My Sister's Place

Services to empower survivors of domestic violence
24-hour Hotline
202-529-5991

Free and Confidential

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Our History

1976 - The Women's Legal Defense Fund (WLDF) begins providing hotline support and discovers the extent of domestic abuse. Thanks to volunteers from the Junior League of Washington and the WLDF's expertise, Washington is given its first safe haven. 

January 10, 1979 - MSP forms as a 15-bed shelter and 24-hour hotline under the WLDF.

March 31, 1981 - Thanks to support from the DC Department of Housing and Community, MSP purchases the 22-bed shelter where it remains today.

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

July 1, 1983 - MSP obtains 501c3 status and officially separates from the WLDF.

1986 - Thanks to an anonymous donor, MSP purchases a van allowing the agency to securely transport clients to the shelter. 

1989 - MSP offers transitional housing to shelter residents.

1991 - MSP and the Whitman-Walker Clinic launch a support group for battered lesbians.

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 coordinates the DC Clothesline Project, a display of shirts created by survivors.

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

2002 - MSP enhances its residential programs for immigrant women.

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

2006 - In collaboration with the District of Columbia Superior Court's Crime Victim Compensation Program, we launched 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. 

February, 2010 - Demolition and construction of Sanctuary Plus, an expanded and renovated emergency shelter, begins with then-Councilmember At-Large Kwame Brown knocking down the first wall.

November, 2010 - Clients move into Sanctuary Plus, just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving.

2011 - Sanctuary Plus reaches capacity, serving 15 families. 

2012 - MSP enhances its continuum of care by launching RISE (Reaching  Independence through Survivor Empowerment), an innovative transitional-to-permanent housing program. 

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