PLATINUM2022

Women Against Abuse, Inc.

Advocacy in Action

Philadelphia, PA   |  www.womenagainstabuse.org

Mission

The mission of Women Against Abuse is to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence, and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.

Ruling year info

1976

Executive Director & President

Ms. Joanna Otero-Cruz

Main address

100 South Broad Street Suite 1341

Philadelphia, PA 19102 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-1984838

NTEE code info

Family Violence Shelters and Services (P43)

Victims' Services (P62)

Hot Line, Crisis Intervention (F40)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Domestic violence is a debilitating social problem that corrodes the safety of communities, forces children to live in unsafe homes, prevents victims from maintaining employment, perpetuates intergenerational cycles of violence, and leads to homelessness and mental health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic violence impacts 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men in the U.S., and costs more than $8.3 billion each year in direct medical and mental health care, as well as lost work productivity. In Philadelphia, domestic violence is a public health epidemic. Each year, the police respond to more than 100,000 domestic violence incidents; emergency rooms tend to at least 2,000 visits that are the likely result of a domestic violence assault; and Philadelphia’s court system is clogged with thousands of requests for protection from abuse orders. Domestic homicides more than doubled in Philadelphia in 2021, with a record high of 42 lives lost.

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?

Program Overview

Women Against Abuse, Inc. is a leading advocate and service provider for people experiencing domestic violence, touching the lives of an average of 10,325 people/year over the past five years through emergency residential services, legal aid, hotline counseling, community education, and advocacy.
Throughout its 45+ year history, Women Against Abuse has been a pioneering leader in advocating for survivors, opening Philadelphia’s only emergency safe haven for domestic violence in 1977; launching one of the first legal centers in the nation dedicated to the needs of survivors of domestic violence at a time when it was largely dismissed as a private issue; and establishing the region’s first transitional housing program for survivors of domestic violence in 1987. Women Against Abuse has since actively upheld this legacy of leadership, innovation and advocacy.
Women Against Abuse’s trauma-informed programs prioritize client empowerment.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Legal protection, joined with a coordinated community response, is one of the most effective resources to stop domestic violence. Women Against Abuse’s 30+ member Legal Center empowers survivors to navigate the inner workings of the justice system by providing legal advocacy and representation. Women Against Abuse’s well experienced and dedicated attorneys represent clients seeking Protection From Abuse Orders, Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation Orders, child custody and child support.

One of the first legal centers in the nation designed specifically for survivors of domestic violence, the Women Against Abuse Legal Center is home to innovative programs including the Telephone Outreach Project, which connects those at highest risk of violence with support, and the Fast Track Attorney Program, which provides on-site legal options counseling and representation in the courtrooms where protection from abuse cases are heard to open up access like never before.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Sojourner House is Women Against Abuse’s transitional housing facility for survivors with children who are rebuilding their lives after intimate partner violence. The program provides residents with an apartment at a confidential location for up to 18 months, coupled with comprehensive on-site support services, including case management, childcare and behavioral health services. During their stay, residents work toward self-identified goals, and have access to life skill-building workshops and economic empowerment programming. Sojourner House can accomodate 15 families at a time, and is available for survivors of all gender identities.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Women Against Abuse's Prevention Team educates thousands of community members each year on the dynamics of domestic violence, and is also at the forefront of teen dating violence prevention in Philadelphia through its S.A.F.E.R.™ (Safety Awareness For Every Relationship) program, which empowers young people to pursue healthy relationships.
The organization also participates in policy and systems advocacy efforts on a local, state and national basis to support survivors and the programs that serve them. The 2021 Public Policy Agenda prioritizes adequate equitable funding, safer communities, economic empowerment, access to healthcare, and prevention of future violence.
Women Against Abuse also hosts an annual citywide social awareness campaign to stimulate community understanding each October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The iPledge Campaign asks the Philadelphia community to sign a pledge against violence at www.iPledgeWAA.org.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
At-risk youth

Women, men and children who are victims of domestic violence may stay 60-90 days in Women Against Abuse’s two confidential emergency safe havens. The safe havens, which can each accommodate up to 100 residents at a time, offer private rooms for families coming out of crisis. Support staff are available to clients throughout the night, and security is stationed at the facility 24-hours.
Residents can begin the healing process in this peaceful environment, supported with adult and children case managers, trauma-informed therapists, and on-site dining and children’s services, including an early learning center, after-school and summer camp program.
Those in need of safe haven should contact the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline, a 24-hour citywide resource for crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals, at 1-866-723-3014.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Homeless people

