals encounter increasing and compounding oppression and xenophobia, we must fix our vision and our efforts on doing all that we can to advance the cause of justice for all older victims, especially those who are the most marginalized.

As we continue to labor in service of our vision of a society which respects all older adults, we must constantly inquire and analyze what we are risking, what more we can risk, and for whom we must risk more in the quest for a world where all forms of oppression are dismantled and older victims from all communities live free from abuse. Each day we do our work, NCALL joins with those who are answering this call for critical analysis. 

On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, I offer my commitment to continuing to push for the dignity of older victims and the concurrent and the inextricably related struggle for equity and justice. I also offer NCALL’s unwavering support for those working on behalf of older victims and for a vision of a better future for all.

In solidarity,
Juanita & the NCALL team

Juanita Davis, J.D., is a Program Manager for the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, a project of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin

Learn more about NCALL's work at

Featured Image for NEW End Abuse Summer 2018 Civic Engagement Training Series for Survivors, Advocates, & Service Providers

End Abuse is excited to announce our new civic engagement training series taking place over the summer of 2018! Four trainings will be held throughout the state, and are designed exclusively for survivors, advocates, and service providers who work with survivors. 

Led by our Public Policy Coordinator Chase Tarrier and our Policy and Systems Analyst Adrienne Roach, these spaces will allow participants to connect lived experience and passion for social justice with public policy and social change. The trainings will provide opportunities to learn how civic engagement can allow individuals to play more active roles and make broader impacts in their communities.

Trainings will include: 

  • Critical information about voter registration and confidential voting options.
  • Insight into the legislative process and lobbying rules for non-profit organizations.
  • A space to learn about public policy and connect your values to policies and issues such as affordable housing and preventing homelessness, child safety and well-being, economic security, domestic abuse prevention and education, criminal justice reform, safe schools and communities, and social safety-net supports, among other hot button issues. 
  • Opportunities to learn and practice effective strategies to engage decision-makers and elected officials, to fine-tune your position, and make your voice heard, loud and clear!

Training dates and locations are listed below. As the summer heats up, so will the civic engagement efforts of Wisconsin service providers, advocates, and survivors!


To register for any of these trainings, visit

*Please register by the specified dates below to ensure that we can accommodate your needs. Feel free to share this information with other advocates and survivors who may be interested in the training!

*Please Note: Participants are responsible for all expenses incurred to attend this training. End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin does not have additional funding to reimburse for travel, hotel stay, or food. However, this training is provided free of charge to advocates, service providers, and domestic abuse survivors. 

Featured Image for Newly Revised Children & Youth Manual Builds Knowledge & Skills for Youth Advocacy
After two years of careful revisions, the updated Children & Youth Manual is now available through the End Domestic Abuse WI website at

This important tool increases the knowledge and skills needed for informed youth advocacy while building a relationship between advocates and their supervisors. It includes resources to connect with End Abuse staff and to continue education on various topics, including mandatory reporting, ACE's, resilience, and age-appropriate support groups and presentations.

Special thanks to our Children and Youth Prevention & Outreach Coordinator Cody Warner and all of the incredible advocates who helped revise the manual by bringing dedication and expertise to this resource that will help advocates all over Wisconsin.
Featured Image for 2017 – 2018 State Legislative Session Recap

When the State Senate adjourned on March 20, the 2017 to 2018 Regular Session of the Wisconsin Legislature came to a conclusion. A number of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin’s legislative priorities were enacted; a few others did not make it. Likewise, our coalition successfully opposed several bills that would have negatively impacted survivors in Wisconsin, but a number of concerning bills were signed into law despite our objections. The following is a review of some of the legislative proposals that the End Abuse Policy Team took action on this legislative session.

