The Domestic Violence Action Center is committed to ending domestic violence and other forms of abuse through leadership, prevention, legal services, individual and systemic advocacy and social change work. We believe all persons should be treated with equality, dignity, and fairness. With high quality and culturally sensitive programs, delivered with integrity and compassion we are creating safety and self-sufficiency for survivors and their children.
The Domestic Violence Action Center is dedicated to alleviating the problem of domestic abuse in Hawaii. We are the only agency in the State that accepts large numbers of high-risk divorce, temporary restraining order, post-decree, and paternity cases. We are also the only agency in the community with a full complement of services to assist as a victim navigates the system and moves her (his) life to freedom and self-sufficiency. With advocates accompanying victims to court, seeking financial support, pursuing educational goals, obtaining child support, or maneuvering the military, medical or mental health systems a victim is empowered and closer to safety if she is working with one of our programs.
Domestic Violence Action Center was founded in 1990 and incorporated in 1991. With two staff, in the beginning, we are now fully staffed at 52. Training and education, technical assistance and community building, direct services and public awareness are among the commitments the agency makes to the people of Hawaii.
The Domestic Violence Action Center staff is deeply involved at the community level and participate in working committees coordinated by government agencies such as the Department of the Attorney General, The Department of Education and The First Judicial Circuit. We also work collaboratively with local associations and agencies like The Hawaii State Bar Association, The Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Women’s Fund, and Hawaii Women Lawyers.
Our work has become known across the country and our management staff participates frequently in initiatives related to post-traumatic stress disorder, needs of multi-ethnic communities, family practice issues, and cutting-edge challenges facing domestic violence programs and survivors.
The agency has three departments overseeing direct services, specialized programs, and administration. We provide outreach in civil and criminal court, accept referrals from many community programs and public agencies, and seek opportunities to let the community become better acquainted with our special services provided by expert staff intimately trained on the needs and challenges facing victims of abuse. Our target population includes youth, immigrants, Filipina and adult victims.
The cost for our legal services is based on a sliding fee scale with hourly costs assessed for those in a higher income bracket. Training and technical assistance are also fee-based while court outreach is available to every victim seeking the courts’ protection or appearing as a witness in a criminal case.
Support, crisis intervention, safety planning, risk assessments, representation in court, education in the classroom and participation in community efforts to become more responsive to the needs of victims are the areas of the agency’s expertise.