The Second Step's residential and community-based 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.
Founded in 1992, The Second Step partners with survivors to address the aftermath of abuse and build brighter futures for themselves and their children. The Second Step also works to address the root causes of domestic violence and end it in our time.
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.
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 dwarf 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.
We work extensively with survivors in the community, whether they have lived in our residences and moved on to more permanent housing, or are just beginning to question how to respond to an abusive relationship and seek safety for themselves and their families. Each year, we provide services to over 300 adults and 500 children through our Community Programs.
Safety Planning and Case Management
We help survivors assess critical needs and identify the most effective interventions. Services include safety planning, case management, access to legal services, and survivor-driven support groups. We help survivors plan ways to be safe from violence, including how to make a safe escape from an abuser. We connect survivors with health providers and benefits, teach self-care and stress management, and help survivors to strategize about security and safety, employment and financial health, child and adult wellness, and responses to chronic physical and emotional issues.
IMAGINE Program (Inspiration, Motivation, And Growth In Networks that Empower)
IMAGINE is built on the knowledge that sustained healing requires a supportive and engaged social network. In order to foster these connections, TSS staff, mentors, and other survivors partner with each client, helping her build self-confidence and the strength to achieve her goals. Offering one-on-one mentorship, survivor-centered peer groups, children’s groups, and retreats, IMAGINE helps survivors create a new, safer community that supports their continued growth and empowerment.
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.
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.
Through one-on-one relationships and the groups for youth survivors of DV, we create connection out of isolation, empowering youth to create new futures on their own terms. We know that youth survivors are more likely to become involved in abusive relationships later in life, whether they are victims or perpetrators. By including local high schools and middle schools, community-based organizations, and faith communities in our efforts, we integrate outreach, education, and direct service within a larger context of violence prevention.
Therapeutic Afterschool Program
Children in our residences receive stage-appropriate education, paired with social and emotional support from trauma-informed educators. These educators create responsive plans to address each child’s individual learning needs, helping them to stay on track in school as they begin the process of integrating back into the community.
Young Men’s and Young Women’s Groups
Young adults at TSS may participate in our our Young Men’s and Women’s Groups. These young people have all experienced DV in some way, and know they want something different.
Our youth programs facilitators combine therapeutic group sessions, physical activities, outdoor engagement, and case management. Together, we create powerful spaces of community, helping young people to respond to their experiences and create new futures free from abuse.
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.
Case-management services are also available, and 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.
I WAS APPREHENSIVE about moving into transitional housing because of the preconceived notions I had about shelter life…[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.