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Our History

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) was founded more than 30 years ago to be the leading voice for survivors of domestic violence and their allies.

NNEDV was formed in 1990 when a small group of domestic violence victim advocates came together to promote federal legislation related to domestic violence. The group was known as the Domestic Violence Coalition on Public Policy. Over the next four years, we became an alliance of domestic violence shelter programs and statewide groups and coalitions against domestic and sexual violence across the country.

In 1994, we led efforts to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), authored by then-Senator Joe Biden. The historic law was the first federal legislation to strengthen the government’s response to crimes perpetrated against victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

In 1996, shortly after the passage of VAWA, this groundbreaking organization became the National Network to End Domestic Violence, an innovative group that served as the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their allies.

Today, NNEDV provides training and assistance to all 56 state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence. We also further public awareness of domestic violence and change beliefs that condone domestic violence. NNEDV works to make domestic violence a national priority; change the way society responds to domestic violence; and strengthen domestic violence advocacy at every level. Our signature programs include:

  • Advocacy to amplify the ongoing and emerging needs of survivors and advocates on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and at every level of government.
  • Helping advocates respond to technology abuse, supporting survivors in their use of tech, and harnessing tech to improve services and innovation.
  • Capacity-building for the 56 state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence, who in turn support nearly 2,000 local programs and millions of survivors every year.
  • Supporting housing programs across the country and advocating for improved housing-related policies for survivors.
  • Addressing the intersection of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS to help advocates improve services for survivors.
  • Providing credit-building microloans to survivors of financial abuse through the Independence Project, helping them move from short-term safety to long-term security.
  • Conducting the annual Domestic Violence Counts Survey to shine a spotlight on the services that survivors receive, request, and are denied due to a lack of resources at local programs.
  • Connecting survivors of all genders with free, confidential legal information and resources in English and Spanish through and the WomensLaw Email Hotline.

We invite you to learn more about our work and join our mailing list so we can work together to build a world without domestic violence.

NNEDV is grateful for those who have been with us since the beginning, including our founding Executive Director, Donna Edwards, and our other founders and supporters, including Janet Mickish, Debby Tucker, Susan Mize, Vickie Smith, Susan Kelly-Dreiss, Colleen Coble, Joan Stiles, and countless others. Thank you for your vision, passion, and motivation to make a difference.