NRCDV Logo
  • Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
  • Runaway & Homeless Youth Toolkit
  • Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
  • Violence Against Women Resource Library
  • Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Project
  • Building Comprehensive Solutions
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Making Shelters Accessible to All

Shelters must be accessible to all, but many shelters may not even be aware that certain populations cannot access their services. This section aims to help DV advocates change or enhance their services so that any survivor who is in need of a safe space feels that they are welcome and that the services and supports that are provided are culturally relevant. Differences of race, ethnicity, citizenship status, age, language, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation should not be obstacles to receiving high quality services.

"Advocacy with and support services for women who are dealing with domestic violence needs to be better connected to advocacy and organizing against other oppressions." - Action for Social Change (NRCDV, 2005)

Communities of Color
Visit the Culturally-Specific Institutes and Resource Centers of the Domestic Violence Resource Network for specialized resources, training, and technical assistance for meeting the needs of Indigenous, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latin@, and African American survivors of domestic violence.

Each of the Culturally-Specific Institutes of the Domestic Violence Resource Network are funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to inform and strengthen domestic violence intervention and prevention efforts at the individual, community, and societal levels.


"...The intersection of racial discrimination and economic inequity created obstacles that often inhibit the ability of women of color to access domestic violence services. Often, distorted societal images of women from marginalized groups create another layer of complexity when victims of domestic violence seek help." - New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women, 2006

Immigrants and Refugees

"Although domestic violence victims share common experiences with violence, the psychological, emotional, emotional, spiritual, economic, legal and social service needs of victims vary from culture to culture. We can only offer effective assistance to an abuse victim if we address her needs in her own cultural context and tailor relief to meet her needs." - Legal Momentum, 1998

Older Adults

"Older victims may be abused by intimate partners, adult children, grandchildren or other family members, caregivers or others in positions of authority. In a majority of cases, the perpetrator is the victim’s family member, most often an intimate partner" (Acierno et al., 2009Lifespan of Greater Rochester, 2011).

People with Disabilities

"If there is such a high rate of violence against persons with disabilities, why is the rate of domestic violence services to those individuals so low?" - Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, June 2003


AllAreWelcome-300x198.pngThe NRCDV Access Initiative: Documenting our progress towards greater accessibility
The Access Initiative represented NRCDV’s organizational commitment to accessibly and individuals with disabilities. This resource page describes the story of the Access Initiative, offers definitions of key terms, provides an overview of our key activities and accomplishments, and offers lessons learned and recommendations

Language Access

apiidv.jpgThe Language Access & Interpretation Project of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence offers a comprehensive resource guide and free technical assistance and training through their Interpretation Technical Assistance & Resource Center (ITARC).

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans-Identifying Survivors

"The myth that partner abuse does not occur in LGBTQ communities can cause LGBTQ survivors to question their experiences and may deter them from seeking services. Domestic violence programs can contradict this myth and validate LGBTQ survivors' experiences by becoming inclusive of LGBTQ survivors and providing services and outreach that raise awareness about abuse in LGBTQ communities." The Network/La Red, 2011