9 Best Charities for Domestic Violence (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Domestic Violence (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Domestic violence is a long-standing issue that happens in every community, whether we know it or not. Many charities offer different approaches and services in helping survivors and their families in recovering. 

The best charities for domestic violence include the Urban Resource Institute and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They provide extensive services, and their work is diverse. Other charities like LifeWire and Doorways are best for survivor-focused help and empowerment. 

Support and empowerment for survivors and families are crucial in creating a safe world and future. But with so many charities out there, it’s essential to know their goals, missions, and intentions. In this article, you’ll learn about the nine best charities for domestic violence, their purposes, and their impact. Including ways, you can contribute to making a change.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Domestic Violence Have in Common

Whether it is a hundred or a thousand survivors, every charity mentioned has impacted and changed many families and individual lives. They do it primarily through temporary housing, therapy, and legal and financial aid. Which are all crucial in recovery and establishing a normal life.

Some charities are focused on systematic changes and have had successes in making crucial policy changes. Others focus on individualized help and resources for survivors, their kids, and even beloved pets. They all work towards a common goal: to empower and educate survivors and the community on domestic violence.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Domestic Violence

Below are our favorite charities for domestic violence (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: A Voice For Survivors

Established in 1978, Denver, Colorado, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) was a response to the human rights issues in America. A collective community has grown to empower survivors and their stories. To instill a culture where domestic violence is not tolerated. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: NCADV holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Platinum is the highest level of recognition of transparency. They are also rated 4-star by Charity Navigator.

“To be the voice of victims and survivors of domestic violence.”

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

What they do: With the goal of uplifting survivors and advocates while holding offenders accountable, NCADV hopes to push for change in a system that promotes sexism, racism, and patriarchism. NCADV has various programs and projects, such as a dedicated public policy office, educational and financial webinars, and a youth curriculum called Take A Stand FOR Healthy Relationships. 

What they’ve achieved: NCADV has supported thousands of survivors across America through programs and funds. They influenced social media, and conversations were sparked with over 130,000 NCADV hashtags in October 2018 alone. NCDAV has made contributions to various policies. For example, the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Crime Act. 

Ways to contribute: The best way to support NCADV is through donations. You can take action by becoming a volunteer or member. Or simply sign up for their newsletter to stay connected with their journey and future events.

LifeWire: Accessible, Inclusive and Survivor-Focused Advocacy

Formerly known as Eastside Domestic Violence Programme in 1982, this non-profit was reborn as LifeWire in 2012. Based in Kings Country, Washington, LifeWire has opened many doors. They work with thousands of survivors to provide accessible, inclusive support and resources. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: LifeWire has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and has been awarded a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator. 

“To end domestic violence by changing individual, institutional, and societal beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that perpetuate it.”

LifeWire

What they do: LifeWire helps adults, children, and the elderly in survivor-driven advocacy and initiatives. They run a 24-hour helpline that provides support and resources for the families, survivors, and the community. LifeWire also provides Mental Health Therapy to manage the effects of trauma. Legal Advocacy and housing services for survivors and their children. 

What they’ve achieved: In 2020, LifeWire helped more than 3,200 survivors in achieving recovery and empowerment. 282 families found stable and safer housing, and over 400 survivors were provided with legal aid and therapy. Over 2,000 students were reached to educate them about dating violence and building healthy connections. 

Ways to contribute: You can support LifeWire through monetary donations or by donating essential items. Make a more significant impact by becoming a trained LifeWire volunteer. Or lend your talent and skills by joining one of their committees.

Kathy’s Legacy Foundation: Hope for the Victims, Children, and Pets

In loving memory of Kathy and hopes to inspire, Kathy’s Legacy Foundation was founded in 2014. They show importance on the recovery of the children and pets affected by the trauma. While this charity is young, its impact on survivors of domestic violence is vast. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Kathy’s Legacy has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Their Charity Navigator rating is currently pending. 

