For those charged with a crime
If you or someone you know — a friend or family member perhaps — is a victim of battering who is charged with a crime related to their experiences of abuse, you can call the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women (NCDBW) to see how they might assist. NCDBW does not provide direct representation or legal advice, nor do they provide financial assistance. In other words, NCDBW will not be able to be your or your friend/family member’s defense attorney nor will they be able to provide money to hire one.
NCDBW works primarily with defense attorneys and other members of the defense team by providing information and technical assistance — at any stage of the legal process (pre-trial, when the case is on appeal, and, in limited circumstances, during post-conviction proceedings) in an effort to increase the likelihood of a better — and more just — outcome.
The best way to contact the National Clearinghouse is by phone. If you have the defense attorney's name and telephone number when you call, that is always helpful. Please call either 215/763-1144 or 800/903-0111, ext. 3. Both numbers will get you to the same place (NCDBW’s main line). NCDBW is located in Philadelphia, PA and is open Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm eastern time. Please note that NCDBW only has 3 full-time staff members, so it sometimes takes a little time to return phone calls. Staff works hard to return calls quickly.
Many people charged with crimes have experienced, or are currently experiencing, abuse by their intimate partners. However, raising a defendant’s experiences of abuse in court is not always useful, advisable, and/or permissible in every case. Whether it would be appropriate and/or helpful to incorporate your experiences of abuse as part of your legal case is a determination your defense attorney should make.
We suggest you let your attorney know about the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and the services we offer. We have developed a short piece (available by clicking below) to give to your attorney; we hope it will provide him or her with relevant information about our organization.
If you are a defendant deciding whether to take a plea bargain, you may have lots of questions. This piece (available by clicking below) includes questions you may want to ask your defense attorney.