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About DVSN

Our History

In the fall of 1998, the Concord Police Department in partnership with the Acton Police Department founded DVVAP (Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program). In July 2000, DVVAP was incorporated as Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc. (DVSN) an inter-community umbrella organization dedicated to collaborating with local community agencies to serve the unique needs of the Central Middlesex area. Requests to become part of the DVSN coalition grew:

  • Concord and Acton Police Departments — 1998-99
  • Maynard Police Department — 2000
  • Carlisle Police Department — 2001
  • Bedford, Lincoln and Stow Police Departments — 2002
  • Hanscom Security Forces — 2005
  • Boxborough Police Department 2007
  • Wayland and Lexington Police Departments — 2008
  • Sudbury Police Department — 2014
  • Weston Police Department — 2016

In 2004, DVSN launched two new services: the Court Support Project (CSP) and Lawyer for a Day (LFAD) — providing support services to those seeking restraining orders in Concord District Court and a free one-time legal consultation to those investigating or seeking separation from an abusive partner.

A new, high-risk team, implemented by DVSN-DVVAP in 2012, works closely with Concord District Court officials and the nine police departments in its jurisdiction, to monitor exhibiting high risk factors for lethality.

In February 1999, DVSN-DVVAP graduated its first class of volunteers to advocate for victims of domestic violence. Today, more than 75 volunteer advocates provide early crisis intervention and support, which include assisting victims with safety planning, providing information and referrals for community resources, and meeting with them personally at a safe place to complete applications for civil restraining orders. Since this first training class, DVSN has equipped nearly 550 community members with the skills necessary to advocate for victims of domestic violence as well as over 130 law enforcement personnel who develop a better understanding of the complex and multi-layer dynamics of DV and of the immense pressures on DV victims to stay with their abusers.