Beginning of Session Presented Funding Challenges

The session began as usual with the introduction of the Governor’s biennial budget, an extensive piece of legislation that, after extensive review and redrafting by the legislature, determines the fiscal makeup of the state every two years. Upon analysis, the End Abuse policy team focused its efforts on several key budgetary issues in particular. The first point of concern was a proposed cut of $2.9 million to the Emergency Assistance (EA) program, which disseminates federal dollars to low-income families in times of crisis to help them avoid homelessness. Despite the concerns we raised about the possible impact this cut would have on victims and their children taking steps to leave an abuser, the final version of the budget included this reduction in EA funding.

On a more positive note, End Abuse and other allied organizations successfully defeated a budget motion that would have tied FoodShare eligibility to child support compliance. Tying public benefits eligibility to child support compliance forces victims into increased contact with abusers and allows batterers to more easily use children as a tool of control, so defeating this proposed change to state law was a positive step for the safety of survivors and their kids.

Important Gains for Survivor Safety and Independence

Despite facing a challenging budget process, End Abuse supported a number of important proposals this session that were passed into law and will improve the safety and autonomy of Wisconsin survivors. Assembly Bill 581 (AB 581), which passed out the State Senate just before the end of the session, institutes a change to state law pertaining to venue for restraining orders. Grounded in the story of several domestic violence homicide victims who were also themselves domestic violence program employees, AB 581 offers additional protections for survivors who also work in the domestic violence advocacy or a related field. Under the new state law, specific categories of victims who lack anonymity in the court system due to the nature of their work will now be able to seek out a restraining order in a different county than the one they reside in. By allowing this particular group of victims to maintain their privacy while seeking out legal protections, we hope that victims who also work in the field will have the tools they need to stay safe.

Assembly Bill 451 (AB 451) also passed into law this session and ensures that Canadian victims of domestic violence living or residing in Wisconsin will have their protective orders recognized by our state's courts and law enforcement agencies. This new law will bring our state in line with the Canadian justice system, which already recognizes the validity of Wisconsin protective orders.

Finally, Assembly Bill 865 (AB 865) also passed into law this session, instituting several important changes to the Safe at Home program which ensures that the location of victims of domestic violence, harassment, stalking and other crimes remain protected from their abusers. These changes clarify several unanswered administrative questions for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and ensure that all the identifying information of people enrolled in the program remains protected, an important step towards increased safety for victims and their kids.

End Abuse Successfully Opposed Several Bills that Would Endanger Victims

In addition to supporting several bills that expanded safety for survivors and their children, End Abuse also weighed in on legislation that presented a danger to survivor safety, encouraging legislators not to support proposals that risked isolating victims further and putting them into increased contact with abusers. One of these bills was Assembly Bill 190 (AB 190), which represented an especially serious threat to the safety and well-being of immigrant and undocumented victims of abuse. AB 190, if passed, would have prohibited local law enforcement agencies from stating openly that they would not inquire about the immigration status of people with whom they come into contact during their work. For immigrant and undocumented survivors to feel safe contacting law enforcement and seeking out available legal protections, it is imperative that they are not given reason to believe that seeking help will lead to possible deportation and separation from their children. When policies like AB 190 are implemented, batterers are able to capitalize on the increased fear of ICE and deportation that their victims feel and use it to maintain and expand their control, increasing the chances that they will continue their violent behavior unimpeded. It is vital that immigrant and undocumented victims of crime feel safe and empowered to reach out to law enforcement when they are in danger. Stopping AB 190 from passing was an important step towards this goal.

Another bill that presented a risk to survivor safety was Assembly Bill 849 (AB 849), which would have created a presumption that equal placement is in the best interest of the child in contested family law cases, an extreme departure from current statute which directs courts to focus on the best interest of the child in general. This bill has been proposed in many past legislative session and End Abuse has been a key organization involved in opposing it each time it is re-introduced. A presumption of equalized placement would only apply to a small percentage of cases that are far more likely to involve some form of family violence. Academic researchers have shown in numerous studies that 40–80 percent of contested custody cases involve intimate partner violence. To protect families and children, we want courts to be engaged and to strive to do their best by children and parents, not saddled with a rigid formula. Additionally, mandating that all parents, including abusive parents, be presumed fit for 50 percent placement is extremely dangerous. Equalized placement gives abusers the opportunity and means to continue to harass, threaten, monitor, stalk and emotionally and physically abuse their victims. For all of these reasons and more, it is a positive sign that members of the legislature once again refused to pass this harmful legislation.

