Celebrating Success

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.



Introducing Our 2020 Celebrating Success Honoree: Alexandra Simes

7 February 7, 2020

We are proud to honor Alexandra Simes for her extraordinary contributions to The Second Step. Alexandra has passionately served the organization as a remarkable volunteer providing leadership, vision, and mentoring over the past decade as a board member, supporter and ambassador of The Second Step. Through years of selfless dedication of time and energy, Alexandra has truly made a...

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Celebrating Success Gala 2020

17 January 17, 2020

THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH 2020 BRAE BURN COUNTRY CLUB 6:00pm: Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and small plates Celebrating Success is a powerful and inspirational evening, bringing together over 300 individuals and businesses from Greater Boston to support survivors of domestic violence. We hope you can join us! Registration and sponsorship information. For more information, please contact Suzanne Wakefield,...

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Step Up with Tyler & Ashley Ott and Our Board of Directors to Give the Gift of Safety

4 December 4, 2019

Ashley Ott, member of The Second Step’s Board of Directors, and Tyler Ott, Long Snapper for the Seattle Seahawks, have generously partnered with local artist Julianne Strom Brill to decorate Tyler’s cleats on behalf of The Second Step. As part of the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats fundraiser, Ott will auction his cleats and all proceeds will go to...

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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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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