The Women Against Abuse Safe at Home Program provides linkages to permanent supportive housing, relocation assistance and rental subsidies, community-based case management, and economic empowerment programming to equip survivors of domestic violence to maintain safe and affordable housing while developing life-skills for long-term self-sufficiency. The Safe at Home Program also aims to strengthen linkages between clients and community-based resources in their new neighborhoods for meaningful long-term impact. Clients are better positioned to sustain safe housing and overcome obstacles that may compromise client safety or force them to return to an abuser. The Safe at Home Program serves survivors of all gender identities, and is available for up to 24 months.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Many of Women Against Abuse’s clients have survived horrific violence, and can experience exceedingly high rates of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. In response, Women Against Abuse launched a behavioral health program with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2008 to empower residential clients to manage trauma symptoms.
Therapists provide individual and group sessions, utilizing psychoeducational, creative arts interventions, art, dance and movement therapy modalities to rebuild confidence and coping mechanisms. Therapists also conduct trauma assessments, and provide crisis intervention counseling when needed.
Women Against Abuse’s behavioral health program allows clients to identify and manage the symptoms of trauma, thereby increasing their ability to perform daily activities. As a result, they are more likely to secure employment and safe housing; and they are better prepared to maintain independence from their abusive partner.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Awards

H. Craig Lewis Award 2013

The Philadelphia Foundation

CFO of the Year Award 2013

Philadelphia Business Journal

2012 Top-Rated 2012

GreatNonprofits

Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize 2017

University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

Social Innovator Award 2017

Philadelphia Social Innovation Journal

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of support groups offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Behavioral Health Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In Fiscal Year 2021, Women Against Abuse's trauma-informed therapists provided 906 sessions/check-ins/outreach/assessments to residential clients.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Legal Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In Fiscal Year 2021, the Legal Center served 2,327 unduplicated survivors of intimate partner violence with free attorney representation, court advocacy and/or telephone counseling.

Number of youth and families who receive planned aftercare services for 3 months post-discharge

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Safe at Home

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In Fiscal Year 2021, 134 survivors of intimate partner violence participated in Women Against Abuse's community-based Safe at Home Program, which provides support for up to 2 years.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Emergency Safe Havens & Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In Fiscal Year 2020, 147,362 meals were served at Women Against Abuse's emergency safe havens for survivors of intimate partner violence and their children.

Number of children served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In Fiscal Year 2021, 520 children were served through Women Against Abuse's residential programs, which include two emergency safe havens, a transitional housing program, and the Safe at Home program.

Number of direct care staff who received training in trauma informed care

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Program Overview

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

All of Women Against Abuse's staff - approximately 126 FTE employees - are trained in trauma-informed care and the Sanctuary Model, in which the organization is certified.

Number of crisis hotline calls answered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Victims and oppressed people

Related Program

Emergency Safe Havens & Hotline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline - a 24-hour city-wide resource for crisis intervention, safety planning, and resources - received 10,218 calls in Fiscal Year 2021.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

We fulfill our mission through innovative programs and community collaborations, serving an average of 10,325 people/year over the past five years. We envision a future in which Philadelphia has a coordinated and informed approach to domestic violence, with sufficient interventions that lead to safe homes and safe communities.

Women Against Abuse's theory of change defines our intended impact: that people experiencing domestic violence will be safe and empowered until domestic violence no longer exists. To that end, the long-term outcomes we are working toward include the following:
- Survivors will be empowered to maintain a place to live that is safe, stable and affordable
- Survivors in Philadelphia will experience systems that are domestic violence-informed
- Survivors will benefit from greater economic stability
- Survivors will be empowered to implement coping and safety strategies
- Philadelphians will experience healthy relationships
- Philadelphia will find domestic violence / intimate partner violence intolerable

In order to achieve our Theory of Change goals, Women Against Abuse will provide safety, empowerment and prevention in the form of hotline counseling, safety planning, legal options counseling and representation, safe and confidential housing, trauma-informed therapy, psycho-education, community education, culture change, collaborative resources/referrals, systems-change, and lobbying.

We are working toward the following short-term outcomes:

SAFETY:
- survivors are out of immediate crisis
- survivors have access to financial resources
- survivors receive legal representation
- survivors are granted Protection From Abuse / Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation orders
- survivors regain/gain custody of their children
- survivors have knowledge of the dynamics of abusive relationships
- survivors can identify strategies to enhane their safety
- surviviors have knowledge about the justice process
- the policy environment is supportive
- social service professionals are equipped to support survivors

EMPOWERMENT
- survivors feel more hopeful and less isolated
- survivors have awareness of how trauma affects their life
- survivors are connected to employment resources
- survivors reduce the impact of trauma in their lives
- survivors can identify coping skills
- survivors have access to trusted community resources

PREVENTION
- training participants are able to identify resources related to domestic violence/intimate partner violence
- Philadelphians have knowledge of the dynamics and warning signs of abusive relationships

Throughout its 45+ year history, Women Against Abuse has been a pioneering leader in advocating for survivors of domestic violence, opening Philadelphia's only emergency safe haven for domestic violence in 1977; launching one of the first legal centers in the nation dedicated to the needs of survivors of domestic violence at a time when police officers and the public largely dismissed domestic violence as a private issue; and establishing the region's first transitional housing program for survivors of domestic violence in 1987. Women Against Abuse has since actively upheld this legacy of leadership, innovation and advocacy.

Founded on a model of empowerment that prioritizes client self-determination, Women Against Abuse's programs uniquely prioritize client autonomy and safety. The organization is certified in the Sanctuary® Model, an evidence-supported, trauma-informed approach to transforming organizational cultures to promote healing.

