The Network/La Red is a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BDSM, polyamorous, and queer communities. Rooted in anti-oppression principles, our work aims to create a world where all people are free from oppression. We strengthen our communities through organizing, education, and the provision of support services..
The Network was formed in 1989 when a group of formerly battered lesbians came together to address domestic violence in lesbian and bisexual women s communities in Boston. Initially the group worked to educate the community and existing programs/resources for battered women about the existence of woman-to-woman battering and the need for programs to address it. In 1991, the group incorporated under the name New England Women s Support, Inc. d/b/a The Network for Battered Lesbians, and in 1993 it received tax-exempt status. The Network changed its name to the Network for Battered Lesbians and Bisexual Women in 1996. In 2001, The Network changed its name to The Network/La Red: Ending abuse in lesbian, bisexual women s, and transgender communities. The Network/La Red has become a national resource and model for battered women s programs, batterer s intervention programs, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender organizations beginning to address battering in lesbian, bisexual women, and transgender relationships. We take calls from individuals, groups, researchers, and media from all over the United States and around the world seeking technical assistance and information on battering in lesbian, bisexual women, and transgender communities. The Network/La Red is a founding member of the Boston area GLBT Domestic Violence Coalition, and a member of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Jane Doe, Inc. / Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, GLBT Advisory Board to the Boston Police Commission, Jamaica Plain Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Community Roundtable, Dorchester Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Community Roundtable, Employers Against Domestic Violence, Dyke March Committee, Lesbian AIDS Project of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and the Advocacy Review Team. In 1992, The Network/La Red began to offer free services for battered lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender folks. Today these services have expanded and include a Hotline, Safe Home program, Advocacy program, and Organizing/Outreach program. All services are wheelchair, bilingual, and TTY-accessible. ASL interpreters, air filters, and reimbursement for child-care are available as needed. The Safe Home program provides emergency shelter to battered lesbian, bisexual women, and transgender folks (LBT) and their children. This was the first emergency shelter project in Massachusetts set up particularly for the safety and cultural needs of LBT communities. Community members open their homes for 1-14 nights to provide an initial place for LBT and their children (and to some extent, their pets) to go into hiding when in danger. The Advocacy program consists of a support group, which offers participants safety, support, and information; safety planning, court accompaniment, pro-bono/low cost attorney referral service, information, referral, and assistance accessing other social/legal/medical/housing services. The Organizing/Outreach program provides community education through a statewide advertising campaign, community flyers, workshops, trainings, and events as well as consultation/technical assistance on LBT domestic violence, homophobia/biphobia/transphobia, and other oppressions to a variety of social, community, medical, and legal groups. The program produces a bilingual (English/Spanish) newsletter, website, educational/informational pamphlets/audiotapes on LBT domestic violence, and maintains a resource library on lesbian/bisexual women/transgender battering.