National Network to End Domestic Violence

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This article is about organization in the United States. For other related topics, see Outline of domestic violence.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)[1] is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995, based in the District of Columbia. It is a network of state domestic violence coalitions, representing over 2,000 member organizations nationwide. NNEDV works to address the many aspects of domestic violence. Kim Gandy has served as the President and CEO of the organization since 2012. Past presidents of NNEDV include Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Sue Else (current CEO of Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia), and former White House Advisor on Violence Against Women Lynn Rosenthal.


The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), originally known as the Domestic Violence Coalition on Public Policy, was founded in 1990 by a group of domestic violence coalitions in order to promote federal legislation related to domestic violence.[2] Along with local, state, and national domestic violence coalitions, NNEDV led the efforts to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), authored by then-Senator, Joe Biden. In 1995, after the passage of VAWA, DVCOPP became the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The VAWA implementation led to NNEDV’s groundbreaking work on Transitional Housing.

Policy work[edit]

The National Network to End Domestic Violence performs legislative policy work with all three branches. NNEDV has been called to testify before the U.S. Congress on domestic violence issues to assist state coalitions in better serving the needs of the victim by presenting research on domestic violence issues for pending legislation. NNEDV works proactively on Capitol Hill to make ending domestic violence a national priority. NNEDV’s members are state and territorial coalitions representing domestic violence shelters and programs in every state and territory in the nation. They work closely with the state and territorial coalitions to understand the ongoing and emerging needs at the local and state level, and then ensure those needs are heard and understood by policymakers at the national level. Ensuring the funding of domestic violence programs remains a continued concern. NNEDV’s policy efforts also focus on gun violence, the technology sector,[3] and economic and financial security.[4]

VAWA Implementation[edit]

NNEDV worked for the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).[5] VAWA closed critical gaps in funding, ensuring all domestic violence survivors receive services. NNEDV participated in the OVW conferral process, sharing information about VAWA's impact on the field, gaps in the federal response, and challenges and successes of implementation. NNEDV also participated in stakeholder meetings about the implementation of VAWA's Campus SaVE provisions and worked to ensure that the negotiated rulemaking committee considered, in particular, the needs of student victims of dating abuse and stalking, as well as the confidentiality and safety needs of student victims. NNEDV also communicated the same messages to the White House Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault. Historically, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically provide protections for members of the LGBT community.[6] Additionally, NNEDV continues to work to ensure that programs such as the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVSPA) and Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) receive adequate funding.

Appropriations and funding[edit]

NNEDV leads the national Campaign for Funding to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. Through this work, NNEDV is at the forefront of advocating for increased funding and resources for local programs and state coalitions. As part of this advocacy, NNEDV coordinates and implements a strategic action plan that combines national level work with grasstops and grassroots mobilization around the federal budget. The primary focus of appropriations advocacy is on increasing funding under the Violence Against Women Act, the Family Violence Prevention Services Act, and the Victims of Crime Act.

Gun violence[edit]

NNEDV has emerged as one of the leading organizations for commonsense firearms legislation, specifically, an improved and expanded background checks system. The clear connection to this work - preventing domestic violence homicides - has helped to build momentum around such legislation. NNEDV advocates for closing loopholes in the background checks system and for needed improvements to data collection through NICS. NNEDV continues to work with Everytown for Gun Safety (formerly Mayors Against Illegal Guns), as well as with other national organizations, to provide critical information and targeted action alerts to the field around proposed legislation to address gun violence. Additionally, NNEDV hosted a webinar with coalitions on gun violence and conducted a thorough review of state-level domestic violence homicide data, as well as information about lethality assessment programs and fatality review teams in the states. NNEDV won a significant victory on this issue under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Castleman, where the Court upheld a definition under the law that will continue to prohibit convicted domestic violence abusers from possessing firearms. NNEDV's amicus brief in the case, which outlined the importance of upholding this protection through a common-sense interpretation of the law, was referenced by the Court.

