At DC SAFE, survivors of domestic violence find a comprehensive, coordinated network of care – one that empowers them to achieve safety, stability, and freedom from fear. Through 24/7 bilingual services, survivors access critical information and referrals, as well as immediate direct support, such as lock changes, emergency transportation, and shelter placement. Within hours of a violent incident, families can move into apartment-style units, thanks to SAFE Space, a 24-hour emergency housing program. Advocates work closely with each client, helping them navigate next steps – filing civil protection orders, securing long-term housing, connecting with mental health care, and more. And for those at highest risk for re-assault or homicide, DC SAFE collaborates with numerous city agencies to ensure expedited support. Last year, more than 10,000 survivors accessed these life-saving services. You can make sure safety is always an option.

Covid-19 Update: DC SAFE has maintained 24/7 access to its crisis intervention services during the pandemic. Currently, all advocacy services are provided remotely, except for in-person support at the emergency shelter and on-call dispatches. National headlines have reported increased calls to domestic violence hotlines amidst COVID-19, and DC SAFE has felt this surge internally. Since the start of the pandemic, it has taken over 15,000 calls and supported nearly 5,000 unique survivors in navigating crisis services like housing resources, the justice system, and public benefits. As restrictions continue to be lifted, the expectation is that the surge will continue.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 4

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide

Age Groups Served: All

Population(s) Served: Women/Girls


  • Calls on the Response Line:  
    18,562, including 12,780 from March 1 to September 30.
  • Clients in crisis assisted:  
    7,284, including 4,877 (67%) during COVID-19 (March 1-September 30).
  • Emergency hotel placements:  
    369 (261 of which were made during COVID-19). This amounts to $68,141 in non-reimbursable funding being spent.
  • High Risk clients who received expedited services through our Lethality Assessment Project:   1111
  • Emergency services provided:  
    1050 emergency taxis/Uber rides; 235 emergency lock changes

Awards & Recognition

In October 2017, Our Founder and Executive Director, Ana Natalia Otero was recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement as an EXCEL Award recipient for her excellence in nonprofit leadership, and in 2018, she was selected for the highly selective Rubinger Fellowship through Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

In 2018, we received a community policing award from the Metropolitan Police Department recognizing our partnership in building the Domestic Violence Liaison Volunteer Program.

Natalia was named a recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 2020 Award.

In 2017, we acquired a property that will serve as the site for a brand new and permanent facility for SAFE Space. In August 2020, the Council of the District of Columbia awarded a $3M grant towards the project that has helped DC SAFE reach the final stage of the financing package for the building. Construction is set to begin in early 2021.

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