NEWTON, Mass., July 18, 2023 – In the wake of yet another domestic violence homicide in Massachusetts this year, local and statewide domestic violence organizations are reminding the public about shelter and safety resources following the tragic death of Nancy Hanson of Newton on Saturday.

“We are deeply saddened for Nancy Hanson and her family. Her death is not an isolated incident, and the blame lies solely with the person who took her life. As we watch stories like this unfold, we may feel hopeless and powerless, but it is important to remember that we are neither. The combined strength of the many community partners who address the myriad complexities of domestic violence is a rich resource for survivors, schools, businesses, social service agencies, and communities of every gender, age, religion, and ethnicity.

“Conversations about domestic violence are vital to preventing abuse and creating healthy communities. We must create safe spaces to talk about controlling and coercive behaviors to reduce the stigma and confusion often associated with defining domestic violence. Raising awareness of domestic violence prevention and resources cannot happen only when there is a tragedy.

“We call on community leaders and the media to share this important message:

  • Ask us for help, even if you are not sure what that would look like,
  • whether you want to leave your relationship or not, or
  • If we can’t help, we likely know someone who can.
  • If you contact one of our programs, please be assured that we will listen without judgement, we will believe you, and we will respect your wishes and needs going forward.

“Our available resources are as varied as the communities we serve. We offer trained, trauma-informed staff answering hotlines that are open 24/7. Advocates to stand with survivors in court or help them navigate social service systems. People to translate. Free and low-cost legal services. Educational programs on healthy relationships for all ages. Support groups for survivors and therapy groups for children. And so much more.

“If you or someone you care about is experiencing abuse, help is available by calling one of the providers below or contacting SafeLink, the Massachusetts statewide domestic violence hotline, at 877-785-2020. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

“The organizations below stand together with Newton in this tragic moment, strongly committed to bringing domestic violence out of the shadows, removing the stigma, and letting survivors and those who care for them know they’re not alone.”

Debra J. Robbin
Executive Director
Jane Doe Inc.

Elizabeth Schön Vainer
Director, Journey to Safety
Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Josephine Pang
Program Manager
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program

Amarely Gutiérrez Oliver
Executive Director
REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, Inc.

Susan Ross, Esq.
Executive Director
The Second Step