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.

Prevention, Intervention, and Education Program

Prevention, Intervention, and Education Program

Our Prevention, Intervention, and Education program provides extensive services to survivors in the community to build skills, develop resilience, heal from trauma, and thrive. We also provide outreach and education through workshops and presentations for the broader community.

Survivor Services

  1. 1. Help survivors find safety and stability
  2. 2. Educate about domestic violence
  3. 3. Court accompaniment
  4. 4. Assistance accessing other community resources
  5. 5. Advocacy for survivors
  6. 6. Support groups

Community outreach

  1. – Presentations and panel discussions
  2. – Domestic violence consultations for providers
  3. – Educational displays
  4. – Collaboration and education with youth

Community Outreach topics:
a. Healthy/unhealthy relationships
b. Warning signs of abuse
c. Bystander intervention
d. How to help peers, friends and family member who are in violent and abusive relationships


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


For Providers
How to refer a client to us:

  1. If you are concerned a client has or is experiencing domestic violence, please call our intake line at 617-965-2538 or email us at info@thesecondstep.org to set up a time to talk
  2. You will provide a brief overview of the client’s situation and concerns
  3. If your client is appropriate for our program, we will conduct our own intake with them
  4. If we cannot met the client’s needs, we will provide consultation on how to assist the individual and/or identify appropriate resources

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


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.

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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.

Transitional Living Program

  • Our Transitional Living Program is designed to help survivors of Domestic Violence transition to self-sufficient living. We support families through safety planning, goal setting and advocacy through several services such a legal, educational services, vocational training, child welfare, health care programs, and affordable housing options while incorporating a positive trauma-informed care (TIC) approach, which suggest that the best way to prevent risk and trauma is to help survivors achieve their full potential. Our transitional living programs’ strategies focus on leadership, advocacy, skill-building, and community involvement.


  • Rapid Rehousing is a solution to homelessness designed to help individuals and families to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. Our Rapid Rehousing program aims to provide homeless and low-income families with short-term rental subsidies accompanied by intensive case management services to rapidly transition homeless families into stable housing and to prevent low-income families from becoming homeless. It is offered without preconditions; the resources and services provided are typically tailored to the unique needs of the household. These services will support families in achieving housing independence and realizing their full potential. 

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.