Reflections on 2022: NNEDV’s Year in Review
December 15, 2022
A statement from Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President & CEO:
I am deeply proud of everything the team at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) has accomplished over the past year. Together with our membership of the 56 state and U.S. territorial domestic violence coalitions, we continued to make progress towards our mission to create a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. We also continued to adjust to the ever-changing “new normal” following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic nearly three years ago. The pandemic and its impacts on survivors—particularly those who were already experiencing systemic violence and marginalization—will continue to unfold, even as COVID-19 itself begins to fade from the headlines.
Throughout 2022, we mourned the losses from the violence of the mass shootings across our nation, from Buffalo to Uvalde to Club Q and others that may not have made the news, but traumatized people and their communities all the same. We watched the U.S. Supreme Court roll back fundamental rights, and continue to urge Congress to pass legislation to preserve abortion rights. Increased federal investments helped to address increased need in the pandemic, yet we continue to hear over and over again that local programs simply do not have the resources and support they need in order to help the survivors who depend on them.
This year has been difficult in many respects. Even still, we have much to celebrate and our report just scratches the surface of all we have accomplished. From the long-awaited reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, to welcoming new staff and Board members to our team, to building new connections across sectors and investing in the domestic violence field. And there is so much more going on behind the scenes—from keeping each other safe and healthy in our newly reopened DC office space, to coordinating team-building and self-care activities, to the administrative, human resources, and finance work that helps us run.
It is a privilege to share NNEDV’s Year in Review with you. It reflects the work of so many passionate, dedicated people who are invested in our mission. We have much to be grateful for, and plenty to look towards in 2023.
Deborah J. Vagins
NNEDV President and CEO
In March, we celebrated the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (left), a top legislative priority for NNEDV and our member coalitions. The bipartisan VAWA reauthorization included groundbreaking provisions to strengthen and modernize the law, toward the goal of ensuring all victims are served and supported. It provided survivors, programs, and communities with much-needed resources for legal assistance, alternatives to criminal responses, and prevention programming. The law also included critical housing protections, economic justice and non-discrimination provisions, restored tribal sovereignty to hold non-native perpetrators accountable, and made important investments in culturally specific service providers to ensure all survivors are supported.
The fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill also reflected much-needed increases in NNEDV’s priority funding areas, including the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). These investments will help make significant strides towards filling in the gaps in services and supports exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure survivors have access to the full spectrum of resources and options they need to protect themselves and heal after violence and abuse.
In June, we hosted our annual Advocacy Days (sponsored by Match Group and Meta; right), welcoming more than 100 people representing 37 states. Many coalitions also invited local program staff and survivors to their Congressional meetings to share stories, increase impact, and show the faces behind the funding requests. This year’s Congressional asks focused on increased appropriations and the reauthorization of FVPSA.
NNEDV condemned the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (left). Abortion services are essential healthcare and having equal access—for all people, everywhere—is vital to their social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and right to determine their own lives. For domestic violence survivors, abortion access is a matter of safety; all people, including survivors, deserve full control over their lives and decisions, including the ability to safely and freely decide whether or not to become, or stay, pregnant. NNEDV and our member coalitions continue to address the impacts of this decision on the work we do with domestic violence survivors who are experiencing reproductive abuse and coercion and to advocate for Congress to act to protect access to abortion for everyone.
At the end of June, we joined member coalitions at the White House (right) for the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which partially closes the federal “dating partner loophole” or “boyfriend loophole” by extending firearm restrictions to dating partners convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. While the law did not fully close the loophole, it is a first step in enacting gun safety laws at the federal level in decades and provides life-saving protections for some survivors.
In December, President Biden signed the Safe Connections Act of 2022 into law. NNEDV was proud to support this legislation, which gives survivors of abuse the ability to remove themselves from family phone plans safely and easily without any termination fees. Read our July statement following the House passage here.
Throughout the year, we continued to advocate for the passage of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) Improvement Act (left) to reauthorize FVPSA, which ensures that more than 1,500 local domestic violence shelters and programs can provide emergency shelter, crisis counseling, legal assistance, and other life-saving services to more than 1.3 million victims and their children every year. Through action alerts to our networks, rallies with our state and territorial member coalitions, and work with Congressional staffers and through the appropriations process, we are committed to seeing FVPSA reauthorized before this Congress ends.
We also continued to advocate for legislation that will help survivors, including the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, the FAMILY Act, the Healthy Families Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Raise the Wage Act, the Women’s Health Protection Act, and funding increases in fiscal year 2023 appropriations.
