New Hope’s Mission and Vision
New Hope works throughout Massachusetts to build an anti-violence movement to end sexual and domestic violence. We seek to create communities free from violence, where individuals and families are able to achieve their full human potential. As an organization dedicated to social justice, New Hope encompasses a way of seeing, naming, understanding, and acting aimed at addressing inequality and oppression across society. Our vision is a simple one, “Every person has the right to live a life free of violence and exploitation.”
New Hope is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving domestic and sexual violence survivors. Since domestic and sexual violence are often intertwined, our clients benefit from the full spectrum of programs we offer, allowing them to receive domestic and sexual violence services in one place. We offer a wide range of services which combine crisis intervention, violence prevention, life transition and self-sufficiency opportunities, while promoting behavioral and systemic changes to reduce violence at the individual and community levels.
In 2016 we completed a 5-year strategic plan that focuses on (1) increasing services to those who have been traditionally underserved, (2) increasing our primary prevention services, and (3) increasing our collaborations to more effectively serve those who are most vulnerable. For more information on our strategic plan, click here.
History of New Hope
New Hope’s story began in 1979 when Edith Palmer, an Attleboro, Massachusetts, resident, and a small group of individuals realized that domestic violence was a huge yet largely silent problem in their community. At the time that New Hope was founded over three decades ago, resources and support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence were virtually nonexistent, leaving them with nowhere to turn for help. Recognizing a need, Palmer and her small group of volunteers started an emergency hotline for survivors, taking turns answering calls in their homes that had been forwarded by the Attleboro Police Department. During its first year, this 24-hour hotline, staffed entirely by volunteers, responded to over 500 calls from women in the greater Attleboro area.
Seeing the overwhelming need that existed in the community, just one year later, the newly-formed New Hope opened an emergency shelter for battered women and their children. Two years after its founding, in 1981, New Hope opened its first outreach office in Attleboro, expanding its support services and adding court advocacy to provide survivors of domestic violence with additional protections they needed to become safe. Over the years, New Hope also expanded its service area to include other towns beyond its origins in Attleboro.
The scope and geography of New Hope’s services continued to grow, and in 1984, the mission was expanded to include services to survivors of sexual violence. However, the New Hope staff soon realized that in order to truly end domestic and sexual violence, they would need to work not only with adult survivors, but also with child survivors, child witnesses, perpetrators, and the public in order to fully break the cycle of violence for future generations.
Today, New Hope serves 41 communities throughout South-Central and Southeastern Massachusetts, and addresses domestic and sexual violence at every level of the family unit and with every segment of the population, including survivors, witnesses, perpetrators, bystanders, community groups, faith-based organizations, businesses, the judicial, medical and law enforcement systems, as well as the larger community.
What Makes New Hope Unique
New Hope is quite unique in how broadly we work with all segments of the population and all aspects of the cycle of violence. We are different because we are:
- A dual mission agency, addressing both domestic and sexual violence
- Addressing domestic and sexual violence from both sides of the cycle of violence – we work with survivors and perpetrators to deal with the root cause and after-effects of violence
- Open to all victims of domestic and sexual violence, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, socioeconomic status or education level
- Working with other systems and segments of society who are affected by, or who can assist in, ending domestic and sexual violence in our community
- Working at the intersection of poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and oppression, as we know that domestic and sexual violence do not happen in a vacuum, but rather intersect with these societal issues.
Why is this important?
Anyone can become a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Domestic and sexual violence cross all boundaries, including: gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, socioeconomic status and education level. As we have engaged with survivors, we have come to the recognition that domestic and sexual violence do not happen in isolation. The result of such a lens has great implications for our work. We no longer can simply respond to violence after it happens. We must engage the broader community, as domestic and sexual violence are public health issues. As such ending interpersonal violence requires intervention on individual, family and community level. Finally such an approach requires that we examine the impact of larger systems and how such systems allow interpersonal violence to continue and institutionalize such violence.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and
try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.”