My Sister’s Place (MSP) seeks to end domestic violence and empower survivors to live healthy, independent lives free from violence.

Who we are

For over 40 years, MSP has been an innovator in changing lives by providing DC’s first hotline and first domestic violence shelter, and most recently, first Batterer Intervention group.  As DC’s oldest domestic violence shelter, we have served as a cornerstone of the District’s response to this pressing public health issue since 1979, and our impact on DC’s community remains as strong as ever.

MSP is unique in offering a full continuum of care from emergency shelter through transitional-to-permanent housing.  Our experienced team of case managers and residential counselors provides clinical counseling, case management, and comprehensive services to empower survivors to recover and thrive.  MSP also provides training, case consultation, and advocacy to engage communities to prevent violence and abuse. Our goal is to end domestic violence, and empower everyone to build healthy lives and relationships. Download our one-pager: MSP One-Pager FY18

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Our History

1976 – The Women’s Legal Defense Fund (WLDF) launches its Taskforce on Abused Women, and with the Junior League begins providing the 1st hotline in DC for victims of domestic violence

1979 – MSP offers the 1st Domestic Violence shelter in DC with 15 beds and a 24-hour hotline under the WLDF.

1981 – MSP incorporated as a nonprofit and the agency moves to a 22-bed shelter, thanks to support from the DC Department of Housing and Community.

1982 – Still under the auspices of the WLDF, MSP hires its first Executive Director, Judith Lichtman.

1983 – MSP obtains 501c3 status and officially separates from the WLDF.

1989 – MSP starts the 1st transitional housing program for DV victims

1991 – MSP and the Whitman-Walker Clinic launch a support group for battered lesbians, becoming the 1st LGBTQ+ friendly DV shelter in DC.

1994 – MSP moves its administrative offices to a non-confidential location to protect the shelter’s security.

1996 – Thanks to support from the Joseph and Marjorie Jones Foundation, MSP establishes its bilingual community outreach and education program in English and Spanish.

1998 – MSP opens a nonresidential counseling program that provides free support to women and their children

1999 – MSP pilots the Latino Outreach Program

2000 – MSP starts the Beauty Salon Project and distributes empty lip stick cases and nail files with the hot line number

2001 – MSP launches the Domestic Violence Intervention Project in 5 Public Housing Communities

2004 – MSP launches Judith’s Dream, a campaign to expand and renovate the aging 22-bed shelter.

2006 – In collaboration with Crime Victim Compensation Program, MSP launches the Emergency Services Center to provide therapeutic counseling and case-management to hundreds of women and children referred through the court system in an off-site setting.

2010Sanctuary Plus, an expanded and renovated emergency shelter, begins with then-Councilmember At-Large Kwame Brown knocking down the first wall, increasing its emergency shelter capacity from 22 to 45 beds for women and children.

2012 – MSP restructures the transitional housing program and launches RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Empowerment), an innovative transitional-to-permanent housing program.

2016 – MSP partners with the Child and Family Services Agency of D.C. to create the first Batterer Intervention Program for fathers whose families have been identified as being at risk by CFSA.

2018 – MSP becomes the first domestic violence organization in D.C. to translate and maintain a fully integrated Spanish website as part of our Latino Outreach Program.

2018 – After 42 years of faithfully operating DC’s first domestic violence Hotline, MSP turns over the operation of their Hotline to the DC Victim Hotline to improve services to domestic violence callers in DC.

2019 – MSP launches Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in NW DC with an aim of increasing services to DC’s immigrant community.