Holiday End of Year Campaign

Women In Distress

Holidays, Children, and Domestic Violence

Women In Distress experiences a spike in calls for help during the holiday season. What often gets lost in the shuffle are the children. An estimated 15.5 million children in the United States live in families where they have witnessed domestic violence at least once in a year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence has occurred. 

Children exposed to family violence often suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, are at a greater risk for medical issues than their peers, and have an increased risk of aggressive, anxious, depressed or hyperactive behavior.

In Broward County and South Florida, Women In Distress is the support system for domestic violence abuse survivors and their children and provides all services to survivors and their children at no charge.

As the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County and South Florida, the center provides programs for children of domestic violence survivors such as family therapy for infants and toddlers to help with issues like extreme tantrums, play and art therapy to help children solve problems without violence, and education and outreach where children learn what a healthy relationship looks like.

If you suspect a child or family is experiencing domestic violence abuse, discreetly pass along our 24-Hour Crisis Hotline information so the survivor can safely secure services for themselves and their children. The Crisis Hotline can be reached any time of day or night at 954-761-1133.


A Message from Mary Riedel, President and CEO


Dear Friends,

In this season of lights and celebrations, this is a perfect time to reflect and be grateful for all that this eventful year has brought us.

First and foremost, we are grateful to you – our generous supporters who made it possible for Women In Distress to serve more than 3,000 women, men and children who are survivors of domestic violence giving them hope for a life free of fear and hurt.

Among the highlights this year was adding a Pet Shelter to our services so that survivors can escape abuse knowing that their pets are part of the family and can be safe too.

Women In Distress was honored to be one of the organizations receiving a special grant from The Jim Moran Foundation in honor of what would have been Mr. Moran’s 100th birthday.

Our work is about things large and small. Like the child getting a new backpack for school; the family getting a basket of food for Thanksgiving; kids getting toys for their birthday and Christmas; having a bed for the first time; enjoying a quiet moment; sleeping through the night without nightmares.

In our mission to stop domestic violence abuse, Women In Distress

  • Provided 33,000 nights of safe shelter
  • Answered nearly 27,000 Crisis Hotline calls
  • Delivered more than 22,00 hours of counseling and therapy for survivors and their children
  • Empowered 500 survivors with career counseling, school and workplace skills, training for jobs, technology and financial literacy
  • Provided Injunction-for-Protection and legal guidance to more than 500 survivors seeking help from the courts
  • Became part of the new self-help center at the Broward main courthouse

These are big numbers and the most important number is one. Changing and saving one life at a time. Moving away from violence. Getting a new start equipped with skills, confidence and hope.

You are our partner in this work as you donate your time, your dollars, your leadership, your voice speaking out against abuse in all its forms.

In the spirit of giving back, thank you for joining with us and making our community a safer place for all.


With many thanks,