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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, it became an alliance of domestic violence shelter programs and statewide groups and coalitions against domestic and sexual violence across the country.

In 1994, it 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 the statewide and territorial coalitions against domestic violence. It also furthers public awareness of domestic violence and changes beliefs that condone intimate partner violence. NNEDV works to make domestic violence a national priority; change the way communities respond to domestic violence; and strengthen efforts against intimate partner violence at every level of government. Our signature programs include:

  • Empowering domestic violence survivors to lead independent lives free from abuse;
  • Supporting the 56 statewide and territorial coalitions against domestic and sexual violence;
  • Advancing economic empowerment and financial literacy for domestic violence survivors and their allies;
  • Improving high-profile media coverage of domestic violence cases;
  • Educating survivors and their allies about safe technological practices and how batterers misuse technology to further abuse;
  • Building the capacity of local and statewide coalitions against domestic and sexual violence;
  • Providing state-specific legal information for domestic violence survivors; and
  • Promoting federal legislation that effectively holds perpetrators accountable and strengthens services for survivors and their children.

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.