Amicus briefs[edit]

Commonwealth v. Claybrook[edit]

In February 2013 NNEDV signed onto an amicus brief filed in the case Commonwealth v. Claybrook. This case involved the sexual assault of a college freshman by three men in her dorm room. A Pennsylvania jury convicted the men, and the trial court denied their motions for judgment of acquittal and/or a new trial on the charges. However, the Superior Court overturned these convictions. The advocates’ amicus brief argued that the Superior Court's decision was based on misconceptions and myths about sexual assault, including the victim's supposed insufficient resistance, which was long ago removed as a requirement in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court and remanded the case.[7]

Souratgar v. Fair[edit]

This case involves the question of whether to remove a child from the custody of his mother and return the child to the custody of his father in Singapore, in a circumstance where the father had been physically and verbally abusive toward the mother, including in the presence of the child. The district court held that the child was not in “grave risk of harm” in living with his father. The advocates amicus brief argued that this conclusion runs counter to the weight of evidence that children exposed to domestic violence are themselves at serious risk of harm and that both mother and child were continuously abused post-separation from the abuser (and that this abuse must be taken seriously).[8]

Cromeartie v. RCM of Washington[edit]

This case involves a woman who was fired for “allowing” her abusive partner to enter the work site in violation of workplace rules. The case asks whether or not this firing constitutes a separation from employment “due to domestic violence” subject to unemployment compensation. This is the first case requiring interpretation of D.C. Code Section 51-131 in the District of Columbia; it is also the first case in the country on this subject to reach a court of appeals. The advocates amicus brief argues that her allowing her partner onto the worksite was not truly voluntary but was rather a product of the pattern of coercion and power exerted by her abuser and characteristic of domestic violence.[9]


Annual census[edit]

Conducted since 2006, the NNEDV Annual Census is an annual noninvasive, unduplicated count of adults and children who seek services from U.S. domestic violence shelter programs during a single 24-hour survey period. This Census takes into account the dangerous nature of domestic violence by using a survey designed to protect the confidentiality and safety of victims. It also allows for a true representation of the gaps in services, and the strain it causes upon US domestic violence shelters.[10] For example, the 10th annual census report conducted on September 16, 2015, had a 93% participation rate amongst identified local domestic violence in the United States and territories. The survey reported that during a 24 hour period on the census day, 71,828 victims were served. Among those victims, 40,302 victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing, and 31,526 adults and children received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, and children’s support groups. However, the survey also reported that there were 12,197 unmet requests for services in one day, with 63% of the unmet need under the housing umbrella.[11]

Coalition capacity project[edit]

NNEDV recognizes that state, territorial and Tribal coalitions of domestic violence services and stakeholder groups are intrinsic to ending violence against women. We also know that only healthy and sustainable organizations have the strength required to take on the hard work of social change. The Coalition Capacity Project focuses on building organizational strength through a variety of technical assistance opportunities for coalitions including; organizational and leadership development, regional, topical, and national meetings, peer networking, new executive director orientation, onsite technical assistance to provide guidance and best practices in program management, and resources and publications including an annual directory. The Coalition Capacity Project provides a space for coalition leaders to convene crucial conversations. An annual Roundtable brings all coalition leaders together to discuss and learn from the experiences of one another. Regional meetings continue the conversations started at the Roundtable and bring specific concepts into local discussions. Topical training institutes bring best practices and innovative ideas forward. The Coalition Capacity Project joins with partners on collaborative ventures in prevention, cross-work with sexual assault, and increased inclusion of marginalized communities. The goal of the Coalition Capacity Project is to strengthen the organizations that provide the direct work with survivors and to influence the stakeholder community that makes policy, provides funding, and impacts culture change.

Safety net project[edit]

Founded in 2000 and brought to NNEDV in 2002 by Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Safety Net Project provides engaging and interactive trainings, both in-person and through webinars, to enhance the ability of programs and community agencies to respond to the needs of survivors in ways that both tech-savvy and non-techie audiences can understand.[12] The project has trained more than 78,000 advocates, police officers, prosecutors, and other community agency members across the U.S. and internationally. NNEDV's Safety Net Project focuses on the intersection of technology and intimate partner abuse and works to address how it impacts the safety, privacy/confidentiality, accessibility, and civil rights of victims. Safety Net sits on the advisory boards of Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Safety Net launched a sister SafetyNet in Australia.

