DPH Domestic Violence Programs

The Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services funds an array of services for survivors of domestic violence. These programs were previously administered by the Department of Children and Families, and were moved to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by legislation in 2016. Domestic violence service models funded throughout the Commonwealth include:
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General community-based domestic violence services

General Community-Based Domestic Violence services include a range of activities and services designed to support the individual, familial, and social needs of survivors of domestic violence, their children, and/or their other dependents.

Services are provided at locations that are designed and furnished to offer families a welcoming and child-safe environment, and which have exterior physical features that maximize safety, such as adequate outdoor lighting, nearby parking, and unobstructed visibility from the main entrance.

Programs are located in neighborhoods that are accessible to survivors, including diverse racial and ethnic groups and people with disabilities. Sites in urban/suburban settings are convenient to public transportation. In rural areas and where public transportation is not available or is not affordable, staff creatively assist survivors in meeting their transportation needs, ensuring that transportation does not impede access.

Services are provided in accordance with M.G.L. c. 233 s.20k by trained domestic violence counselors and/or volunteers who are receiving on-going supervision. Organizations providing General Community Based Domestic Violence Services serve as community leaders in advancing the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children. Therefore, funded programs are culturally and linguistically relevant and accountable to their community, and services are tailored to the unique needs of survivors based on their self-identified priorities. 

Download a list of DPH-funded General Community-Based Domestic Violence service providers.

Residential domestic violence programs

The Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services funds 3 types of residential services for domestic violence survivors. They are:

  • Emergency Shelter (ES) services include both temporary refuge for domestic or sexual violence survivors, their children, and/or their other dependents who feel at imminent risk of violence or abuse, and a range of activities and services designed to support the individual, familial, and social needs of survivors of domestic violence and their children/dependents. Download a list of DPH-funded Emergency Shelter service providers.
  • Housing Stabilization (HS) services provide stable family housing and concrete support services to help program participants access and maintain permanent housing, locate employment and/or attend school, parent their children, and generally prepare for economic independence. Download a list of DPH-funded Housing Stabilization service providers.
  • Domestic Violence, Substance Misuse, and Trauma Shelter (DVSMT) services support survivors by providing refuge for survivors who need to leave an unsafe situation due to domestic and/or sexual violence and need longer-term recovery support to address substance misuse and/or trauma. They also provide a range of activities and services designed to support the individual, familial, and social needs of survivors of domestic violence, their children, and/or their other dependents. Services are provided in a holistic manner that acknowledges the complexity of struggling with multiple intersecting life challenges. Download a list of DVSMT service providers.

Services for children impacted by domestic violence

The Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services funds services for children who have been exposed to or impacted by domestic violence. A core principle of the Division and the providers we fund is that the needs of children and youth who have been victims of or exposed to domestic and sexual violence must be attended to with the same care that is afforded to adult survivors.

  • Children Exposed to Domestic Violence (CEDV) services address the needs of children and youth who have witnessed and/or been exposed to domestic violence. These services are offered in therapeutic individual and group settings, or through advocacy or group and family support services. Download a list of DPH-funded Children Exposed to Domestic Violence programs.
  • Supervised Visitation Services (SVS) are intended to maximize the safety and well-being of adult domestic violence survivors and children impacted by domestic violence by providing access to safe visitation locations and services and neutral exchange for non-custodial parents. Download a list of DPH-funded Supervised Visitation Services.

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