Helping Mothers Overcome Domestic Violence

The impact of domestic violence can be shattering to individuals, families, children and communities. To help mothers overcome violence, The Duke Endowment awarded grants to support a program that rebuilds self-esteem and strengthens positive parenting skills. This initiative is now closed.


For women in the United States between ages 15 and 44, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury. For their children, the impact can be equally devastating. While it is impossible to define exact numbers, researchers estimate that between 3 million and 10 million children are exposed to domestic violence in the country each year. Child abuse is 15 times more likely to occur in families where domestic violence is present.

The situation becomes even more complex for intimate partner violence victims who use violence against their batterers. In some cases, they are ordered by a court or child protective services to get help.


Multi-year grants from The Duke Endowment supported MOVE, a program in Wake County, North Carolina, that helps mothers overcome violence through education and empowerment. The grants helped launch the program and funded an evaluation by researchers at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work.

MOVE began as a program of SAFEchild, a Raleigh nonprofit focused on child safety and abuse prevention, and InterAct, a nonprofit that provides safety and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Staff at both agencies realized that mothers arrested for fighting back have complex needs that aren’t addressed through traditional services.


Area of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

Program Area

  • Child & Family Well-Being

Grantmaking Status

This program ran from 2007 to 2014

Areas of Work

  • Prevention and early intervention for at-risk children

    To equip children and families with skills to ensure that children reach developmental milestones to lead successful lives.

  • Out-of-home care for youth

    To drive child welfare systems toward greater accountability for child well-being.

  • Quality and safety of health care

    Improving the quality and safety of health care delivery

  • Access to health care

    Improving health by increasing access to comprehensive care

  • Prevention

    Expanding programs to promote health and prevent disease

  • Academic excellence

    Enhancing academic excellence through program and campus development

  • Educational access and success

    Increasing educational access and supporting a learning environment that promotes achievement

  • Campus and community engagement

    Promoting a culture of service, collaboration and engagement among schools and communities

  • Rural church development

    Building the infrastructure and capacity of United Methodist churches to enhance ministry and mission

  • Clergy leadership

    Strengthening United Methodist churches by improving the quality and effectiveness of church leadership

  • Congregational outreach

    Engaging United Methodist congregations in programs that serve their communities