While the public often wonders why women don’t leave abusive partners, the answer can often be as simple as “And where would they go?” Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

According to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, they received  31,815 domestic violence-related calls in 2013, approximately 1 every 17 minutes. Almost two-thirds of adult women in DC (approximately 104,000) have experienced physical assault, sexual assault, or stalking at some point in their lifetime. For almost a third of homeless women in DC, violence was the cause of their homelessness or housing instability and in 2017, over a quarter of homeless adults in families reported a history of domestic violence. Even though D.C. has one of the highest costs of living, many are too poor to move elsewhere.

How we help

Since its inception in 2014, The Anchor Fund has made more than 800 individual grants to women and their children totaling $300,000. These grants can determine whether a survivor escapes her abuser, gains safe haven or can provide for her children. 

We do not work directly with survivors. All of the women we help are referred to us by other domestic violence organizations in the D.C. metropolitan area, and are therefore vetted by a lawyer, social worker, or client advocate.  Together, with our partners we assess the clients' needs and the best way to meet them.


Client Stories

While Catherine dreams of becoming a nurse, she needed help to get a new apartment for herself and her children after escaping her abuser. The Anchor Fund was able to pay the security deposit so she could continue working and go back to school.

Read more client stories.

A lot of times we say, why does she stay? Why do they stay? we know from our work that the number-one reason people stay is because they don’t feel like they have the tools to go. And all of us, rather than shaming and blaming, can use our resources to lend a hand to people who don’t have access to that information to be able to transform their lives.
— Kerry Washington, Actor and Ambassador for the Allstate Purple Purse Campaign

partner Organizations