Women’s Safety Network

Brookview Hotline –         617-869-5875

Safelink 24-Hr. Hotline – 1- 877-785-2020 (toll free)

Safelink TTY –                  1-877-521-2601

If you are in immediate danger – Call 911

Brookview established the Women’s Safety Network (WSN) with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office on Violence against Women. WSN is an innovative community partnership that increases availability of and improves the overall effectiveness of culturally and linguistically specific services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. Women’s Safety Network addresses the critical needs of survivors in a manner that affirms their culture and effectively addresses language barriers. WSN offers linguistically and culturally specific counseling, safety planning, coordinated case management, childcare, housing search assistance, legal advocacy, financial literacy and life skills workshops.

Family Homelessness & Domestic Violence Intersect

The intersection of domestic violence and homelessness for mothers with children is well documented. The Federal Administration for Children and Families reports that more than 80 percent of mothers experiencing homelessness present with a history of domestic violence.

To protect their families, mothers flee their homes with kids in tow, a few bags, and limited financial resources. In pursuit of safety, they become entrapped in a cycle of homelessness. We now know that we can’t end family homelessness without addressing domestic violence.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence identifies access to safe, affordable housing, confidentiality, and financial resources as the most pressing needs for women planning to leave or who have left their abusers.

Until recently, families experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence were perceived as two distinct populations. As a result, systems serving these families operate on parallel paths. Emergency domestic violence shelters generally provide short-term stays, safety planning, legal services, and advocacy for survivors. Homeless providers target services necessary to access and maintain permanent housing. They don’t knowingly accept domestic violence survivors because they are not sufficiently trained to address confidentiality issues and the threat of violence posed by abusers. We now know – based on research – they are identical populations.

Addressing domestic violence as a root cause is key to preventing and ending family homelessness. Committing sufficient resources to prevention, safe housing, services, and policy initiatives will bring both ethical and economic results.