NNEDV Public Policy staff working on the Collaborative Approach to Housing for Survivors (CAHS) grant hosted monthly, peer-to-peer DV Coalition Housing calls, along with providing regular technical assistance and training to coalitions, programs, and partner organizations. We also worked closely with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide expertise on a number of initiatives, including the Emergency Housing Voucher program. In November, the team was invited to a White House meeting on Tenant Protections and Rental Affordability to share more about housing issues that impact domestic violence survivors.
Capacity Technical Assistance
In October, in partnership with Indigenous advocates representing Tribal coalitions, the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the Alaskan Native Women’s Resource Center, and Pouhana ‘O Nā Wahine representing the Indigenous Hawaiian community, NNEDV announced the launch of Many Voices Many Traditions, a FVPSA Toolkit for Working with Indigenous Partners (right). This toolkit is designed to support the work of FVPSA state administrators and domestic violence coalitions as they engage, fund, and support underserved communities, including Indigenous Nations.
In December, we hosted our Annual Meeting and Leadership Summit (sponsored by Match Group, Meta, and Element 74; left), virtually bringing together 134 coalition staff members. We leveraged this year’s theme—“Hope, Inspiration, and Lasting Change”—to provide a forum for coalitions to have deep and meaningful conversations, build relationships, welcome new directors, and expand participation to more staff. During the Annual Meeting, NNEDV presented the 2022 DREAM Award to Doreen Nicholas from the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Throughout the year, we continued to provide technical assistance and trainings to coalitions and FVPSA administrators; send our Coalition Digest to the field; and convene regular topical, peer-to-peer, regional, and orientation meetings for coalition staff across the country.
Domestic Violence Counts
In March, NNEDV released the findings from our 16th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report (sponsored by Match Group, Meta, The Allstate Foundation, and Element 74; right). Programs and survivors have continued to navigate the changes and challenges brought on by the pandemic—now moving from handling it as a short-term crisis to long-term change management. The report found that, on September 9, 2021, 70,032 adult and child victims of domestic violence received lifesaving services from local domestic violence programs. Tragically, on that same day, programs were unable to meet 9,444 requests for services—primarily requests for housing or emergency shelter—because they lacked sufficient resources.
In May, we hosted a bipartisan Congressional briefing (left) to discuss the findings of the report. The briefing was held in cooperation with Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Representatives Lucy McBath (D-GA) and John Katko (R-NY). I was honored to moderate a discussion with panelists Alexandra Appleton (domestic violence survivor), Antonia Drew Vann (The Asha Project), and Jonathan Yglesias (Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance).
In September, we held our #DVCounts survey day in preparation for our 17th Annual Domestic Violence Counts Report (sponsored by Element 74 and The Allstate Foundation). More than 1,600 local programs participated, and we look forward to releasing next year’s report and recommendations in Spring 2023.
In February, NNEDV announced the recommendations from our Economic Justice and Domestic Violence Advisory Council (right), a long-term, in-depth collaboration of national experts in the domestic violence field working to advance survivors’ economic empowerment and financial well-being, made possible by The Allstate Foundation. The Council’s theme for its 2021 work was “Workplace Protections: At Home & Away,” with recommendations developed around three primary areas: Employer Policies, Employer/Advocate Partnerships, and Public Policy Reforms. We look forward to releasing new recommendations early next year.
In March, we hosted our fifth annual Economic Justice Summit (sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, Match Group, and Rental Kharma; left). Under the theme “Financial Wellbeing: Taking Care of Ourselves and Our Communities,” the virtual conference brought together more than 250 advocates, state and territorial domestic violence coalition staff, national experts, and allies to examine the systems that inform economic justice work; share concrete and innovative tools; identify emerging issues—including national and local policy solutions—and strengthen partnerships between the movement to end domestic violence and the anti‐poverty movement.
In November, I joined panelists from the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Esperanza United, and Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community for a “Spotlight on Workplace Protections” Facebook Live event (right). On December 21, I will moderate a second Facebook Live event—“Spotlight on Economic Justice Policy”—to discuss economic justice priorities for the new Congress and the Administration, featuring Latifa Lyles (Special Assistant to the President on Gender Policy, White House Gender Policy Council).
With the support of The Allstate Foundation, we continued to provide webinars and trainings for coalitions and other organizations across the country, reaching more than 1,300 attendees virtually and in-person. Thanks to Major League Baseball (MLB) Charities and Meta, our team was able to continue our broader work toward economic justice for survivors.
