In domestic violence trials, an alarming number of battered women lose custody of their children or are forced to share custody with an abusive parent. Tragically, these developments can prove fatal – and they are just some examples of the many injustices survivors experience in the courts. DV LEAP helps overturn unjust trial outcomes, assisting survivors in custody battles, civil protection order cases, and cases in which domestic violence has affected their housing, employment, and more. Its flagship program, DC LEAP, provides consultations to DC-area victims and attorneys, strategizing with them about the potential for appeal, conducting legal research, and preparing a strong record for trial. Then, if needed, DV LEAP finds pro bono co-counsel, helps to represent the victim, and presents its recommendations to the court. Meanwhile, trainings for DC judges, lawyers, and advocates strengthen our community’s response to domestic abuse. With numerous successful appeals (and participation in 10 Supreme Court cases), DV LEAP has empowered thousands of survivors to live free from violence. Restoring justice is a noble mission … and one you can support.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Statewide; VA-Statewide

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Adult (25-49)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Women/Girls

Awards & Recognition

Sunshine Peace Award (Sunshine Lady Foundation)


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Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP) is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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