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Domestic Violence

Below are organizations that provide direct services for domestic violence survivors. For more information about what domestic violence is and its impact, please visit Saheli’s Domestic Violence Page.

The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (API Institute)
A national resource center on domestic violence, sexual violence, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Helpful API resources include:

Gender Based Violence.  This site includes papers on Patriarchy and Power; Lifetime Spiral of Gender violence; Culture and Gender Based violence; and, Gender Democracy.

The Lifetime Spiral of Gender Violence. From the aborting of female fetuses to intimate homicide, girls and women may encounter numerous oppressions. The Lifetime Spiral reveals patterns of victimization by enumerating the types of violence, vulnerabilities, and harms women and girls face. Available in English and Punjabi.

Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence in South Asian Communities. Includes Bangladeshi, Bhutanese, Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan communities. Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence.

Directory of Domestic and Gender Violence Programs Serving Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Report: Intersections of Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Sexual Assault.

Resource Guide for Advocates & Attorneys on Interpretation Services for Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Trafficking Victims.

Fact Sheet: HIV and Intimate Partner Violence among Asian American and Pacific Islander Women.

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Since 1973, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) has been committed to ending sexual violence through healing and social change. 24-hour hotline: 800.841.8371*

Jane Doe, Inc.
The Massachusetts coalition against sexual assault and domestic violence. 24-hour hotline: 877-785-2020*

A New Jersey-based women’s rights organization that serves South Asians. Also see their directory of South Asian Women’s Organizations in the US.

A New York-basesd women’s help organization that serves South Asians. Also see their South Asian Women’s Organizations in the US.

Mass Legal Help’s Domestic Violence Section
The Domestic Violence section of MassLegalHelp has important information for victims and survivors of domestic violence about their rights concerning child support, housing, employment, immigration, making it on your own, criminal complaints, Chapter 209A Abuse Prevention Orders (“restraining orders”), custody and visitation, separation and divorce, paternity, the Department of Children and Families (DCF), personal property, and doing a case in the Probate and Family Court.

National Network to End Domestic Violence
A social change organization dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which violence against women no longer exists.

Women’ provides helpful legal information for survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Family Law Project for Battered Women
The Family Law Project for Battered Women is the largest pro bono program at the Women’s Bar Foundation, drawing over 100 new attorneys each year. The FLP recruits, trains, and mentors attorneys and collaborates with legal and social services to provide high quality representation and assistance to victims of domestic violence.

When Love Hurts
Informative Dr. Phil television episode about domestic violence, June 10, 2013.

Breaking Barriers: A Complete Guide to Legal Rights and Resources for Battered Immigrants
By Kathleen Sullivan and Leslye Orloff, Editors, the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) 2013.

Resources for South Asian Women and Families Abandoned Overseas

  • National Commission for Women
    The NCW was nominated the coordinating agency at the national level for dealing with issues pertaining to Non-Resident Indian (NRI) marriages by the Ministry of Overseas Indian affairs based on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women. Includes a book on NRI marriage issues.
  • Indian National Commission for Women Online Complaint Form
  • Guidance for Marriages to Overseas Indians
    A booklet by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs serving as a guide for prospective brides and their parents who are considering a matrimonial alliance with an overseas Indian spouse. It sets out the legal rights and obligations that govern such marriages and explains in simple language the issues arising from Private International Law.
  • U Visa
    The US Government sometimes grants immigrant survivors of domestic violence and other crimes a special U visa, which grants temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to 4 years.
    An organization working against dowry abuse (violence, coercion or extortion of women and their families related to dowry payment).

Organizations In South Asia Working on Violence Against Women

    A Mumbai-based organization with a partnership with the local government, called Dilaasa, to provide services to sexual assault and domestic violence survivors at 16 local hospitals. Dilaasa means reassurance and the center seeks to provide psychosocial support to women survivors of domestic violence.
    A secular, Mumbai – based non-profit organisation, SNEHA believes that investing in women’s health is essential to building viable urban communities. SNEHA targets four large public health areas – Maternal and Newborn Health, Child Health and Nutrition, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Prevention of Violence against Women and Children.
    Majlis Legal Centre is a forum for women’s rights discourse and legal initiatives. We are a group of women lawyers and social activists committed to informing, educating and empowering women on their legal rights. Majlis offers legal services, conducts legal awareness training, engages in policy level interventions, public campaigns and public interest litigation in order to help women access justice.

  • Eliot Community Health Services
    An organization that provides services and mental health treatment to at-risk populations in Massachusetts. (Metro West). 978-369-1113
  • Department of Transitional Assistance
    The mission of the Department of Transitional Assistance is to assist low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life. 617-348-8500
  • Metro West Legal Services
    MetroWest Legal Services provides free legal aid to low-income people who would be denied justice without our help. Our priority practice areas include: Family Law, Housing, Homeless Advocacy, Government Benefits (including Social Security), Education, Elder Law, Health Care Access, KidsCare Connection, & Immigration. 508-620-1830
  • Merrimack Valley Legal Services
    Merrimack Valley Legal Services. MVLS is a legal aid program that provides free legal advice and representation in civil legal cases to low-income and elderly residents of parts of Essex and Middlesex counties. Since 1974 MVLS has represented victims of domestic violence, clients from becoming homeless, children with special needs, elderly and disabled people in obtaining disability, welfare, and medical benefits, people making the transition from welfare to work, and those denied unemployment compensation.
  • Northeast Legal Aid
    Northeast Legal Aid provides free civil legal services to low income and elderly residents of Essex County and Northern Middlesex County.

Mental Health

Please visit our Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health page for additional information and resources.

South Asian Health

Children and Youth

  • Boston Centers for Youth and Families
    BCYF offers a range of affordable programs including preschool, school-aged & adult education, family literacy, youth employment, violence prevention & intervention, senior activities, recreation and enrichment.
  • Children’s Charter Trauma Clinic
    Children’s Charter is an out-patient clinic for victims of trauma and their families. The clinic was founded in 1985, and is located in Waltham, MA. 781-894-4307
  • Judge Baker Children’s Center
    Judge Baker Children’s Center promotes the best possible mental health of children through the integration of research, intervention, training and advocacy. 24-hour child hotline: 1-800-792-5200*
  • MA Child Support Enforcement
    The Child Support Enforcement Division (CSE) is here to assist parents in establishing paternity, child support  orders, health insurance  orders, collecting child support, and asking courts to modify child support orders when circumstances change. 800-332-2733*

Senior Citizens

Disabled People

  • Disabled Persons Protection Commission and Hotline
    The Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) operates a 24-hour Hotline to which citizens of the Commonwealth can report incidents of suspected abuse involving adults with disabilities by dialing 1-800-426-9009 or 1-888-822-0350 TTY.