Reprinted by LSCCI with permission of Women's Support Services

Women's Support Services

Provides 24-hour assistance to victim/survivors of incest, rape and domestic violence

Women's Support Services
Martha's Vineyard Community Services
P.O. Box 369
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

Office: 508-693-7900
24 hr hotline: 508-696-SAFE (7233)

Logo courtesy of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

South Shore
Women's Center

Women's Center

Ending and Preventing Violence
Women’s Support Services is dedicated to creating a safe, supportive environment in which women can heal an grow.


are committed to creating social change through confronting issues of domestic violence and sexual assault through educating the community about all aspects of abuse.


support the right of each woman to control her life and her choices.


affirm the rights and dignity of each woman regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age economic status or physical and mental challenges.


are committed to the ongoing struggle to end violence against women.

"A strong woman is a woman
who loves strongly
and weeps strongly
and is strongly terrified and
has strong needs."
-Marge Piercy
W.S.S is a program of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, Inc.

Funding is provided by the Mass. Dept. of Social Services, the Mass. Office for Victim Assistance, and by private contributions.

What Is Abuse?
Domestic violence is a general term used to describe abusive acts within an intimate relationship including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and destructive acts. Some forms of abuse are serious offenses which can be prosecuted; others are behaviors that no one should have to live with. Your partner has no right to his you, threaten you or to destroy your possessions. Domestic violence is a crime in Massachusetts.

Sexual assault and sexual abuse are terms that refer to rape, incest, attempted rape, unwanted touch, or sexual contact without consent.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are acts of violence, power, and control. Victims can be of any age, race, sex, religion or economic status. If you are a victim, is was not your fault. You are not alone.

Protecting Your Rights
The ABUSE PREVENTION ACT (209A) protects you and your right to a life free from abuse.

If you are threatened with abuse or you are in an abusive situation, you can go to court and receive:
  • Temporary Restraining Order
  • Temporary Vacate Order
  • Temporary Custody Order
  • Temporary Support Order
  • Compensation for expenses due to the abuse

For more information or assistance with obtaining the 290A Petition, call 693-7900

Services Available:

Emergency Shelter
A network of safe-homes for women and their children who are in danger

Crisis Intervention
Information, crisis counseling and emergency services are available on a 24-hour basis by calling 696-SAFE.

Assistance to regain self-esteem and control over your life. Individual counseling is available for you.

Court Advocacy
Provide information of the Abuse Prevention Act, Rape statutes. An advocate can accompany you to court and provide other legal information.

Support Groups

Community Education

Referral Services

Volunteer Opportunities

If you want to help end domestic violence and sexual abuse, there are volunteer opportunities at W.S.S. For information about volunteering call 693-7900
All Services Are Confidential and Free

Everyone Can Help End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

If you are or have been abused, you are not alone. Many people care about you.

Help is available. Call us.

Office:696-SAFE (696-7233)

If you know someone who may need help, it is important to offer support. Let her know what serviced are available.

Facts You Should Know
…All kinds of families experience abuse. It cuts across all economic classes and ethnic backgrounds.

…Without intervention, violent episodes become more frequent and severe resulting in serious injury. Children who are raised in violent homes tend to learn to use violence as a means of settling disagreements, thus perpetuation a cycle of violence.

…According to FBI statistics, one in four females and one in seven males are sexually abused before the age of 18. There is no typical victim-women, children and men are assaulted. Rape is not sexually motivated; it is a crime of violence. Victims are assaulted because of their vulnerability, not their attractiveness.

…Every six minutes a woman is raped.

…Every 15 seconds a woman is battered.

…In Massachusetts a woman dies every 10 days because of domestic violence.

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