Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy

Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Creating a world of gender equity, racial justice and safety for all

aka Jane Doe Inc. (JDI)   |   Boston, MA   |


Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence brings together organizations and people committed to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. JDI creates social change by addressing the root causes of this violence and promotes safety, justice and healing for survivors. JDI advocates for responsive public policy, raises awareness, promotes collaboration and supports its member organizations to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services. We are guided by the voices of survivors.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Debra J. Robbin Ed.M.

Main address

745 Atlantic Avenue

Boston, MA 02111 USA

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Formerly known as

Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Services Group

Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault



Cause area (NTEE code) info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Victims' Services (P62)

Protection Against and Prevention of Neglect, Abuse, Exploitation (I70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Offering unparalleled leadership in Massachusetts, Jane Doe Inc. is changing the way society views and reacts to the prevalence and impact of sexual and domestic violence as a public health and public safety issue. Our focus is on breaking the cultural and systemic barriers that foster violence and impede healing for survivors and communities. Although the movement to end gender-based violence is decades old, the field continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Jane Doe Inc. is constantly asking ourselves who has not been served? Or served well? What are the unintended consequences of policies and practices on the most vulnerable and marginalized due to race or other identities? How can we break more barriers? What will it take to continue to shift the needle in changing attitudes and behaviors? These questions have led to JDI’s trend-setting initiatives that include economic justice for survivors, addressing safety and technology, and challenging rigid gender roles.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Currently, JDI is comprised of 57 member organizations that provide crisis services to and advocate for the rights of victims of sexual and domestic violence to ensure the safety and well being of victims and their children throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since its inception, JDI is one of the leading advocate in Massachusetts for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness, and supports our member organizations to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services. Our vision to advance gender equity, promote racial justice, and achieve safety for all is guided by the lived experiences of survivors.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Network to End Domestic Violence 2000

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

PREVENTION: We’ve come a long way in exposing these issues that too often remain hidden and thrive on silence. Raising awareness alone is not enough; we need more resources poured into prevention. JDI seeks to build on our ReimagineManhood campaign to mobilize male leaders, new communities and workplaces in prevention. We also need to provide additional support and training to enhance the capacity of our member programs to utilize both traditional and social media to impact public opinion and shift cultural norms. POLICY & SYSTEMS ADVOCACY: JDI’s expansive policy agenda requires that we be involved in a growing number of collaborations, task forces and advocacy efforts on the state and national level. We need additional staff with the expertise to collaborate with legislators, government agencies and our allies to thwart attacks on ion immigrants, LGBQT communities, and other marginalized people. TRAUMA and OPPRESSION: The complex interplay of trauma and oppression is witnessed as well as experienced by advocates in local sexual and domestic violence programs. JDI needs resources to build on The JDI Initiative for Safety and Justice, funded initially with major support from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, to center our responses on the most unserved, underserved and underserved in our communities and help build resilience of survivors, advocates, organizations and communities affected by violence.

At Jane Doe Inc. we engage with our statewide membership and allies to change the way our society addresses sexual and domestic violence by promoting safety, healing, and justice. At this unprecedented time, we are working to ensure that the dialogue around sexual assault and domestic violence is centered around the experiences of survivors, especially those who are most marginalized. JDI’s strategies utilize a three-pronged approach: advocacy, collaboration and innovation. These approaches complement and support the expertise and leadership of our nearly 60 community-based member organizations who provide life-saving services, promote awareness and prevention, and work to improve the responses and options for survivors from the Berkshires to the Cape and every community in between. Together we are creating new solutions to prevent and end gender-based violence. ADVOCACY: JDI diligently monitors and participates in the state and federal legislative arena and engages in myriad efforts to ensure that systems protect the rights of victims and survivors. From negotiations during the annual state budget process in Massachusetts to dozens of committees, task forces, and commissions formed to implement policies and ensure accountability, JDI leverages the voices of our members and allies to advance responsive policies, expand resources, and promote prevention. We also participate actively in policy work on the federal level through our national partners such as NNEDV (National Network to End Domestic Violence) and NAESV (National Alliance to End Sexual Violence). INNOVATION: Our understanding of our own work continues to evolve and JDI prides itself in staying current with research and best practices regarding the delivery of services, prevention strategies, and social justice organizing. Our Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign is a great example of how we took a simple idea and built it into a statewide effort to #ReimagineManhood and help foster solutions to gender-based violence. This campaign has and will continue to shape public conversation regarding the intersection of gender equity, racial justice and healthy masculinities. JDI’s Initiative for Safety and Justice (ISJ) is another example of our cutting-edge work. Through the ISJ, we are creating new ways to support those in the sexual and domestic violence advocacy workforce who witness and experience individual, organizational and historical trauma every day. COLLABORATION: Social justice issues such as immigration, poverty, housing, and discrimination intersect with one another. Similarly, the lived experiences of survivors of sexual and domestic violence can involve other forms of oppression as well. Accordingly, our work cannot be siloed. JDI is actively involved in numerous collaborations such as On Solid Ground to address housing and homelessness, MIRA to advocate on immigrant issues, and Healthy Youth to promote effective sex education in Massachusetts