Similarly, End Abuse was pleased to see that Assembly Bill 759 (AB 759), which would exempt predatory lenders from Wisconsin consumer protection laws, did not garner enough support in the legislature to pass into law this session. Nearly every case of domestic violence entails some form of financial control, which means that survivors taking steps to leave an abuser are often economically disenfranchised and desperate for financial assistance. The fact that survivors are often so financially isolated makes them perfect targets in the eyes of predatory lenders like ‘rent-to-own’ companies. Exempting these lenders from consumer protection laws would make it easier for vulnerable survivors to be taken advantage of while seeking independence from abuse. The End Abuse policy team raised these concerns to the legislature and was pleased to see they decided not to pass this dangerous legislation.

Despite End Abuse’s Objections, Several Bills Passed into Law that Will Negatively Impact Survivors

Unfortunately, a number of bills that End Abuse opposed because of their potential negative impact on survivors’ ability to stay safe passed into law this session. As we approach the next legislative session, the End Abuse policy team will continue to highlight these misguided proposals with the hopes that they can be amended or undone in the future. One such new law is Assembly 771 (AB 771), a bill that made sweeping changes to state law as it applies to landlord/tenant relations. Generally, this bill was one more example of an ongoing trend in the Wisconsin legislature to erode tenants’ rights in favor of increased landlord control. Because housing access is a top barrier that stops survivors from taking steps to leave an abuser, legislation that limits the rights of renters poses a grave threat to the future safety of Wisconsin victims of domestic violence. In particular, End Abuse opposed this bill because it limits the number of days courts can stay eviction proceedings while a tenant is applying for Emergency Assistance (a program that helps low-income families avoid homelessness during times of crisis). Because of the passage of this bill, more survivors in our state will be forced into the impossible choice between homelessness and returning to a violent abuser. Moving forward, End Abuse will continue to bring attention to this issue and encourage our legislators to expand, not limit, affordable housing access for survivors and other vulnerable populations in our state. 

Near the end of the regular 2017-18 legislative session, Governor Walker called for a special session in the legislature to address public benefit ‘reform.’ This special session process allowed a small group legislators to quickly introduce a package of ten separate bills, most of which were aimed at restricting access to critical social safety net programs that survivors often rely on to stay safe. Of the ten proposals introduced, End Abuse was officially opposed to six, five of which were passed into law. The five new laws passed are the following:

AB/SB 1 – This bill increases the FoodShare Employment Training (FSET) hourly requirement to maintain eligibility for FoodShare from 20 hours to 30 hours per week. This change means survivors who are already struggling to make ends meet will now be forced to spend more time each week complying with FSET program requirements just to maintain access to food.

AB/SB 2 – This law expands eligibility requirements for FSET to include parents, who were excluded from the requirement up to this point. Survivors who are relying on FoodShare to feed themselves and their children will now also be forced to comply with increased work requirements to continue utilizing the program.

AB/SB 3 – Because survivors so often experience financial control and abuse, they are unlikely to have access to resources like bank accounts, good credit, loan opportunities, financial control of their vehicles and decision making authority regarding property. It is for this reason that AB/SB 3, which increases asset restrictions for public benefit eligibility, is so dangerous for survivors. Now that this law has passed, many survivors who may appear to have access to certain financial resources on paper will lose their eligibility for programs like FoodShare, despite the fact that they have no real financial autonomy or access to financial security.

