What we do

Founded in 1992, The Second Step partners with survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children.

Our comprehensive programs build on the strengths, needs, and values of the individuals and families we serve. In partnership with survivors and in collaboration with the community, we lay a foundation for a future free from abuse and full of possibility.


Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.


1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

The Need Is Urgent.

In this country, one in three women and one in four men will experience physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lives. The costs – both individual and societal – that result from this violence are staggering, and are far greater than the resources currently available to protect, heal, and support survivors.

The Second Step’s approach to this challenge is unique, and relies on a close, supportive relationship between clients and their advocates. Our programs and services are designed to make the most of this relationship – strengthening a survivor’s own internal resources as well as their network of resources and supports in the community. Our services are comprehensive, allowing us to meet survivors where they are and to partner with them all the way from crisis to well-being.

Community Programs

Community Programs

The community team works with survivors to access safety, resources and stability. We know the importance of survivors making their own decisions in their lives, and we are here to support them along their journey.


Individual Support

  • All services are offered both in-person and virtually.
  • Safety Planning: We help survivors plan for future crisis, identify available options, and make safe decisions.
  • Connecting to resources: We work with survivors to identify which resources will help reach their goals.
  • Advocacy: We advocate for survivors in several settings to help navigate systems.
  • Emotional Support: We provide counseling to clients who need support in recovering from trauma.

Contact us our services

Support Groups

9-Week Domestic Violence Support Group 
Each week covers a different topic about recovering from abuse.

  1. Introduction
  2. DV 101
  3. Coping
  4. Self-Esteem and Self-Acceptance
  5. Creative Writing
  6. Healthy Boundaries
  7. Advocating for Yourself
  8. Healing through Movement
  9. Closing

Financial Empowerment
Financial abuse is one of the most common forms of domestic violence. We work to empower survivors to gain control of their finances.

  • An 11-week group that outlines different financial topics, whole understanding the unique effects of financial abuse
  • Topics include: budgeting, credit scores, saving, etc.


Steps to Justice
Legal Services Program

Legal Services

DV survivors have complex legal needs, often with multiple issues such as restraining orders, child support, guardianship, immigration, benefits, and housing. Without the services we provide, many survivors would be homeless, and at risk of returning to the dangerous shelter of an abuser. Others would risk  losing their children, or being placed in ongoing danger due to an abuser’s manipulation of court processes.

Through Steps to Justice, our staff attorneys work collaboratively with a network of community organizations and volunteer attorneys, providing representation for clients regardless of the complexity of their needs or their ability to pay. 

Steps to Justice is partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us about our services

IT CAN BE A TRIAL navigating the system. I found that the cards are often stacked against DV victims. Your perseverance and affirmative support made all the difference. Thank you so much.

WITHOUT THE SECOND STEP, I never would have been able to get my immigration documents in order. My husband used my immigration status as a way to control me, but today my family and I are safe.

Residential Programs

We operate two transitional residences that serve a total of 58 survivors at any given time. Client families may stay at our residences for up to two years. In addition to providing critical shelter for families, we work in partnerships with housing authorities, other community-based organizations, and private landlords to secure permanent housing for each of our client families.

The Second Step’s residential program is partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Comprehensive Advocacy and Case Management

We ensure that case management services are available to all residential clients. Services include mental and physical health resources, legal assistance, counseling, therapy, support groups, job development, and help with children’s needs from pre-K through high school.

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I WAS APPREHENSIVE about moving into transitional housing because of the preconceived notions I had… [but] The Second Step removed every negative thought I had about shelter life. I was amazed at how beautiful, clean, and organized my new home was.

Workshops & Trainings

Interested in having a training or workshop led by one of The Second Step’s experts? Please contact Lauren Brumfield at lbrumfield@thesecondstep.org.