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About Us

Women In Distress is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full-service domestic violence center serving Broward County, Florida. Our mission is to stop domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education and advocacy.

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A Message from Our CEO

Welcome to the WID website, and thank you for your interest in our mission to stop domestic violence and abuse for everyone through education, intervention, and advocacy. As we approach our 50th year of service to our community, we are grateful to look back from where we started, and hopeful about the future ahead. When WID began in 1974, it was the first refuge for homeless women in Broward County and was only a modest four-bedroom home. As you will see while perusing this site, we have listened to the many needs of survivors, and have expanded services dramatically. WID has grown to be one of the largest and most multi-faceted domestic violence agencies in the country and I am proud to work alongside our outstanding volunteer Boards of Directors and Trustees, donors, corporate sponsors, and community members to guide WID to even greater levels of service as we look to our next 50 years!

We’re determined to empower survivors to take back control of their lives, and we’re thrilled to unveil our new website and branding to amplify this message. We believe in the tenacious power of survivors. Our theme is a call to action, an anthem of resilience: “Reclaim Your Power.” “Reclaim Your Power” is more than a slogan, it’s a promise. It’s a promise to survivors that they can shatter the illusions their abusers imposed upon them and rise above adversity, rebuild their lives, and create a brighter future. But we can’t do it alone. We invite you to be part of this transformative movement. Will you join us?

Our History

In January 2023, thanks to the Topfer Family Foundation’s generous funding WID expanded the respite center into a professionally staffed Children’s Enrichment Center that offers no cost, dependable childcare at our secure campus. The Children’s Enrichment Center fills a gap where childcare resources in Broward County fall short and enable the low-income parents we serve to go to work or seek work without worrying about the safety of their children.
In November 2021, in an effort to support statewide efforts, Women In Distress was awarded the contract for statewide services with two other centers, to form the FLDVC or the Collaborative. Women In Distress is responsible for the statewide hotline, while the partners do technical assistance, training, and the Injunction for Protection project.
October 2018, WID began accepting the pets of domestic violence survivors at our newly opened Pet Shelter. Operated in partnership with the Humane Society of Broward County (HSBC), this is a first of its kind collaboration between a domestic violence shelter and a local Humane Society in the country. The pet shelter houses up to 10 cats and 10 dogs for survivors fleeing abusive relationships. Services for the shelter, provided for free by HSBC, include free spay and neutering, vaccinations, a quarantine area for new animals, and housing cubicles for pets.

Career Opportunities

Join our team and help change lives today.

Board of Directors

Sean Riley
Chair, UBS Financial Services
Amanda Pires
First Vice Chair, Wells Fargo Bank
Angela Kelsey
Second Vice Chair, The Kelsey Group
Carla Lowry Esq.
Secretary, Lowry at Law
Drew Saito
Treasurer, Locality Bank
Billie Grieb
Past Chair, Community Volunteer
Phyllis Thomas
The Thomas Family Foundation
Mona L. Bentz
The Northern Trust
Marilyn Camerota
Memorial Healthcare
Michelle Claverol
BBX Capital
Stephanie J. Coker
Broward Sheriff’s Office
Linda Garrett
Community Volunteer
Paul Leikert
Julissa Merette, BS, MAA
Broward Health
Beatriz “BJ” Prillaman
Community Volunteer
Marla Schaefer
Sarabi Family Office
Jill A. Wallace-Ross, D.O.
Nova Southeastern University

Executive Team

Linda L. Parker, Ph.D
Women In Distress, President & CEO
Shena Kitt
Chief Operating Officer
Vanessa Bongiomo
Chief Financial Officer
Jeffrey Metcalf
Chief Development Officer
Juliana Chereji Dunn, Esq.
IFP Program Director
Diane Penha-Smith
Human Resources Director

Board of Trustees

Beatriz “BJ” Prillaman
Chair, Community Volunteer
Richard Bernstein
Broward College
Anne Chervony
Risk Management Services, LLC.
Joanne Gaines
Centennial Bank
Kathleen Grace
Fiduciary Family Office, LLC
Lois Herman
Community Volunteer
Cynthia Imperato
CGI Consultants
Emily Jaffe
Rewards Network
Lindsay Malpica
Posh Homes Team
Karen Sylvester
JM Family Enterprises
Judith Thiel
Josette Van Putten
Community Volunteer

COA Accreditation

Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. (WID) is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County. This means that The Council on Accreditation (COA) has verified that WID consistently operates with integrity, credibility and the utmost level of quality. The accreditation process takes place every four years. WID participates in a detailed review and analysis of the administrative operations and service delivery against national standards of best practice.

COA is an independent accreditor of the full continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations in the United States and Canada, and is one of the three leading accreditors of such service providers. COA is widely recognized by states and national organizations as an accrediting body with the capacity, scope, and ability to contribute significantly to the improvement of the behavioral health and social service delivery systems. Originally known as an accrediting body for family and children’s agencies, COA has earned public recognition from mental health and substance abuse organizations as well.


Our Financials

Each year WID undergoes numerous finance monitorings and an annual audit conducted by an independent auditing firm. Our finance team works diligently to ensure accuracy and transparency in everything we do.

4 Star Charity Navigator Rating

We are proud to announce Women In Distress has earned for the fourth consecutive year the coveted Charity Navigator 4-star Rating recognizing our exceptional commitment to accountability and for executing our mission in a financially efficient way.

Our Impact Partners

24-Hr Crisis Hotline: 954.761.1133 | 711 TDD/TYY for Florida Relay Telecommunications Services
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