Testimony on Capitol Hill[edit]

On February 8, 2006, Southworth testified before the Senate Consumer Affairs, Product Safety, and Insurance subcommittee. The hearing focused upon pretexting and phone records. Southworth focused upon the necessity of keeping domestic violence survivor's information confidential. As Southworth said, "All companies that collect and retain personal information about their customers should enhance the security and privacy options available to consumers, and create levels of security that are not easily breached from within or from outside of the company. Given the creative and persistent tactics of perpetrators, companies must work with consumers to identify the methods of security that will work best for general consumers, as well as methods for consumers in higher-risk situations, including victims of domestic violence and law enforcement officers." [13] On June 4, 2014, Southworth, representing both NNEDV and the Minnesota Council for Battered Women, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law. Southworth testified in support of Minn. Senator Al Franken's proposed legislation, The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2014. The bill seeks to ban these stalking apps and would require companies to inform consumers when their information is being used and what for what purpose.[14] Southworth testified that these apps are not covert in their marketing. Calling attention to apps such as HelloSpy, Southworth showed screenshots from the website showing women in various domestic violence situations. In one picture, under the section advertising the importance of catching cheating spouses, a man stands holding a woman's arm tightly while her face shows clear abrasions. This is a pattern among the majority of these alleged spy applications. Southworth testified that "consent is critical...and a reminder that the user's location is being tracked is critical." Southworth also provided additional recommendations on behalf of the organization and stood in firm support of the legislation.[15]

Positively safe[edit]

Developed in 2010, with a grant from the MAC AIDS Foundation, this special project addresses the intersection between HIV/AIDS and domestic violence. Together with the National Domestic Violence & HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee, NNEDV developed a curriculum to train service providers in both fields. The curriculum has a large focus on building collaboration to address the intersection and prevent HIV and domestic violence. In 2015 the Positively Safe project launched a toolkit for domestic violence and HIV/AIDS service providers, with resources on safety planning, linkage to retention in care, conversation guides, and more. The project will continue to expand the resources in the toolkit. In 2013, NNEDV was able to present its curriculum to the President’s Working Group on the Intersection of HIV/AIDS, Violence against Women and Girls, and Gender-Related Health Disparities. Because of NNEDV's on-going commitment to these issues, the project was funded to provide training to select groups on the intersection.[16]

Transitional Housing[edit]

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), NNEDV provides comprehensive, specialized technical assistance and training to state and territorial domestic violence coalitions, local domestic violence programs, other nonprofit organizations and local and state agencies. The Housing Project helps organizations create best practices in housing, transitional housing and related services for victims, and strengthens programs' response to victims with an emphasis on survivor-driven, empowerment-based services.[17] Additionally, NNEDV closely monitors legislative measures impacting federal housing policies. The Transitional Housing Program also provides a free toolkit [18] for coalitions to enhance their work with transitional housing clients.


WomensLaw is a project of NNEDV, joining NNEDV in 2010 after many years of partnering on issues related to technology safety and confidentiality. WomensLaw was founded in February 2000 by a group of lawyers, teachers, advocates and web designers interested in using the power of the Internet to educate survivors of domestic violence about their legal rights and ways to get help. WomensLaw has two components: a website and an Email Hotline.

The website provides legal information related to domestic violence. It is revised in accordance with annual legislative changes, is state-specific and written in plain language so that people can comprehend it without the help of a lawyer.[19] The email hotline is a service through which victims, friends, family, and advocates can ask questions anonymously.[20]


  1. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Home". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Readiness Begins with Me" (PDF). Readiness Begins with Me. 
  3. ^ "". Technology Safety. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Curriculum Download". Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  5. ^ "Text of S. 47 (113th): Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Passed Congress/Enrolled Bill version) -". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  6. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Violence Against Women Act". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  7. ^ "Com. v. Claybrook, J. (memorandum)". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Souratgar v. Fair, No. 12-5088 (2d Cir. 2013)". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  9. ^ "CROMEARTIE v. RCM OF WASHINGTON, INC., No. 1:2014cv01969 - Document 18 (D.D.C. 2015)". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  10. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Census: Domestic Violence Counts". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  11. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Domestic Violence Counts: Census 2015 Report". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  12. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Safety Net Project". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Intersection of Domestic Violence & HIV/AIDS". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  17. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Housing Project". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  18. ^ "National Network to End Domestic Violence | Transitional Housing Toolkit". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  19. ^ " | What's New on this Site?". Retrieved 2016-07-05. 
  20. ^ " | Ask a Question - New User". Retrieved 2016-07-05. 

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