National Summit

Think Different DV

The Mary Byron Project hosted a national summit on November 8-10, 2009 to begin a new conversation about domestic violence. Why do we need a new conversation? We are aware that many wonderful agencies and people have worked tirelessly to try to stem the tide of this epidemic crime. We are aware that many communities have programs in place that are utilizing best practices. Most communities have DV shelter programs. We are aware that most states have passed laws related to domestic violence crime.

We are aware that it is not enough.



The following are comments from individuals across the nation that attended the event, and what they had to say about their experiences at the Mary Byron Foundation "Think Different DV" National Summit.



“It was a wonderful event for us. We made connections to potentially begin some collaborations. Thank you for all your efforts and the efforts of the whole team to put on such a wonderful event.” 
Paul Feurenstein, Barrier Free Living

“I have been raving to everyone who listens about the fantastic summit and all the wonderful people I met there. You all brought the term southern hospitality to life”… “Not to mention all of the program inspirations”.
Judi Moseley, Bolton Refuge House

“Thank you and all the Mary Byron staff and Board for hosting such an amazing Summit. From Sunday to Tuesday, I was so impressed with the professionalism and hospitality of everyone involved with the Summit. Moreover, I left extremely inspired by all the amazing work that MBP does and supports.” 
Jarrod Chin, MVP, Sport in Society

“Thank you for your hard work on the Summit. It was truly a wonderful event.” 
Adrienne Worthy, WV Legal Aid

“Listening to others discuss and share the meaning and focus of projects was moving and inspiring. Many thanks for coordinating the Summit. I totally enjoyed meeting people and felt proud to have the First Lady of WV attend as well.” 
Sue Julian, WV CADV

“Thanks so much for having me to the Summit. I had a great time meeting people and learning about all the valuable work others are doing. Ya’ll did a terrific job organizing everything and it was truly a pleasure to attend.”
Nina Gilbert,

“Thank you – you all did a marvelous job.” 
Barbara Paradiso, Program and Center on Domestic Violence

“Thank you for your excellent work. I really enjoyed my time at the Summit and was very inspired by all the people I met.” 
Marna Anderson, WATCH


Since 2003, the Mary Byron Project has solicited nominations for the nation’s most innovative programs and services effective in reducing violence against women. Some of these recipients presented their innovative programs at the summit.



American Domestic Violence Crisis Line
Portland, OR
International Toll-Free Domestic Violence (DV) Crisis Line &Fund

Formerly known as American Women Overseas, they provide domestic violence intervention and crisis services to all American women and their children while living overseas and upon their return to the USA (military and civilian). The service area is wherever American women live while overseas and their repatriation area. The three critical objectives include: To provide resources to American DV victims overseas that will enable them to break the cycle of DV; To provide information to the victims to reduce the effects of trauma and reduce unpreparedness, and provide training and education to those handling their cases to increase awareness and sensitivity to the issues faced by this special population of DV victims; and to provide the logistics for the repatriation of victims and children to the US and the needed services to legally secure the jurisdiction of the children, temporary housing, job training and employment while exercising all safety and security precautions—especially preventing American children from being abducted to a foreign country by the abusive partner.


Area Agency on Aging - Region One, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ
Domestic Older Victims Empowerment and Safety (DOVES)

The mission of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is “to secure, promote and provide essential services to enhance the quality of life in a diverse and changing society.   DOVES was developed to address the special needs of late-life domestic violence, a largely hidden problem.   DOVES provides multiple services in collaboration with community partners. For example, a transitional housing program for elder DV victims was created with the Glendale Human Services Council. Other programs and services include safe shelter, safe/affordable housing, counseling, and other services designed to help the older DV victim to become self-sufficient (as is possible) and to life a life free of violence.   


Center for the Study of Sports in Society, Northeastern University
Boston, MA
Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Program

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is a gender violence prevention and education program that motivates male and female student athletes and student leaders to play a leadership role in reducing the level of all forms of violence against women, including rape, battery, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. The four main goals are raise awareness, challenge thinking, open dialogue and inspire leadership. By using a unique bystander approach to prevention, MVP views young men and women not as potential perpetrators or victims of violence, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers and role model respectful behavior towards women and girls.

