To empower women to attain safety, equality and justice, and build independent and self-sustaining lives for themselves and their children; and to pioneer collaborations with community partners to create an intolerance of gender-based violence, substance abuse and poverty.
WIT began as a feminist collective in West Philadelphia in 1971, with two full-time staff members, a budget of $20,000 and a host of volunteers. The women’s movement was just getting underway. WIT was founded as a place where women who needed information and support to navigate life-changing transitions such as divorce or separation could turn for help finding divorce lawyers, job information, housing information, peer support, access to community resources, and counseling.
The growing recognition that many women were seeking divorce because of “wife abuse” led WIT to offer counseling services specifically for battered women. Over the years, WIT became a leader in the violence against women movement.
WIT facilitated Philadelphia's first Domestic Violence Summit in 2003, bringing together various agencies in a collaboration to ensure that women experiencing domestic violence and their children receive coordinated services from the systems that impact their lives.
WIT initiated the creation of the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline Collaboration, leading the city’s four domestic violence programs in providing a 24-hour bilingual hotline.
WIT was also on the forefront of recognizing the linkages between domestic violence and substance abuse, and we developed and continue to offer services for women experiencing domestic violence, substance abuse, or both.
In the last year we served 2,691 women with telephone counseling, individual empowerment counseling, and LifeLine peer support groups. We celebrated the 13th anniversary of our Survivors Network, an independent group of former WIT clients who volunteer and support WIT, and we celebrated our 45th anniversary of empowering women to move forward in their lives, towards safety and sobriety.