AB/SB 4 – This law requires local public housing authorities to preform employment screenings for public housing applicants, making it more likely that survivors who may be struggling to find or maintain employment because the trauma they have experienced will be turned away. While there is a technical exemption for victims of domestic violence in the law, fear of reporting the abuse or a desire not to disclose their status as a victim of domestic violence will lead to survivors being screened out of housing access for reasons related to the abuse they have experienced.  

AB/SB 8 – This law, which ties child support compliance to Medicaid eligibility, poses a grave threat to survivors who more often than not become the primary guardian of their children regardless of the possible child support order specifications that would say otherwise. The passage of this bill increases the chances that survivors will be forced into contact with abusers to ensure compliance with child support orders, as well as the likelihood that survivors will lose their healthcare because of the actions of their abuser.

The End Abuse policy team continues to push for expanded access to public benefits like housing, FoodShare, affordable healthcare, childcare and more because we recognize the importance of these services for survivor safety. A strong social safety net is critical to assist survivors in empowering themselves to achieve independence and autonomy apart from their abusers. In the coming months, End Abuse will continue to educate our legislators on the intersection of public assistance programs and domestic violence in an effort to encourage them to rethink these misguided proposals next session.

Bills End Abuse Supported that Did Not Pass This Session

While End Abuse was happy to see several important proposals to improve survivor safety and autonomy pass this session, there were other legislative priorities that unfortunately, did not become law. One of these proposals was Assembly Bill 831 (AB 831), also known as the Teen Dating Violence Prevention Bill. This proposal would have instituted teen dating violence prevention curricula in all Wisconsin middle and high schools, in addition to requiring that schools have a stated policy governing their response to dating violence and regularly train staff on that policy. Despite the bill receiving bi-partisan support this session, there was enough opposition to any increased teaching requirements for schools without new funding that the legislature opted not to pass this important step forward for domestic violence prevention. This bill will once again be a top priority for End Abuse in the next legislative session.

Likewise, we plan to once again support next session’s version of Assembly Bill 186 (AB 186), also known as the Protecting Victims of Child Sex Trafficking Act. This important legislation prohibits law enforcement from charging minors with prostitution, an important step towards recognizing that trafficking survivors are victims and not criminals. While there was more support than ever for this bill which would bring a more trauma-informed focus to our criminal justice system, there remained enough opposition to stop the bill from full passage. Hopefully, through increased education of state legislators during the non-voting months, this bill pass into law next session with strong bi-partisan support.      

End Abuse also supported Assembly Bill 74 (AB 74), which would reinstate the 48 hour waiting period for firearm purchases. The two day waiting period existed until the 2015-16 session at which time it was repealed from our state statutes. It is critical that this waiting period be reestablished in Wisconsin state law to ensure an additional level of protection for victims who are far more likely to be killed by their abusers when they have easy access to a gun, as well as individuals contemplating suicide.  

Another firearm related bill that End Abuse supported was Assembly bill 587 (AB 597) which would bring Wisconsin state law in line with federal law by prohibiting firearm possession for misdemeanor level domestic violence offenders. While this proposal did not pass this session, we look forward to encouraging our legislators to take common sense steps toward increased firearm safety next session, starting with universal background checks on all gun sales.


Next session, the End Abuse Policy Team will continue to work closely with legislators from both parties, encouraging our elected leaders to recognize and prioritize the experience of Wisconsin survivors in their legislative work. If you are interested in being a part of End Abuse's policy efforts, subscribe to our action alerts for regular updates and opportunities to get involved in the legislative process. 