Jane Doe Inc. is a well-respected expert in Massachusetts, thanks to our committed staff and board who help guide the organization in its mission and to our members whose work informs the coalition’s priorities and understanding. The JDI staff brings years of expertise as advocates in the field and leaders in the social justice arena. No one person or organization can solve gender-based violence. We believe the solution is our strength in numbers and our ability to develop relationships, which is the very essence of a coalition. JDI’s current budget has been steady for several years. The JDI Board has focused on manageable growth for the organization. The JDI Development Committee has expanded to help build new partnerships and investments in JDI’s future. It’s time for us to build on this solid foundation to expand our capacity to address the many demands and opportunities ahead. Over the past years, JDI has garnered the support of stakeholders and community partners such as MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy) Coalition, Freedom for All Massachusetts, and Planned Parenthood, as well as philanthropic partners including The Allstate Foundation, Bank of America, Eastern Bank, Mintz Levin, Partners Health Care, The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, and Verizon. JDI was formed by the 1998 merger of the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women Service Groups (founded in 1978) and the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault (founded in 1973.) In collaboration with our nearly 60 members, JDI mobilizes a collective voice to frame sexual and domestic violence as public health and public safety concerns that require both short- and long-term solutions. JDI is recognized as an authority on these issues and works closely with state agencies, policy makers, other advocacy and social change organizations, educators, and businesses to identify the current needs and promote solutions that support survivors. We also work closely with other state coalitions and national organizations to help Massachusetts remain current on developments in the field and to influence policy and practice. We bring a unique approach that is driven by our belief that sexual assault and domestic violence are inherently linked to broader systemic issues of inequity and oppression and that we can only prevent abuse if we foster gender equity and racial justice. While public attitudes and responses to sexual and domestic violence have shifted over the past 45 years, much remains to be done to support survivors, hold offenders accountable, and make our communities safer. JDI along with our members has played a central role in bringing public attention to these issues and building a network of services that meet the diverse lived experiences of survivors and needs of communities.

It can be difficult to measure the short- and long-term impacts of coalition work and social justice initiatives. JDI establishes clear benchmarks for all of our initiatives. Along with feedback from stakeholders, we set process goals. This approach serves to both hold JDI accountable and provide critical evaluation throughout all phases of our initiatives. Some external indicators of our effectiveness can be seen when laws are passed, public funding is available, and the media accurately covers these issues without sensationalism and victim blaming. JDI has a long and positive track-record of bringing about these types of advances that ultimately help improve the response to victims/survivors and prevent abuse. While it is difficult to measure or put a timetable on social change, we use the following markers to monitor our progress: How many new individuals, organizations, and companies have engaged with JDI to become partners in our prevention and community education initiatives? Have policies and systems improved access for unserved, underserved, and inadequately served communities such as communities of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and others? Is the network of services throughout the Commonwealth better resourced and prepared to meet the needs of survivors in their communities? Here are a few examples in our three main work areas: Strengthening Services – In FY2018, JDI provided over 220 individual sessions of technical assistance and responded to untold requests for information and guidance regarding issues such as survivor services, organizational growth, leadership development, policy development, supporting a community after a domestic violence homicide, and more. JDI provided over 100 hours of training opportunities to 900 people through 36 workshops, webinars and conferences. Topics included organizational trauma, budget and legislative advocacy, technology safety, economic justice, and more. Reforming policy and practice– JDI’s policy agenda includes issues that directly and indirectly address sexual and domestic violence to reflect the complex reality of people’s lives. In FY18, Jane Doe Inc.’s advocacy resulted in an increase in the FY19 state budget of $3 million for sexual and/or domestic violence services. Several other key pieces of legislation regarding firearms, survivor confidentiality, and rape kit testing also became law. We also played a leading role in supporting the transgender public accommodations law, anti-poverty measures and other economic measures. Prevention Violence– Since 2007, JDI’s Massachusetts White Ribbon Day Campaign has mobilized thousands of men and boys to help end gender-based violence. JDI has hosted two #ReimagineManhood Symposiums, each attended by over 300 each year. During 2018, we created new venues to support professional and organizational growth to increase engage boys and men in prevention initiatives.

