THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INSTITUTE
The Domestic Violence Institute (DVI) at Northeastern University School of Law is an education, service and research organization dedicated to combating partner abuse. DVI educates professionals in a variety of disciplines about violent relationships and about interventions that can make women and their children safer from violence. It provides advocacy services to women in abusive relationships, both in court and in a variety of community locations where they first turn for help. It engages in research dedicated to understanding violent relationships, understanding the strategies women use to cope with violence, understanding how the legal system has contributed to the problems faced by women in abusive relationships, and exploring the effectiveness of legal and other interventions. The Institute partners with legal agencies and institutions, medical providers and community advocacy organizations to develop a coordinated response to domestic violence. DVI also recognizes the civil legal needs of rape victims and its staff and students collaborate on projects with the Victim Rights Law Center and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Currently, the Institute is a partner in a campus-based sexual assault coalition at Northeastern University.
While DVI's efforts are concentrated in an inner-city community adjacent to the law school, its work has, in addition, a national focus. In its educational and service work, the goal is to develop model programs, replicable in other communities throughout the country. In our research we aim to contribute to national understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault, society's responses to it, and the development of more effective strategies to diminish the violence while supporting those affected by it.