As we move closer to the holiday season, it is a time to reflect on the things in our life that we are grateful for including our families, friends, and the warmth of a home. Unfortunately, many families are struggling this season, and having a happy holiday season is not always a reality. That’s why this month we are spotlighting HAWC – Healing Abuse Working for Change, a leading domestic violence agency in Massachusetts. 

What is HAWC? 

HAWC serves over 2,500 North Shore families every year. The ultimate goal of this agency is to to help abused women, children, men, and non-binary people live free from violence and fear. They do this through essential services such as: a domestic violence helpline, emergency shelters, legal services, advocacy, and counseling services. Beyond providing these services, HAWC also advocates for social and cultural change. 

The statistics on domestic abuse are staggering. That’s why HAWC makes it their mission to help everyone live a life free of fear and violence. And that is what they have done for over 40 years. Last year HAWC celebrated their 40th anniversary. Their programs have grown from a 24-hour hotline and safe house to so much more, including community-based advocacy and education, comprehensive and free Legal Services, community outreach, Children’s Services, support groups and others. And of course, they still have the Emergency Shelter for those needing to flee to a safe location, and our hotline remains an ever-present listening ear.

How Can You Help? 

If you would like to help volunteer, donate, or spread awareness about domestic violence, they could use your help. Since there are numerous ways to help, the best place to start is to visit their website and check out the “Give Help Now” page. There you can find a wide spectrum of ways you can get involved including: a holiday toy drive, a wish list from those transitioning from an abusing situation, take part in a spring Walk for HAWC, volunteer your time, ask your company about corporate giving, or help a friend in a violent situation. No matter what way you can help, it will be greatly appreciated by those who tirelessly for for HAWC and by those they service. 

“Domestic violence is still a major issue in our country which is why organizations like HAWC are so amazing and a much needed resource for the brave souls it serves. Often, the cycle of abuse is confusing and people don’t understand unless they’ve been in it. Those who haven’t can’t fathom how difficult it is to leave and change your situation. Without organizations such as HAWC, it’d be that much harder for many. We are so grateful for the resources and services HAWC provides and encourage our readers to think about how they can help this very important cause during what might be the hardest time of the year for the individuals it works with.” Jacqui Richard 

If you, or someone you know needs help, reach out. HAWC serves 23 cities on Massachusetts’ North Shore from the five central locations listed below.

  • Salem, MA 978-744-8552
  • Gloucester, MA 978-283-8642
  • Lynn, MA 781-592-9900
  • North Shore Medical Center 978-354-4383
  • For 24-hour support, call our hotline at: 1-800-547-1649
  • Para apoyo llama nuestra linea de 24 horas a 1-800-547-1649.