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When to Call Us

If, in the course of your work, you come in contact with a victim of battering charged with a crime (who might be facing trial or considering a plea, going through a trial, waiting to be sentenced, or whose case is on appeal) or a victim of battering who is in jail or prison, please contact the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women.


The National Clearinghouse provides specialized technical assistance and other resources to defense teams across the nation. Most frequently, we assist victims of battering who have

  • defended themselves and/or their children against their batterer’s violence and been charged with assault or homicide;

  • been coerced into criminal activity;

  • charged with a crime for allegedly "failing to protect" their children from their batterer's violence;

  • charged with kidnapping or custodial interference for fleeing to protect themselves and/or their children.


Our legal team works directly with defense attorneys, expert witnesses, battered women’s advocates, and the defendant herself. We assist defense teams throughout the criminal legal process, from pre-trial preparation through the appeal,

  • identifying defense strategies,

  • providing relevant case law and sample litigation materials,

  • locating skilled expert witnesses if needed, and helping to identify support networks for victims of battering who are facing trial or going through the appeals process.

We do not provide legal representation or give legal advice to individuals.


The staff of the National Clearinghouse, which includes three full-time staff members and other part-time consultants, will work with you to assess the situation and determine how we might be of assistance.


The National Clearinghouse accepts collect calls from incarcerated individuals at 215/763-1144.

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