For more information on End Abuse’s policy work, feel free to reach out to Chase Tarrier, Public Policy Coordinator, at
Featured Image for Mini Grants to Connect Generations in Youth-Serving Gender-Based Violence Programs
Through April 4, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin is excited to be accepting applications for 2018 Growing Roots Mini Grants.
The purpose of the Growing Roots mini-grant is to connect generations - youth & elders - in youth & youth-serving gender-based violence programs in Wisconsin. This mini-grant is for spring and summer 2018, for projects that focus on empowering youth through connections with their elders. Culturally-specific and/or projects that serve under-served communities (communities of color, LGB communities, Trans communities, & intersections of these communities) are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible, applicants should have an affiliation with a domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or other gender-based violence organization in WI that serves youth. Proposed projects must empower youth by connecting generations - youth with elders & vice versa - and must be of the following: a garden, a culturally-specific project (e.g. violence prevention in a specific community, storytelling, connecting or reconnecting culture), an artistic project (e.g. video project, inter-generational art gallery, mural), or a combination of any of these three (e.g. garden growing culturally-specific food, story cloths project, etc.). Additionally, applicants must have a usable Facebook account.

 Up to 5 Wisconsin domestic violence/sexual assault programs will be awarded funds that will go towards their project. Each DV/SA program may apply for up to $700. Funds may be used towards materials & small stipends of the proposed project only. If the proposed project is a garden, for example, eligible materials include seeds, plants, plant food, soil, raised beds, raised bed timbers, compost, and gardening tools. If the proposed is a story cloths project, eligible materials might include fabric, needles, thread, and embroidery materials. Stipends may be monetary, public transportation passes, and/or gift cards.

For questions about this application or this mini-grant, please contact Danny Ho, REACH Coordinator, at or at 608-237-3459. For additional information and to submit an application, visit
Featured Image for Patti Seger Named to Biden Foundation Council
On January 22nd, End Abuse Executive Director Patti Seger was named to the inaugural Biden Foundation Advisory Council on violence against women. She joins 16 other national leaders who will advise the Foundation on its initiatives to reduce and prevent domestic and sexual violence.
“Jill and I believe that, in America, everyone deserves a fair shot at the American dream. That starts by making sure every person is treated with equal dignity,” said Vice President Biden, Honorary Co-chair of the Biden Foundation. “The members named to the Advisory Councils today have devoted their lives to that creed, and we’re lucky to have them lend their expertise to this mission. By working together, we can do more to protect the rights of all people, expand access to opportunity and give every American a chance at a middle-class life. I am eager for what we will accomplish together.”
Advisory Council members will advise Foundation programs, enlist feedback from diverse networks and communities, and spearhead external partnerships on behalf of the Foundation to catalyze meaningful and measurable change. The first meeting of the Advisory Councils will be held by phone at the beginning of 2018, and members are expected to convene in person at least once every year.
Featured Image for End Abuse and Local Programs: Together, Making an Impact in the Capitol
Last week, End Abuse led the way towards the passage of an important piece of legislation that will protect advocates and other professionals who work on behalf of survivors -- and who themselves are experiencing domestic abuse.
Assembly Bill 581 had a hearing before the Wisconsin State Assembly Family Law Committee. The bill will allow victim advocates and other similar professionals to seek restraining orders in neighboring counties when they are in danger. While it may seem counter-intuitive, advocates for victims are uniquely vulnerable to abuse from partners or family members because their intimate partners know it could be especially difficult for advocates to reach out for help.
This legislation will allow these advocates (who are also victims) to seek restraining orders in other communities, where the increased level of anonymity could make it easier for them to get the protection they need. Advocates give of themselves to help others and we need make sure that they can reach out for help when they need it.
End Abuse was joined at last week's hearing by local directors and advocates who lent their voices in urging the committee to pass AB 581. Among the powerful testimonies shared was that of Courtney Olson of Rainbow House in Marinette, who offered an especially poignant recollection of the tragic murder of Trish Waschbisch. Trish was the Interim Director of the Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Shelter when she was killed by her boyfriend. By sharing Trish's story, her legacy of service and dedication to survivors remains alive.
Thanks to the passionate testimony of Courtney and other advocates shared at the hearing, the Assembly is expected to pass the bill this week. It will then move on to the State Senate for consideration.
Watch for Action Alerts to find out how you can support End Abuse's policy advocacy!
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Come work for a great organization with a powerful mission! 