Coordinating Council for Children in Crisis
New haven, CT
Family Violence Outreach Project (FVOP)

The FVOP is a contractual service with the state Department of Children and Families.  The FVOP service providers assess each child protective service case for domestic violence.  They also assess for related risks (offender’s criminal/dv history, access to weapons, etc.).

Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project
Washington, DC
Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP)

DVLEAP was founded to meet an urgent need for appellate advocacy in domestic violence cases affecting the rights of battered women and children to safety and meaningful legal protection. Responding to the experiences of victims and advocates in the courts, DV Leap provides a stronger voice for justice by fighting to overturn unjust trial court outcomes, advancing legal protections for victims and their children through expert appellate advocacy, training lawyers, psychologists and judges on best practices, and spearheading domestic violence litigation in the Supreme Court.  DV Leap believes that victims’ empowerment is impossible without justice and justice is impossible without recourse to appeals.  They are the only organization in the country whose core mission is to provide appellate representation to victims of domestic violence.

FaithTrust Institute
Seattle, WA
Peaceful Families Project

The Peaceful Families Project is a program focusing on addressing and preventing domestic violence in the Muslim families.  The project provides nationwide training based on Islamic perspective that promote peaceful family dynamic and awareness of the nature and impact of conflict and abuse in Muslim families.

Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services
Pittsboro, NC
Hispanic Outreach Project (HOP)

The Hispanic Outreach Project has successfully brought comprehensive, culturally appropriate DV services to the growing Latina population in the county and across North Carolina. The HOP innovative programs and services include but are not limited to: community awareness which includes a Hispanic Task Force which acts as an advisory committee to the HOP; a wide range of diverse outreach programs designed specifically for the Latino community such as “puerta a puerta” or “door to door” contact, development of a community resource brochure (Spanish), setting up a soccer team at the local high school for Hispanic youth; information tables at Hispanic-frequented businesses, church bulletin inserts, and a weekly radio show in collaboration with other Hispanic groups from the area. The HOP has also broadened the base of awareness by placing paid Spanish-Language ads in the local newspaper utilizing local ‘celebrities’ (police chief, ministers, and other town officials) to gain ‘ownership’ by the community of the problem of DV in the Latino community. There are many other outreach programs and services. The HOP also provides crisis counseling and support for Latina, employing two (2) Outreach Workers, both immigrants, who provide culturally-specific services for victims and their children. These services include crisis counseling, court advocacy, assistance to obtain protection orders, long and short-term individual and family counseling, and shelter services. The HOP also provides Service Provider training and technical assistance throughout the county and state.  

Greater Boston Legal Services
Boston, MA
Relocation Counseling Project

The Relocation Counseling Project (RCP) is unique in offering free, comprehensive legal advice, information referrals and representation to domestic violence victims.  These victims because of profound safety concerns are considering relocation from their current address to another part of the state or country.   With assistance provided by project staff, survivors of abuse are better able to make informed decisions about complex legal issues they face when relocating, consequently they can take the necessary steps to ensure their own and the safety of their children.

Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center
Newburyport, MA
High Risk Case Response Team (HRCRT)

Created in the aftermath of another domestic violence tragedy, the high risk response team coordinates criminal justice, probation, hospital and batterers’ intervention program in order to identify high risk victims earlier and provide tailored interventions.

Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH
Project Chai

It is the belief and basis of JFSA that DV is a serious social disease that must be identified, treated and prevented. Services are designed and implemented to empower victims, perpetrators and their families to make healthy, abuse-free decisions about their relationships and lifestyle. Project Chai provides a comprehensive wrap-around DV program based within a multi-service mental health agency that provides a broad continuum of services to support families impacted by DV. Services include but are not limited to children’s art therapy and teen dating violence outreach programs designed to break the cycle of DV. Further, JFSA developed highly successful outreach programs to underserved populations such as the elderly, Orthodox Jews, new immigrants and refugees, in particular, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and adolescents. JFSA has also adapted the family violence program to meet the needs of those persons with severe mental illness.

