About DVSN

What We Do: Programs & Services


Help Line (DVVAP) – Well-­‐trained and supervised volunteer advocates follow up with referred clients to help them tell their story, assess their risk, develop a safety plan for themselves and their families, and connect with appropriate community resources. Confidentiality and safety are top priorities.

Court Support Program (CSP) – Volunteer court advocates answer clients’ questions about court procedures and personnel, decipher unfamiliar and intimidating activities and protocols, and offer confidential, non-­‐judgmental, support, validation, and encouragement.

Emerson Hospital Program (EHP) – Volunteer advocates work with Emerson Hospital patients who have been identified by hospital staff as in need of DVSN’s services. Strict protocols are in place to insure privacy and confidentiality.

Support Groups – DVSN offers support groups for women who are in relationships with controlling and abusive partners. This offering is free to participants.   Each group meets weekly for 10 weeks. It is made up of other survivors who share this common experience, and provides an opportunity for participants to share experiences, doubts, worries and most of all validation for the very complicated dynamics that are part of controlling and abusive relationships.

These programs are partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

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Lawyer For A Day (LFAD) – Metro West Legal Services, Pro Bono, Discounted Legal Consultation to help DVSN clients assess risks and responsibilities in making difficult, complex, and dangerous legal decisions.

Women’s Bar Foundation, pro bono representation at abuse prevention hearings [brand new, details need to be finalized]

Support Groups – Staffed by Eliot Center therapists and subsidized by DVSN were the precursor to our new in-house support groups implemented in 2021.

Central Middlesex Assessment for Safety (CMAST) – High Risk Team facilitated by DVSN: Concord Court’s 8 Police Partners, HAFB, Middlesex DA’s Office, ADAs, Victim Witness Advocate, Probation, Sheriff’s Office, Superior Court Advocate, Billerica House of Correction, Parole, and DVSN collaborate in a formal process of communication to identify victims at the greatest risk of lethality and to monitor offenders who pose a threat to them.

Central Middlesex Alliance for Resilience Training (CMART) – Services designed for high risk clients (transportation, moving, etc.), trauma-informed therapeutic services via Eliot Center, tutorials on Skills Assessment and Money Management, RESIST training, Support Groups subsidized by DVSN; CMART services partially funded by a Collaborative CHNA 15 Grant.

A menu of professional skill-­building consultations that help DVSN clients learn to help themselves and regain their power by learning to trust their own ability to make decisions that positively affect their lives and the lives of their children. Services include: financial planning, career coaching, wellness training, self-­defense, expanded legal assistance, and specialized trauma-­informed therapy for victims and their children.

Central Middlesex Police Partnership (CMPP) – Assists with services for victims dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.  Eliot Mental Health Social Worker (Jail Diversion) is funded by a DPH Grant to Eliot and Bedford PD.

Angel of Hope Program – Provides holiday gifts and necessities to our neediest families through an anonymous benefactor and donations from individuals, police associations, iRobot, and other businesses.

Realistic Escape Strategies and Instinct-based Self-defense Training (RESIST) – A training developed by local police and DVSN designed to meet the needs of DV and sexual assault survivors who are taught to use the least amount of energy for the greatest outcome in order to escape an attack, assault, or abuse.

Originally a Lincoln PD initiative for women and girls; promoted, organized, and facilitated by DVSN; expanded to Acton, Boxborough, Bedford, Lexington, Wayland, Hanscom Air Force Base & Middlesex Community College; funded by DVSN and grants to DVSN from Codman.


Annual School Programs – ABRHS Wellness Classes: 500 Freshman on Healthy Relationships in collaboration with Acton PD officers; Mt. Alvernia – grades 7-12 in collaboration with Second Step; CCHS Health Fair; Materials and time funded by DVSN, ABUW, APD, and Second Step.

Speakers Bureau – DVSN staff, advocates, and board members. Approximately 40 to 50 presentations annually at Police Citizens’ Academies, Police Youth Academies, Rotaries/Lions, Faith Communities, Social Service Agencies, other municipal and community agencies, COAs, Hair Salon Initiatives in collaboration with the MDAO, Town Days/Open Houses, etc.

Rachel’s Boxes – DV materials in over 90 locations: Police departments, Probation at Concord Court, ADA’s office at Concord Court, schools, libraries, Emerson Hospital departments and rehab centers, doctors’ offices, community buildings, etc.  Boxes and materials funded by DVSN with occasional faith community grants

“Voices of Hope” Annual Programs – Appreciation Breakfast (generously hosted by TriCon and supported by volunteer donations); Candlelight Vigil; Clergy Symposium; funded by DVSN with occasional faith community grants


Twice annually 52-hour Advocate Training: Over 600 individuals including 155 law enforcement personnel have participated in 40-hour classroom segment; organized, facilitated, and presented by DVSN staff and several expert speakers presenting on various topics. Another 10 to 12 hours of field training for those who activate as DVSN volunteer advocates.

Monthly In-Service Training for Advocates

Annual Seasoned Advocate Training Institute (SATI)

Refresher training for former advocates

Police and HAFB Trainings: When funding is available, 375 police personnel trained on major issues in domestic violence law, procedures, and protocols

Emerson Hospital Training – 90 hospital personnel in day-long trainings; Originally funded by the Dolphin Foundation; Expert speakers deeply discounted their time; Emerson Hospital is pursuing grants to help fund another round of DVSN training of hospital personnel.