Throughout the year, we disbursed more than 460 Independence Project loans (supported in part by The Allstate Foundation and Bread Financial), helping survivors of financial abuse on the path to economic stability. In partnership with Violence Free Minnesota, we began piloting our Next Steps loan program to offer larger-asset building loans to survivors.
In January, we launched a three-part webinar series on social determinants of health (environmental conditions that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks), in partnership with SisterLove and Black Women’s Blueprint. These webinars reached nearly 300 attendees.
Beginning in February, NNEDV premiered new episodes in the second season of our Expanding the Continuum podcast (left), in partnership with Futures Without Violence. This podcast explores the intersections of patriarchal violence and HIV, and this season featured experts discussing topics like housing, reproductive justice, community health centers, harm reduction, and more
Throughout the year, we conducted numerous online and in-person trainings and presented at conferences across the country. Altogether, thanks to sponsors like Gilead Sciences, Inc., we reached more than 1,900 advocates and other individuals with resources about the intersection of domestic violence and HIV.
We continued to update our Positively Safe Toolkit, adding new resources and e-learning modules, as well as translating existing materials into Arabic, French, Korean, and Spanish.
In March, we released version 2.0 of our Tech Safety App (right), which provides survivors and advocates with information about tech abuse and options for taking action to address it. This update reflects newer technology and related forms of tech abuse, and strategies for increasing privacy and safety, and all content is available in both English and Spanish.
In June, Apple announced a new Safety Check feature. The Safety Net team (along with the National Center for Victims of Crime and our sister organization in Australia, WESNET) worked with Apple during the Safety Check development process and incorporated our input to create a tool that gives survivors control and choices in order to increase their privacy and safety.
In July, NNEDV held our tenth annual Technology Summit (sponsored by Uber, , Google, Meta, Match Group, Apple, Airbnb, and Kaspersky; left). During eight powerful, virtual sessions over three days, we discussed innovative and practical ways to explore the intersection of technology and domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. With more than 400 attendees, we had meaningful conversations about how to use technology to support survivors and advocates and ways to hold abusers accountable.
In November, in partnership with our team, Ring announced a donation of up to 10,000 home security devices to support survivor safety through NNEDV. This project will enhance the field’s capacity to support survivors and provide more safety-planning options, and it will include sharing privacy and security best practices with organizations to ensure advocates can effectively counsel survivors about using the devices.
Throughout the year, we provided trainings, technical assistance, and conference presentations to thousands of advocates and other professionals, and created new resources (right) on TechSafety.org in response to survivors’ and advocates’ needs. New resources included Teens and Technology, Reproductive Coercion and Technology, Data Brokers: What They Are and What You Can Do about Them, Removing Sensitive Content from the Internet, and Safety and Privacy Tips for Older Technology.
NNEDV continued working with Cathy Cave and Yasi Safinya-Davies to provide culturally specific training and technical assistance related to transitional housing. This included holding the first Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Leaders Intensive Meeting for BIPOC leaders working in transitional housing, along with other sessions, discussions, and podcast episodes.
Throughout the year, thanks to sponsors like Airbnb, we hosted webinars and presented at conferences to engage transitional housing providers and the broader community. Highlights included with Women of Color Network, Inc. about how the pandemic housing crisis is impacting women of color; with the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project about best practices for serving immigrant survivors; with the Resource Sharing Project about services for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse; and at the 2022 Southern Conference on Homelessness and Housing about trauma-informed safety planning (left).
In January, for the first time ever, WomensLaw.org surpassed 10 million pageviews in a one-year period (right). Between February 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022, the site had 10,003,294 pageviews. This speaks to survivors’ ongoing needs for legal information amid the pandemic and other crises.
In February, we released “WomensLaw at a Glance – 2021 National Updates” in both English and Spanish to let member coalitions know about the work our team accomplished last year for their state or territory. We continue our work to translate all our state- and territory-specific legal information into Spanish, with Kansas marking the 30th fully translated state this year.
In October, we launched a live chat option for the WomensLaw Email Hotline (left). Email Hotline users who submit questions related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking can now schedule a live-chat appointment with our team to ask follow-up questions, and get further information about their legal inquiry.
Throughout the year, with the support of funders like the American College of Trial Lawyers, Meta, MLB, and the National Football League (NFL) Foundation, we helped more than 3,600 people on the Email Hotline, with an average response rate of 1.86 business days. Unfortunately, we had to regularly close the English Email Hotline and the Spanish Email Hotline due to the influx of emails and to keep up with responses. However, due to a successful fundraising strategy, significant increases in both federal and private funding will allow us to double the team’s staffing in the new year. We also continued to recruit and train new volunteers to increase capacity all year long.