Membership & Education: JDI's statewide membership programming is the core of the coalition’s work. Local programs are faced with complex individual and community issues. Whether working with a survivor whose urgent needs cannot be met due to inadequate or unavailable culturally appropriate services or addressing a systems barrier, advocates can get frustrated, burnt out and feel demoralized. JDI provides one-on-one guidance, creates opportunities for peer support, and offers trainings to help advocates be prepared to navigate these challenges. JDI also brings a statewide perspective and national network to help our membership stay up-to-date on an ever-evolving field. In 2018, JDI hosted 36 training opportunities, including workshops, webinars, conferences, and peer convenings. Participants strengthened their skills and knowledge in areas such as tech safety, trauma, program evaluation, civics, high risk advocacy, shelter services, and media advocacy. Policy and Systems Advocacy: JDI advocates with and on behalf of our members and survivors at all levels of state and federal government for funding and policies that support all victims and survivors. JDI has the substantive knowledge, expertise, and experience to help ensure that policies and laws designed to serve the needs of survivors are implemented effectively. We serve on committees, commissions, and task forces working towards affordable housing, healthcare privacy, safe educational environments, and more to represent the best interests of survivors. JDI successfully advocated for an additional $3million in funding in the FY2019 State Budget to support critically needed sexual and domestic violence services in the Commonwealth. JDI also supported the new law that limits access to firearms in cases where a gun owner poses a threat to themselves or others, helps passed An Act to Protect Confidential Health Care (PATCH Act) and was an active part of the #YesOn3 Campaign. Initiative for Safety and Justice: With major support from a multi-year grant from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Jane Doe Inc. established the “Initiative for Safety and Justice: Advancing Advocacy, Organizations, Leadership” in 2016. This Initiative (ISJ) focuses on the impact of trauma and oppression on individuals and whole communities and how JDI supports advocates in the field who bear witness to trauma every day. The ISJ also supports and collaborates with organizations and mobilizes current and emerging leadership. In the early part of 2019 we will launch the first of its kind website devoted to the intersection of sexual and domestic violence and individual, vicarious, organizational and historical trauma. 


Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Jane Doe Inc., the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Board of directors
as of 6/6/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Lysetta Hurge-Putnam

Independence House

Term: 2017 - 2019

Suzanne Dubus

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center

Ann Wallace


Jarrod Chin

Partners Health Care

James Heffernan

Massachusetts General Physicians Organization

Dawn Sauma

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence

Deb Collins-Gousby

Brookview House

Nicole Castillo

Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry

Rebecca Cazabon

Foley Hoag LLP

Lisa Lachance

Center for Violence Prevention & Recovery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Paulo Pinto

MA Alliance of Portuguese Speakers

Jacqui Conrad

Cambridge College

Traci Antoine

Urban League of Massachusetts

Ronnie Sanders

Partners Health Care

Amarely Gutierrez

Marianne Winters

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes


Advocacy, Survivors, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Prevention, Help, Intervention, Women, Children, Social Change, Peace, Justice, Rape, Battering, Violence Against Women