Our History

For 40 years, REACH has been working with survivors of domestic violence
and within our communities to create lasting change.

REACH began in 1981 as the Waltham Battered Women’s Support Committee, when a group of women in Boston’s western suburbs saw a need for more services that address the needs of women in abusive relationships. What started as an all-volunteer shelter and hotline has grown into a multiservice agency that helps more than 8,000 people a year. Ours was one of the first shelters in Massachusetts to accept male survivors, parents with teenage sons, and LGBTQ survivors.

Rear view image of young couple walking with the pride event, hugging and waving pride flags
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In 2005, we founded the Peers Against Violence Educators (PAVE) program, one of the first teen dating violence prevention initiatives in the state. In 2010, we doubled our shelter capacity and added a full-time youth specialist to our prevention program. October 2017 saw us move into new office space, a warm, light-filled, welcoming environment for survivors and staff with confidential meeting rooms, a supervised play space for children while their parents are meeting with advocates, and room to hold our trainings in-house.

In 2018, we adopted a three-year strategic plan with four integrally connected priority areas: develop more robust prevention and community engagement strategies, increase the number and scope of our partnerships and collaborations, create changes that we want to see in the field by increasing our staffing resources, and ensure that our future is bright by strengthening our financial sustainability.

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