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Celebrate Our 30 Years With a Donation

August 2017


Dear Friend,

Thirty years! I’m so proud that together you and I can celebrate the 30th anniversary of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. Over the past three decades, we have provided critical assistance to thousands of victims of battering who have been charged with crimes. And we could not have done it without the generous support of people like you.

But I must tell you that along with great pride in what we have achieved, I know that we still have our work cut out for us. The needs of charged, incarcerated, and reentering victims of battering have not diminished, and the challenges they face continue to grow.

Please take a moment today and consider making a special gift in honor of our 30th anniversary. Your generous contribution can make it possible for us to do even more in this upcoming year to meet the needs of victims who are often left behind.


When we founded the National Clearinghouse in 1987 the movement against domestic violence was relatively new but beginning to gather steam all over the country. But almost no programs assisted abused women facing criminal charges or serving time in prison. We saw that these women were being doubly victimized—first battered in their own homes and then by the criminal legal system that offered them little protection or understanding—and we realized we had do whatever we could to help.

How do we help? We provide intensive, specialized case-specific consultations with defense team members such as defense attorneys, battered women’s advocates, expert witnesses, and others working with victims of battering charged with crimes. We maintain an expert witness databank and a comprehensive library, and we develop resources aimed at promoting justice for battered defendants. We continue to work to change the culture through all our activities; we aim to help practitioners and communities develop creative and innovative interventions for charged, incarcerated, and reentering victims of battering.

We also work directly with charged, incarcerated, and reentering victims of battering and members of their families.  We get calls from women who were just recently arrested and also correspond with almost 1,000 incarcerated victims of battering, many of whom are serving very long prison terms. For many of these women, staff members from our office are the first people they have spoken to who understand that people can be both victims and defendants.

Your gift in honor of our 30th anniversary will allow us to continue our critical work of assisting some of the most vulnerable victims of abuse: those victimized by violent partners and by the justice system itself.

We’ve definitely made a lot of progress over the years, yet we continue to hear from far too many victims who call the police seeking protection from a violent partner, only to find themselves under arrest. We still hear stories about prosecutors, police, and judges who “just don’t get it.” Even today, some defense attorneys remain unclear about how best to incorporate an abuse history into a defense and some community-based advocates won’t provide services to abuse victims once they are arrested. 

Our work wasn’t easy when we first started back in 1987; nor is it easy today. When we opened our doors 30 years ago, we walked into unknown territory, and we faced many challenges and pushbacks, but still we persisted. Thanks to the hard work of our tiny staff and the help of loyal supporters like you, we have responded to approximately 45,000 requests for information and assistance over the years.

As Debbie Lee says (to the right), she made a substantial contribution honoring our 30th anniversary and she challenges you to do the same. Please take a moment to honor the National Clearinghouse’s three decades of work by making a contribution today.

I hope you will join in our celebration and help ensure that our work continues for another 30 years. Please give what you can today.

You can donate by clicking

Thank you very much.



Sue Osthoff


I’d like to encourage you to make a generous donation to this extremely important organization. For the past 30 years, Sue and her coworkers have persevered and worked tirelessly to advocate for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities. Many thanks to the National Clearinghouse for their unwavering dedication and support of all the victims of battering nationwide who are facing criminal charges or are behind bars.

Let’s mark this important anniversary. I made (what is for me) a substantial contribution. I’d like to challenge you to do the same. Please make a gift today honoring the National Clearinghouse’s first 30 years of working for justice.

—Debbie Lee, Senior Vice President,
Futures Without Violence
San Francisco

I often find myself feeling that I cannot make a difference. But the National Clearinghouse has made it a point to prove each and every effort that each and every person makes does make a difference. My family seems to forget I am here. The National Clearinghouse never forgets me or many other incarcerated women. When I do not receive cards from some family and friends for Christmas, the National Clearinghouse remembers me.


The National Clearinghouse has encouraged and supported me over the years; they truly are an inspiration to me. Their cards, letters, and newsletters have helped me and taught me so much. Domestic violence is what put me in prison and, ironically, it is what keeps me motivated. Working to end it is my ambition, my goal. Women need places like the National Clearinghouse for many reasons. Please continue to support their efforts. Lives are on the line!


—Jennifer, incarcerated in Louisiana

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