Legal Aid of West Virginia
Charleston, WV
Legal Assistance to Victims Partnership

Comprised of leaders from Legal Aid of WV, the WV Coalition Against DV, and the state’s 14 licensed domestic violence programs, the legal assistance program meets to coordinate civil legal services for this high risk population, engages in long range planning, identifying and securing funding for services, planning on-going training and fostering communications between partners.

Marin Abused Women's Services
San Rafael, CA
Men’s Program

MAWS  believe that former batterers have something to contribute in the community effort to stop men’s violence against women. The Men’s Program was one of the first batterer re-education programs in the country. It uses a peer education approach to teach men to stop their violence and to change the dangerous societal belief that men are superior to women. After men complete their first year of re-education, graduates are encouraged to participate as community advocates, bringing their knowledge of DV out in the community in an attempt to reach other batterers and facilitate similar changes in their attitudes and behaviors.

National Center for Victims of Crime
Washington, DC
National Stalking Resource Center (NSRC)

The National Stalking Resource Center (NSRC) works to raise national awareness of the prevalence and danger of stalking, and encourages the development and implementation of multidisciplinary responses to stalking in local communities across the country.  The NSRC also leads the effort to raise public awareness about stalking and the nexus of stalking and domestic violence. Since its inception the NSRC has sponsored several national conferences on stalking.

Oglala Sioux Tribe
Kyle, SD
Cangleska, Inc.

Believing that violence against indigenous women is not traditional to the culture and life way teachings of the Lakota People, Cangleska, Inc. is committed to utilizing the strengths of the Lakota culture in providing shelter, safety and advocacy for women and their children victimized by domestic violence and violence in general. From the onset founders envisioned a program that would incorporate the traditional values of the Lakota people in all responses to ending violence, especially domestic violence against Native women and their children. With the Lakota principles of “we are all related” incorporated in all of the work, Cangleska, Inc. offers a comprehensive and collaborative approach on the local state and national level.

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
Harrisburg, PA
Teen Sexual Violence Prevention Campaign (TSVPC)

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)’s Teen Sexual Violence Prevention Campaign (TSVPC) represents a watershed in youth sexual violence prevention efforts. It is innovative in several respects: it provides TSVPC prevention educators and school personnel with cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, and  multimedia tools that resonate with youth. They have produced music videos  using the music of today in order to garner the attention of the audience they serve, developed a website featuring the latest interactive technology to hear opinions and provide feedback.  They engage teens to help provide ways to present prevention messages and provide solutions.

Ramona’s Way
Washington, DC
Ramona’s Way: Counseling and Case Management

Founded by a childhood survivor of domestic violence, Ramona’s Way is a women -centered domestic violence and substance abuse program.  The program offers encouragement to the chemically dependent battered women throughout the process as they emerge from victim to survivor.

Their support services include: emergency food, prepaid phone cards, utility and rest assistance, paid drug screening, safety and sobriety planning and transportation to court and treatment facilities.  By making these services readily available the client does not have to face these challenges alone and thus progress toward recovery is hastened, and in certain cases,  repeated occurrences of victimization are prevented.

STEPS to End Family Violence
New York, NY

STEPS to End Family Violence provides holistic services to abused women and their families. STEPS has a specialized program for dv survivors who have been arrested for defending themselves and/or their children; or were coerced by their abuser.  Other STEPS services include the prevention and intervention when abuse occurs in the family.  The six STEPS programs include: Alternatives To Incarceration for Abused Women (ATI); Taking STEPS: non-residential services for women including counseling, legal services and advocacy; Youth CAP (Changing Abusive Patterns) for teens experiencing abuse; Children’s Therapy Program; Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP) and the Teen Accountability Program (TAP).

Texas Council on Family Violence
Austin, TX
Public Awareness Campaign: Friends and Family

Recognizing that many victims speak to friends and families about a violent relationship, and may not ask for help or remedies from people in the system, this campaign was devised to address the information necessary to assist them. 

University of Colorado
Denver, CO
Center and Program on Domestic Violence

The Center responds to a nationally recognized need to educate and train individuals as leaders, advocates, and managers in the field of domestic violence. The Center’s model education programs serve a broad audience and provide professional training opportunities across several academic disciplines; public and nonprofit administration; criminal justice; and health care. The Center’s work is unque in the country.  It offers the only graduate-level academic program to address domestic violence through leadership development.  The Center has also built bridges between the domestic violence and research and practice communities; increased awareness and response to victims on campus, and engaged in original research that is providing new information on topics crucial to ending gender based violence.  It is housed at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado, Denver.