All staff receive 40-hour domestic violence training, and the organization's senior management team brings extensive experience in their respective fields. Additionally, our 24-member Board of Directors represent a robust cross-section of expertise and backgrounds that effectively guide and govern the organization.

Women Against Abuse served an ave. of 10,325 people/yr over the last 5 years, and made significant progress in several key areas:
1) We continued operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, creatively adapting services to ensure we remained a refuge and advocate for people impacted by domestic violence during a time of significant need.

2) We strengthened our quality trauma-informed residential services:
(a) In 2014, we doubled our shelter capacity to 200 beds in two handicapped-accessible facilities that serve a total of approx. 1,200 survivors each year. Following more than 40 years of serving survivors who identify as women in our safe havens, we opened our doors to welcome survivors of all gender identities, beginning in January 2019.
(b) We were thrilled to become one of the first domestic violence organizations to achieve Sanctuary Certification and recertification. The Sanctuary® Model is an evidence-supported, trauma-informed organizational change approach to establishing a culture that promotes healing, safety and empowerment for both clients and staff.
(c) We created and implemented a new trauma-informed case management manual that addresses the intersection between homelessness and domestic violence. This first of its kind manual has the potential to serve as a national model. We also integrated Economic Empowerment programming into our case management to better support clients in achieving their goals around income, employment and education.

3) We successfully advocated for a first ever city entity charged with overseeing Philadelphia's response to domestic violence! The Office of Domestic Violence Strategies will solidify and lead this work, ensuring long-term sustainability and impact.

4) In light of the significant need for free legal intervention for survivors of domestic violence, we expanded our capacity, growing our Legal Center to a more than 30-member team of professionals with extensive expertise.

5) We are building our capacity to raise diverse and sustainable funding to support our work for the long-haul through a formal planned giving program: the 1976 Legacy Society.

6) We are in the midst of an organizational race equity audit that will assess how our programs, structure, partnerships, policies and history perpetuate anti-Blackness, bias and racism; and identify recommended changes to our culture that will set us on the path to becoming a fully inclusive, multicultural and antiracist organization.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Women Against Abuse serves people who have experienced intimate partner violence. We serve a diverse population of survivors of domestic violence that reflect the demographics of Philadelphia; 60% identify as African American, 14% as Caucasian, 10% as LatinX, and 23% as other. The majority of clients receiving direct services earn below federal poverty guidelines. Clients include persons who identify as women, men, trans, or are gender nonconforming; as well as their children.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We have used client satisfaction surveys and client focus groups to inform a myriad of decisions, programming and resource allocation, including developing culturally appropriate programming and food options; implementing therapeutic services; enhancing housekeeping and maintenance practices at our residential facilities; informing the priorities in our public policy agenda; and revisioning the organization's relationship with law enforcement to ensure a safer and more effective response for the clients we serve who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We strive to center the voices of our clients in our decisions, programming and advocacy, so seeking feedback and input from clients on a regular basis is crucial to our ability to do our work. As a domestic violence service provider and advocate, one of our core values is empowerment - the belief that our clients are best suited to make their own decisions. Our role is to ensure that our clients are aware of the options and opportunities before them, but never to make decisions on their behalf. Our mission statement underscores this important shifting of power to the client when it says that we "provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services in a manner that fosters self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence..."

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Women Against Abuse, Inc.
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Women Against Abuse, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/10/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Leslie Miller Greenspan

Tucker Law Group


Board co-chair

Ms. Yvette Rouse

Public Health Management Corporation

Gloria Gay

Penn Women Center, University of Pennsylvania

Amy Hirsch

Community Legal Services

Mark Lipowicz

Duane Morris, LLP

Stacy Sullivan Livingston

University of Pennsylvania Police Department

Patrick Mundy

Corporate Controller, USA Technologies

Judith Porter

Bryn Mawr College

Michelle Ray

Interim Title IX Coordinator, Swarthmore College

Yvette Rouse

Director of Forensic Clinical Services, Public Health Management Corporation

Leslie Miller Greenspan

Tucker Law Group, LLC

Robert Lichtenstein

Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP

Renee Norris Jones

Entrepreneur, accountant, management consultant, and radio producer and host

David Rusenko

Associate Vice President, Administration & Finance, Drexel University

Sandy Sheller

Nursing & Health Administration

Lauren Swartz

CEO and President, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia

Adam Geer

Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety, Office of the Inspector General, City of Philadelphia

Arny Patel

Management Consultant

Jackie Linton

President, JL HR Solutions, LLC Adjunct Professor, Fox Management Consulting Group, Temple Fox School of Business

Margaret Belmondo

Partner & Senior Consultant, NEPC, LLC

Argie Allen-Wilson

Founder & CEO, F.A.I.T.H. Connects, LLC Co-Founder & CEO, Connections Matter, LLC

Yvette Kamumura

Consumer Satisfaction Team

Julie Jones

Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, Accounts Payable and Procurement Services, Drexel University

Jamie Miller

Professional speaker, Pro MMA Fighter, and domestic violence advocate

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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data