Quick Exit

What is domestic violence and teen dating violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of escalating abusive, controlling and violent behavior towards a partner in an intimate relationship. The behavior can take many forms, from verbal abuse to threats, isolating the victim from family and friends, intimidation, financial control, sexual violence, physical violence, stalking, damaging property, or threatening to harm the victim’s family members, children or pets.

Dating violence involves a pattern of destructive behavior used to exert control and power over a dating partner. As with domestic violence, the abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, or financial.


Support & Programs

SafeLink Hotline

SafeLink is Massachusetts’ statewide 24/7 toll-free domestic violence hotline operated by Casa Myrna. SafeLink hotline advocates are multilingual, and all calls to SafeLink are free, confidential and anonymous. Anyone can call us for information, support and resources at 1-877-785-2020.

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Residential Programs

All of our residential programs are home-like environments in which each woman has her own bedroom which she shares with her child or children. Kitchens, bathrooms, living space, and dining areas are communal areas shared by all the women living in the house.

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Community Advocacy

Our bilingual Spanish/English Community Advocacy Specialists are available at sites throughout Boston to meet with survivors and their supports.

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Legal Advocacy

The Legal Advocacy Program seeks to address the unmet legal needs of victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. Attorneys and a paralegal work with survivors who, due to linguistic, cultural, and economic barriers, would not be able to access representation through normal channels.

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Housing Advocacy

Bilingual Spanish-English Housing Specialists work with survivors who have been made homeless by domestic violence, are at risk of homelessness or need to find alternative housing options due to ongoing violence in their homes.

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Counseling

The Counseling Services team provides individual counseling and support groups for adult and youth survivors of domestic violence, as well as referrals to specialized counseling services in the community.

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Economic Stability

Our bilingual Economic Stability Specialist works with survivors as they set and pursue educational, vocational, and employment goals.

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Children’s Services

The Children’s Services team works with children in our housing program and living in the community. Children’s Services Specialists provide trauma informed child care and play groups, ensure children are connected to health and wellness resources, and support parents as they advocate for their children.

Contact (617) 521-0116 to connect to a Children’s Services Specialist.

Mary Lawson Foreman Emergency Program

Named for outspoken and passionate community activist Mary Foreman who was murdered in 1971, Casa Myrna’s emergency shelter can accommodate up to 10 survivors and 13 children who have been made homeless by domestic violence. While in the program, survivors and their families have access to all of Casa Myrna’s supportive services. After completing initial assessments, survivors work staff and community-based service providers to plan their next steps towards safety, permanent housing and economic stability.

Teen Parenting Program (TPP)

TPP is a residential program for young parents and their children who are homeless due to domestic and/or family violence. TPP accommodates up to 8 survivors and 13 children each night. While at TTP, parents receive intensive education in parenting their young children, attend high school or GED classes, enroll in vocational or job-skills training programs, and participate in nightly group meetings on topics ranging from building meaningful self-esteem to the dynamics of abusive relationships.

Each night, Casa Myrna can shelter up to 24 survivors and 35 children.

Transitional Living Program (TLP)

Casa Myrna’s TLP provides longer-term housing for 6 women and up to 9 children. Most participants have already lived in one emergency shelter, and are now working to secure permanent housing, improve their professional skills, and solidify the gains they have made that will sustain futures free of violence and abuse. A typical length of stay is 12—14 months, though survivors can stay for 18 months and occasionally longer if they are close to finding permanent housing.

Awareness & Social Change

Education, Prevention, and Awareness

Our education and outreach programs and materials are a resource for schools, colleges, after-school programs, community centers, places of worship, businesses and workplaces that want to educate their community members about domestic and dating violence.

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EVA Center

The EVA Center, a project of Casa Myrna, is a survivor led-social justice oriented program whose mission is to end all forms of prostitution and sex trafficking by changing lives, challenging public perceptions as well as addressing the situational factors contributing to the entry of women and girls into the sex trade.

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Survivor Leadership and Speakers’ Bureau

We are currently building our capacity to create a survivor leadership council and speakers’ bureau.

In the meantime, if you would like to request a speaker for an event or workshop, please contact us at outreach@casamyrna.org.

Youth Peer Leadership

Over the past year, Casa Myrna has increased our capacity to support youth survivors of domestic and dating violence. In Summer 2017, we will kick off a peer leader program where youth will teach others about healthy relationships and dating and domestic violence.

If you are a young person interested in becoming a peer leader, contact us at (857) 265-0980 or at outreach@casamyrna.org.

In the meantime, if you would like to have youth provide training on healthy relationships and dating violence, contact our partners at the Start Strong program (a program of the City of Boston Public Health Commission).

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Safety Planning

Safety Planning is a “harm reduction” strategy through which survivors empower themselves. They consider and make plans for their safety whether they are in or out of an abusive relationship or are thinking about leaving. This enables a  survivor to think about possibilities for staying safe on a daily basis. Safety planning is very important because most surivors have some kind of relationship with their abuser, particularly if they live, work or worship in the same community or have children together. Each person should develop a safety plan that is tailored to their unique situation. 

For help developing a safety plan, call SafeLink at 1-877-785-2020.

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Technology Safety

Regardless of whether you are currently in an abusive relationship, abusers are controlling and will often attempt to monitor your activities, including your phone, computer, email or social media accounts. If you think your online usage is being monitored, there are concrete steps you can take to protect yourself and your privacy.

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Additional Resources


We believe that every relationship should be safe and healthy. What do you believe?