“We are committed to inspire dreams, change lives, and revive hope.”

Kathy’s Legacy Foundation

What they do: Kathy’s Legacy provides a safe shelter for survivors and their pets in their Village and Kennel. Through their Silver Lining program, they offer many free services. Such as dental, legal, financial aid for affected families and children. Including an animal abuse advocacy called Lady’s Legacy

What they’ve achieved: Kathy’s Legacy work has empowered and instilled hope in many families. You see it through the survivors’ testimonies and childrens’ artwork on their page. A new act was written in honor of Kathy and the foundation’s advocacy – “Kathy’s Law.”

Ways to contribute: You can support this non-profit through one-time or monthly donations. All proceeds will go directly to helping the children and pets affected. You can also sign up to become a volunteer.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence: Holistic Support For Survivors

Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) opened its door in 1975. Today, it is the largest domestic violence non-profit in Georgia, Atlanta. PADV supports women and children survivors of domestic violence through many initiatives. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: PADV has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. They are awarded an overall rating of 4-star from Charity Navigator. 

“To end the crime of intimate partner violence and empower its survivors.”

Partnership Against Domestic Violence

What they do: Focusing on providing survivor-centered care, PADV offers every program and service possible. From a 24-hour helpline, therapy, job counseling to temporary safe houses. They aim to bring survivors back to everyday and empowered life. While also educating the community with their curriculums and outreach.

What they’ve achieved: PADV’s work has been nothing but impactful. In their 2020 annual report, PADV provided 49,000 nights of shelter, including over 149,500 meals. Their legal aid assisted over 3,000 cases and protection orders. And thousands continue to benefit from their programs. 

Ways to contribute: The easiest way to help PADV and the survivors would be through donations, monetary or essential items. You can also volunteer individually or volunteer as a group to lend a helping hand. 

Futures Without Violence: Supporting All Survivors Worldwide

Founded in 1980 by Esta Soler, Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) was initially known as the Family Violence Project. This non-profit works with individuals, communities, and policies to empower survivors and push for systematic change not only in America but worldwide. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: FUTURES attained a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. 

“Our vision is a future without violence that provides education, safety, justice, and hope.”

Futures Without Violence

What they do: With 4 offices across America, FUTURES covers all grounds related to domestic violence and justice. From health care initiatives, human-trafficking awareness, and college programs. To workplace violence and policy work. They are currently installing a Courage Museum to raise awareness and educate.

What they’ve achieved: According to their 2020 annual report, FUTURES has trained over 25,000 professionals to respond to domestic violence. Their toolkits, resources, and guides have been accessed by thousands of people too. FUTURES have also played a role in achieving $45 million of funding for domestic violence shelters in the CARES Act. 

Ways to contribute: Support FUTURES by making a donation or sign up for their newsletter to stay informed. FUTURES also offers a thorough and guided action plan on what you can do to make an impactful change.

Urban Resource Institute: The First Family and Pet-Friendly Shelter

Currently, America’s largest provider for domestic violence shelters, Urban Resource Institute (URI), was founded in 1980. Since then, they have provided resources and support for the vulnerable and overlooked populations, survivors of domestic violence, and the homeless.

Their impact and transparency ratings: URI currently holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. They score an overall rating of 90% by Charity Navigator, which means give with confidence.

“A world free of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and trauma, where individuals and communities are safe, stable, and thriving.”

Urban Resource Institute

What they do: Based in New York, URI’s work benefits survivors everywhere. They are the first non-profit to introduce pet-friendly shelters (PAL). Where survivors and their pets can heal together. URI provides a unique Abusive Partner Intervention Program. It aims to reduce recurrence in offenders, on top of free legal advice and compensation for victims.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, URI has changed and empowered over 300,000 lives. In 2019 alone, URI helped over 7,500 families. They provided shelter and safety for 3,014 domestic violence survivors. And amongst those were 120 pets and 87 families found homes in their PAL program. 

