The institutions intended to protect abused women and assist them in achieving independence often fail them. Biases and misconceptions that blame and punish survivors for the mistreatment they have suffered make it difficult for women to leave abusive relationships or to find justice.

Until VOW, public policy on domestic violence in New York City was shaped with little input from battered women. Survivors of domestic violence bring insight and passion to the movement to end violence against women; their input is necessary to ensure success. We need their leadership in order to create a system that is truly safe, effective and just.