During 2022, NNEDV signed on to a number of amicus briefs in support of survivors—including some from both this year and previous years that pertained to Supreme Court decisions released over the summer.
Development and Communications
Throughout the year, thanks to new funders and federal funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), and FVPSA, we were successful in our goal to partner with culturally specific providers and organizations to be more inclusive in our mission and to reach more survivors. New and expanded partnerships included: Esperanza United to expand our WomensLaw Spanish services; the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence (API-GBV) to reach more Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and provide more culturally specific and relevant services for our territorial members; the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence (ATCEV) and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) to increase technical assistance and collaborations with tribal coalitions; and Rwanda Women’s Network and SisterLove to expand the work of our Positively Safe team.
In September, our longtime partners at the Kering Foundation hosted their inaugural Caring for Women Dinner in New York City. The event was hosted by Anderson Cooper and co-chaired by Salma Hayek Pinault, François-Henri Pinault, Gisele Bündchen, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Julie Mehretu, and Gloria Steinem. All proceeds benefitted NNEDV, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Global Fund for Women, and the Jordan River Foundation. In particular, this funding has helped support WomensLaw.org and the WomensLaw Email Hotline, which provide critically needed free legal information for survivors, their loved ones, and advocates. I was honored to join François-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek Pinault, and beneficiary representatives on the red carpet (right).
In October, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, we brought back and enhanced the #Every1KnowsSome1 Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) campaign we launched in 2021. This month of awareness and activities included our signature Week of Action, from Twitter Chat Tuesday to Purple Thursday (left), and led into our #GiveForDV giving coalition for Giving Tuesday and end-of-year fundraising. The goal of both #Every1KnowsSome1 and #GiveForDV is to raise awareness, increase financial support and volunteer efforts, and deepen community engagement by connecting our work nationwide. For the third year, our Board of Directors launched a generous $10,000 match campaign, and we look forward to unlocking the full match before the end of the year.
During the year, our content on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter generated nearly 3.4 million total impressions and more than 283,000 total engagements, and our emails reached more than 26,000 subscribers. Nearly 6.5 million people visited NNEDV.org, WomensLaw.org, and TechSafety.org to learn about our work. Thanks support from partners like Meta and MLB, our team worked hard to spread awareness and information throughout the year.
We were mentioned in more than 3,900 unique press pieces, with more than 14 billion total impressions, at a total advertising value equivalency of more than $133 million. Media highlights during the year included:
- Even divorce might not free you from your ex’s student loan debt (NPR, February 8)
- How to secure your devices and accounts after an abusive relationship (Washington Post, March 11)
- Ye was temporarily banned from Instagram for violating hate speech policy. Experts warn that abuse isn’t only physical. (NBC News, March 18)
- Am I being tracked? Anti-stalking tech from Apple, Tile falls short. (Washington Post, March 31)
- Escaping economic abuse (CNBC TV segment, April 14)
- Amber Heard, Johnny Depp and who we choose to believe (USA TODAY, May 23)
- We Need to Talk About the Astounding Costs of Economic Abuse On Families (Parents, May 26)
- BBC Interview on Impact of Amber Heard and Johnny Depp Trial (BBC TV segment, June 2)
- A new digital tool that can help people in abusive relationships (Marketplace, June 15)
- Biden Signs Historic Gun Control Legislation Into Law—Despite Republican Insistence on Continuing Exemptions for Some Abusers (Ms. Magazine, June 22)
- Cell Phone Carriers Are Putting Domestic Violence Survivors At Risk. Here’s What To Know. (HuffPost, August 30)
- “It Was the End of the World as I Knew It” (Good Housekeeping, September 24)
- Domestic violence victim advocates on case uptick during pandemic (Washington Post Live, October 20)
- Homicide is Top Cause of Death During Pregnancy (Healthline, October 26)
- Abortion Rights Tops Biden To-Do List Even Without Congress (Bloomberg Law, November 14)
- NNEDV President & CEO Deborah J. Vagins Joins Wharton Business Daily to Discuss Giving Tuesday (SiriusXM radio segment, November 29)
NNEDV is grateful to the supporters and partners who make this work possible, and we look forward to another impactful year ahead. In the meantime, we invite you to sign up and stay involved in our mission to create a world where domestic violence no longer exists.