VOW is the only organization in New York—and among the first in the nation – to provide survivors with a pathway for personal growth, mutual support, and collective action. VOW members have been instrumental in making changes in City policies and practices. Some of our victories:
- VOW members persuaded Safe Horizon, – one of New York City’s largest domestic violence service providers, which runs the City’s hotline for domestic violence victims – to keep track of disabled callers. This new information is used to advocate for improved services for disabled battered women and their children.
- Two VOW members sit on the advisory board for the City’s Domestic Violence Hotline. This is the first time "consumers" have been represented on this board. Their valuable insight is helping to make the hotline even more responsive to the many victims seeking help.
- VOW members’ testimony over the past seven years at New York City Housing Authority hearings contributed to a change in housing policy. Women can now stay in the borough where the abuse occurred when applying for housing subsidies. This increases their housing options and allows them to remain near support systems, if it is safe to do so.
- Four VOW members testified at a hearing of the Matrimonial Commission about problems with Family Court’s response to domestic violence. VOW members were the only identified survivors to testify.
- VOW created position papers with recommendations to improve the response to domestic violence from Family Court, from the Child Welfare and Homeless systems, and from other City systems affecting abuse victims and their children.
- VOW members are often the only voices describing the reality of battered women’s experiences at public forums – sometimes they are the only women of color present as well.