What Makes REACH Different
REACH is a unique service provider. While some domestic violence agencies only provide shelter or transitional living services, REACH accompanies domestic violence survivors on every step of their journey, and also works to prevent future violence.
Our range of services allows REACH to work with people whether they are homeless and need shelter or whether they have a place to stay but need to increase their safety and independence. Our broad community-based advocacy services allow REACH to help survivors whatever their situation is, and to help far more survivors than we could through shelter alone. We help all domestic violence survivors, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, if they have left their abuser or not, and with no bias toward cultural background, race, religion, ability, age, education or socioeconomic status. Our Latinas Know Your Rights program, a collaboration with Greater Boston Legal Services, builds capacity within the Waltham Latina community by training participants to become community activists, educate others and break systemic barriers that immigrant female domestic violence survivors face in accessing their rights. Additionally, our innovative Hope Project looks at how domestic violence intersects with mental health, substance abuse, and transactional sex, and provides training to other service providers on how to support survivors with varied experiences.
REACH is a member of the Full Frame Initiative’s Domestic and Sexual Violence (DSV) Cohort Demonstration Project. This Project is a multi-year endeavor bringing together 10 exemplary DSV organizations and a number of allies from across the country as a learning and action community. Together we will intentionally orient our work around the Five Domains of Wellbeing in order to reflect and support the “full frame” of survivors’ lives. This project will also pilot and refine participant assessment, tracking and outcome measure tools focused on the Five Domains of Wellbeing; evaluate the impact of the shift to a full frame approach on organizations and for survivors; and generate data about what works in helping survivors facing complex challenges. In May 2014 FFI released a report of the DSV Cohort’s work and our collective call to action, to move the DSV field from services to reclaim our roots in social change and social justice.
REACH offers supportive services from a trauma-informed, relational model. What does that mean? Simply that our staff members provide a consistent presence in a survivor’s life, accompanying them to doctors’ visits, court dates, and other appointments necessary to rebuild their lives. We do this while paying special attention to the effects of trauma that each survivor has experienced, and how that influences their choices, coping skills, and emotional health.
In addition to helping those who have experienced abuse, REACH is actively working in the community to prevent future violence. By building community capacity to understand, talk about and address dating and domestic violence while also developing locally based solutions, we let survivors know they are not alone and we help stop future violence from occurring.