University of Washington Foundation
Seattle, WA
Women’s Center (WC)

The UW Women’s Center has worked with individuals to assist and support them to improve their lives. The program receiving the Celebrating Solutions award through The Women’s Center provides technical assistance and serves as a liaison to state level initiatives. They helped form the Washington State Coalition Against Trafficking, hosted two (2) international conferences, collaborated to increase awareness about legislation—including being asked to testify before Congress (Washington, DC) on human trafficking legislation.  For the first time in US history, state law criminalized the heinous acts of human trafficking and providing a legal path to freedom and justice for women victimized by the international marriage brokerage systems.

Violence Intervention Program (VIP)
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County + Univ. of Southern California Medical Center

The Victim Intervention Program (VIP) is the only hospital-based Family Advocacy Center serving all victims of family violence and sexual assault including child victims of abuse and neglect, DV, sexual assault, and elder and dependent adult abuse. The VIP provides 24-hr medical, forensic, mental health, legal, advocacy and support services to DV victims and their children. These multi-lingual, culturally sensitive services have been built within the context of a Family Advocacy Center, which evaluates and treats all victims of family violence. The VIP’s DV services work in partnership with all major systems including health, mental health, law enforcement, and the legal system. The VIP also focuses on DV prevention through outreach to schools, churches and other community organizations.

Minneapolis, MN

WATCH strives to make the justice system more effective and responsive in handling cases of violence; particularly against women and children and to create a more informed and involved public.  By documenting the court’s response, reporting on its observations, and advocating for systemic improvements, court monitoring advances justice for victims of crime. 

As daily observers of court proceedings, court monitoring groups are in a unique position to make recommendations for change.  WATCH monitors cases in family court, domestic violence court and criminal court.   They also respond to requests from criminal justice personnel and advocates who ask for monitoring and/or investigation of cases related to their mission.

Women in Construction Company (WiCC)
Duluth, MN
Women in Construction Training Program (WiCTP)

WiCTP  provides training and employment opportunities in the construction trades to low-income women who want to become economically self-sufficient; to work on economic justice issues and create change in current policy and practice related to women in non-traditional careers; and to build affordable housing options with and for low-income women and their families. The WiCTP and subsidiary Women in Construction Company (WiCC) are grass-roots economic development programs that have opened doors for low-income women and women from DV shelter programs who want to gain access to the construction industry, thus providing  on-the-job-training while receiving living wages. The project also collaborates with other non-profit organizations (e.g., housing developers, etc.) to build affordable housing options with crews from the training project. Women learn from other women in a supportive work environment as part of the training includes learning how to deal with harassment, sexism, racism and other barriers that exist in traditional construction apprenticeship programs and in the construction industry.

Women’s Law Initiative
Brooklyn, NY

Through the internet,  provides easy-to-access and easy-to-understand legal information and resources to women living with or escaping DV. WomensLaw serves to empower women and girls to learn their legal rights, available legal and proactive services remedies, and how to apply these resources to lead independent lives free from abuse. WomensLaw is the only website with comprehensive DV legal information for all 50 states and Washington, DC, making it the first-of-its-kind website that transforms technology into a powerful tool for social change. provides 1) step-by-step instructions for obtaining orders of protection; listings for local victim assistance; links to court forms, and legal statutes for all states and Washington, DC; 2) DV legal information about teen dating violence, immigration, military law, tribal law, and custody; 3) an Email Hotline providing direct support and specific information services for survivors and advocates. The site also publishes general information (not state-specific), legal information about interstate custody and parental kidnapping; tips for safety planning and Internet security; links, annotated listings and phone numbers for local, state and national DV organizations and resources; and Spanish translations for the resources listed above. The Email Hotline provides anonymous support, referrals for local assistance and answers to specific legal questions. This creates a first point of entry for many survivors who are not yet ready or able to call a crisis line or go to a shelter. WomensLaw can tailor responses to each woman’s specific situation and encourage her to contact community networks she might not otherwise know about.