Recognizing that domestic violence is just as prevalent in the central Middlesex area as in cities like Boston, in 1992, the Network for Women's Lives (Network) was founded to begin reaching out to victims in our communities and to increase awareness about domestic violence in our neighborhoods. In 1995, the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest (Chest), a funding agency, conducted a needs assessment and determined that many peopled were concerned with domestic violence. In response to this concern, the Chest hosted an inter-community training program on domestic violence for service providers and community members.
Shortly thereafter, the Concord Police Department (CPD) teamed with a local non-profit organization to begin the first volunteer advocate program in the area. When this program ended, CPD was determined to create another program to continue this service for victims, so in 1998, it joined with the Network to create a new advocate program, called Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Programs (DVVAP). This community collaboration quickly grew to include other police departments such as, Acton, Bedford, Carlisle, Lincoln, Maynard and Stow.
In 1999, the Concord-Carlisle Domestic Violence Roundtable was formed as a way for the community-at-large to address domestic violence by developing and implementing strategies for creating safer communities. Also in 1999, the Acton Police Department created a Domestic Violence Unit with specially-trained police officers who work to support victims and to hold abusers accountable for their behaviors. In 2000, Emerson Hospital hosted a series of trainings and workshops on the intricacies of addressing domestic violence within the medical community. All of this work to address domestic violence resulted in the recognition that a new non-profit needed to be formed to create new and to support existing direct service programs for people facing domestic violence. So in April, 2000, Domestic Violence Services of Central Middlesex, Inc. was formed as DVVAP's new non-profit partner.