END ABUSE Mission:  END ABUSE promotes social change that transforms societal attitudes, practices and policies to prevent and eliminate domestic violence, abuse and oppression.

END ABUSE Vision:  We envision communities fully mobilized to ensure the safety and dignity of all. 

See Career Opportunities to learn more. 

Featured Image for Request for Proposals: Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative Grants Available


Statewide Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative Sub-Grant

We are happy to share some exciting news for gender violence prevention in Wisconsin! The Statewide Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative Sub-Grant is a new opportunity being managed by End Abuse via the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF). This Request for Proposal (RFP) is seeking primary prevention of gender violence projects.

Information and updates about the grant application process will be posted at:

Featured Image for New Resource: Domestic Abuse Guidebook for WI Guardians Ad Litem

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Governor's Council on Domestic Abuse have released the Domestic Abuse Guidebook for Wisconsin Guardians ad Litem: Addressing Custody, Placement, and Safety Issues. The Guidebook is a comprehensive, step-by-step manual for approaching the consequential issue of domestic abuse in child custody and placement actions. In Wisconsin, guardians ad litem (GALs) are attorneys who are charged with representing the best interest of children when child custody and placement is disputed. Therefore, when domestic abuse has occurred, GALs have a critical role to play in protecting the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims and their children.

The Guidebook offers easy access to important legal definitions and concepts, tools for understanding how domestic abuse affects children and practical guidance to make informed recommendations to the court. The Guidebook walks GALs through a four-step process when approaching a case, giving the GAL the knowledge to:

  • Identify whether or not domestic abuse has occurred;
  • Define the nature and context of domestic abuse;
  • Evaluate the implications of domestic abuse in the family; and
  • Make informed recommendations that account for domestic abuse.

At every step in the analysis, the Guidebook relates the applicable concepts to the Wisconsin State statutes, making it easier for GALs to harmonize appropriate concern for the safety of victims and children with the relevant legal standards. 

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin encourages all GALs in the State of Wisconsin to read the Guidebook and use it in their practice. Reflecting the gravity of GALs' roles, the Guidebook concludes with this thank you note from a domestic violence survivor who was nearly killed by her abusive ex-husband: 

When I went through my divorce, I tried to get the guardian ad litem and judge to understand my ex-husband’s controlling and jealous behavior, his history of violence, and the continuing harm he was causing my family. I remember the guardian ad litem only interviewing my ex-husband once and the guardian ad litem coming away from that meeting convinced the man who would later try to kill me was a great person and deserved more time with his children. There was plenty of information available that would have allowed the guardian ad litem to identify the seriousness of the domestic abuse that was committed against me. There were many warning signs that could have been used to predict what could happen to me and my children. But, that information was not investigated and taken seriously. As a result, my ex-husband was given the opportunity to continue the abuse and ultimately attempt to kill me. If I hadn’t been ordered to have ongoing contact with him during exchange of our kids, I could have stayed away.

The work that you are doing as a guardian ad litem can help ensure that other victims of domestic abuse and their children are not put in the same position as my family. When you gather complete information, when you recognize controlling behavior and risks of lethality, when you make custody and placement recommendations that prioritize the safety of children and victims, you will be preventing continued abuse, and you will be giving children the best chance to be resilient and move past the abuse they experienced in their families. Thank you for taking on this life-changing and potentially life-saving work. Know that you can make all the difference for the children and families you encounter as a guardian ad litem. 

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We envision communities fully engaged to provide safety and to give a voice to all affected by domestic abuse, while creating the social change necessary to address its root causes. We honor the wisdom and strength of domestic abuse survivors across the lifespan. Our mission is achievable through survivor-centered work that includes strategic partnerships and collaboration. As advocates for social justice, we embrace the voices of diverse communities.