The Voices of Women (VOW) empowers women who have survived abuse to identify their needs and to actively participate in solving problems that affect them. We believe that efforts to end domestic violence in our communities must be informed by those most affected by the issue.

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In New York City each year there are over 250,000 domestic violence incidents. This averages to more than 670 domestic violence incidents a day. Many women turn to the police, the criminal justice system, Family and/or Supreme Court, the homeless system, welfare agencies and the child welfare system in their search for safety, assistance and justice. Survivors of domestic violence often discover that these systems, intended to protect them from violence and poverty, fail them – or worse, re-victimize them.

Efforts to end domestic violence needs the leadership of survivors in order to:

  • Hold abusers accountable for their actions.
  • End the re-victimization of women and children by systemic policies and practices;
  • Change the system to better meet the needs of battered women and their children;
  • Prevent violence against women and children.

With training and support from VOW, survivors organize to improve policies and practices that affect battered women. VOW members document system failures, give testimony, meet with principal decision-makers and develop recommendations for change. Through VOW, survivors discover that they have a powerful voice which can influence the response to domestic violence in New York City.