Ways to contribute: The best way to help URI would be through donations. If you have more time on your hands, you can join their team as facilitators or educators. Or simply follow their socials to show support and keep updated.

YWCA USA: Women Empowerment Movement

Established in 1858, YWCA is the largest and oldest women’s organization. They have associations across America and the world, all working towards women’s rights. YWCA USA has dedicated Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Being the largest provider in the nation. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: YWCA has been awarded a Platinum Seal of Transparency and an overall 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“To eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

YWCA USA

What they do: YWCA USA aims to provide safe spaces and services for girls and women survivors of domestic violence. They offer a crisis helpline, housing, counseling, job training, and more. In 1995, they initiated an annual global event called Week Without Violence. In hopes to empower and educate the masses about women and girl abuse. 

What they’ve achieved: To this date, YWCA USA has helped over 535,000 women, children, and families affected by domestic violence across 44 states of America with 200 YWCA associations. In 2019, they opened a new permanent housing for victims that currently welcomes 75 families. 

Ways to contribute: You can support this non-profit by donating to YWCA USA or your local YWCA. You can also become a volunteer and work with their team. YWCA also urges you, allies, to take action, be an advocate and write letters to your local senators to push for more significant support.

Doorways for Women and Families: A Pathway For Every Survivor

What started as a local initiative in 1978 to provide shelter for families of Arlington, Doorways has now created multiple pathways for every survivor. They believe every survivor of domestic violence has a different story and experience. This is why they focus on individualized response and aid.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Doorways has a Silver Seal of Transparency by GuideStar and an overall 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“…creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault, empowering our clients to achieve safe and stable lives…”

Doorways for Women and Families

What they do: Doorways provides for every type of survivor regardless of gender, race, or sexuality. They provide immediate crisis intervention, shelter, and support groups. They have a 24-hour helpline for domestic violence and sexual violence victims in need. Hospital accompaniment is also offered for survivors who need medical care.

What they’ve achieved: In 2020, they provided a total of 2,172 therapy sessions and 29 hospital accompaniments. 70 survivors were placed in emergency housing, and an additional 110 were supported with long-term housing. You can read more of Doorways’ incredible impact from multiple first-hand survivors’ experiences and stories found on their page.

Ways to contribute: The best way to support Doorways is through donations or volunteering. You can also provide safe housing for their programs or do in-kind giving and purchase an item from their wish list of urgently needed supplies. 

House of Ruth: The First Women Dedicated Shelter

After a visit to the skid row, Dr. Veronica Maz opened the doors of House of Ruth. In 1976, on their first night, they welcomed eight homeless women. Now, they house and support hundreds of women and children of domestic violence across 16 Houses of Ruth homes and programs.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Awarded an overall 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, House of Ruth also has a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“…empowers women, children and families to rebuild their lives and heal from trauma, abuse and homelessness…”

House of Ruth

What they do: House of Ruth provides comprehensive services for single women and women with families across Washington, DC. Other than specialized housing, they also offer free psychotherapy with experts in their counseling center. And a childcare center for a safe space for the children to play and learn. 

What they’ve achieved: In 2019 alone, House of Ruth has changed the lives of 1,112 people. They have also provided safe housing for 477 women and children. According to their statistics, 93% of their survivors can secure permanent and safe housing a year after they’ve left the House of Ruth program.

Ways to contribute: The best way to support this non-profit is through direct donations. You can also donate a vehicle or donate through their wish list. If you have more time, why not volunteer at one of their programs?

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for domestic violence. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. The website is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Each charity has different programs, aims and course of actions in combatting domestic violence and supporting survivors. Some work on an individual level, while others work on a governmental level.

If you want to help survivors of domestic abuse or simply spread the message that domestic abuse is not tolerated, be sure to research and pick a charity that is close to your own goals and cause.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

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