Step Up to the Plate for families in your community. Click here to take part.

Take the first step

The Second Step is a community of survivors, advocates, and volunteers who foster the safety, stability, and well-being of those who have experienced domestic violence.

I need help I want to help

A Way From Violence

Through Connection

Through Healing

Through Community

To Self Reliance.

We provide comprehensive services, including safety planning, legal advocacy, counseling, peer support, transitional housing, and other essential services to adults, youth, and children in Greater Boston and MetroWest.

Think you need help or know someone who might? Contact us today.

Our programs

Who We Are.

Since 1992, we have partnered with thousands
of survivors to build better futures. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here for you – all the way from crisis to well-being.

Since 1992, The Second Step has partnered with thousands of survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. We know that services alone are not sufficient to help survivors heal from their trauma, nor can awareness campaigns make the necessary impact in abuse prevention.

So we find a different way. See how you can contribute today.

We work with clients to connect discrete points of service and build supportive social networks within a framework of trauma-informed care. We help make different social service interventions more effective, bridging gaps between service providers and helping survivors become stronger and more resilient over time.

But we can’t do it alone. Join our community of supporters, and make change in your community today.



Step Up to the Plate – November 2, 2019

6 August 6, 2019

The Second Step’s premier fall event – Step Up to the Plate – is an intimate dinner event with 12 concurrent dinner parties on the evening of Saturday, November 2, 2019. Located in the private homes of our gracious hosts in Newton and surrounding towns, each dinner features a gourmet meal, engaging dinner companions, and a local luminary...

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Julie Lima joins The Second Step!

16 July 16, 2019

The Second Step is thrilled to announce that Julie Lima, MSW, most recently of the YMCA of Greater Boston and Cradles to Crayons, will be leading TSS as its next Executive Director. Julie will take over from Matthew Swoveland, who leaves TSS after five years to be closer to family out west. Julie brings a...

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Executive Director Transition

26 April 26, 2019

After five years at The Second Step, Matthew Swoveland, Executive Director, is relocating to the west to be closer to family. He will be transitioning out of his role at TSS late this summer. All of us at TSS are truly grateful to Matt for his steady yet visionary leadership, which has rejuvenated the agency’s...

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Celebrating Success Gala

18 January 18, 2019

PURCHASE TICKETS, SPONSOR, OR DONATE NOW! THURSDAY, APRIL 11TH 2019 NEWTON MARRIOTT 6:00pm Cocktails & Silent Auction with Mobile Bidding 7:15pm Dinner Program   EMCEE:  JOYCE KULHAWIK, EMMY-AWARD WINNING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CRITIC/JOYCESCHOICES.COM Celebrating Success is a powerful and inspirational evening, bringing together over 300 individuals and businesses from Greater Boston to support survivors of...

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TSS Highlight – Joe Ristuccia, Board Vice President

12 December 12, 2018

“My name is Joe Ristuccia, and I am a proud volunteer at The Second Step. I spend time each month working on the Board of Directors, chairing the Program Committee, and supporting staff in various capacities. I choose the Second Step because the issue of domestic violence must be addressed head on with the resources needed to...

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TSS Highlight – Sue Ross, Director of Steps to Justice

10 October 10, 2018

For Domestic Violence Awareness Month (#DVAM2018), we’re highlighting our Steps to Justice legal services program and its exceptional director, Susan Ross! Sue leads a dedicated team of staff and volunteer attorneys who provide legal assistance and representation to survivors of domestic violence across Greater Boston and MetroWest. We also want to remind you that if you or anyone...

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#DVAM – Domestic Violence Awareness Month with The Second Step

28 September 28, 2018

Help Craft the Clothesline Project with The Second Step   TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2ND, 7:00-8:30PM NEWTON NEW ART CENTER, 61 WASHINGTON PARK, NEWTON, MA   Spend the day with us at the Newton Center Harvest Fair   SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14TH, 10:00AM-5:00PM NEWTON CENTER GREEN, LANGLEY RD. & CENTRE ST.   Join us for the Clothesline Project Showcase...

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17 September 17, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018 5-7 pm Social Restaurant & Bar, 320 Washington Street, Newton Corner Have fun, raise awareness, and support survivors of domestic violence with The Second Step! Pair up, team up, and show off your knowledge of arcane facts while doing good in our community. Bring your family and friends! Click here to...

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Step Up to the Plate – November 3, 2018

29 August 29, 2018

The Second Step’s premier fall event – Step Up to the Plate – is an intimate dinner event with 12 concurrent dinner parties on the evening of Saturday, November 3, 2018. Located in the private homes of our gracious hosts in Newton and surrounding towns, each dinner features a gourmet meal, engaging dinner companions, and a...

Read more

TSS Highlight – Alexandra Simes, Board President

1 August 1, 2018

Join us as we kick off a new series of highlights – staff and board members, volunteers, and community partners of The Second Step! We hope you enjoy getting to know the many members of our community. We’ll start off with Alexandra Simes, our Board President.   “My involvement with The Second Step – which most...

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Get help.

Since 1992, we have partnered with thousands of survivors to build better futures.

If you are afraid for your immediate
safety CALL 911.

Telephone icon

Emergency Shelter
and Safety Planning

SAFELINK (Massachusetts-wide,
24-hour, toll-free domestic violence
hotline): 1-877-785-2020

National Domestic Violence
Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)

Pet Safety – Domestic Violence
Pet Safety Hotline: 781-235-8460


Call us at:

Our offices are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, and outside of these hours by appointment.

You can also learn more about our programs here, and email us at:



Steps to Justice

Youth and Prevention