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Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Service Groups collection

Identifier: M138


During the winter of 1978, a group of feminists gathered to discuss forming an organization to support battered women and to combat domestic violence in Massachusetts. The discussion resulted in the formation of the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Service Groups, a statewide organization that would both finance local organizations and address the needs of battered women across Massachusetts. In its 20 years of activity, the coalition organized fundraising efforts, political campaigns, and training workshops to focus attention on the issue of domestic abuse. Highlights of the groups organizational efforts include the annual Jane Doe 10K Walk for Women's Safety and the group's ongoing lobbying efforts for legislation on behalf of victims of domestic abuse. In 1990 the coalition published For Shelter and Beyond, which details the philosophy, tasks, skills, and information needed to help battered women in shelters. In 1998, the coalition merged with the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault to form Jane Doe, Inc.


  • Creation: 1979-1981


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.


Groups of feminist activists forms the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Services Groups to unite state feminist groups.
Coalition supports passages of the Abuse Prevention Act by the Massachusetts legislature.
Coalition receives a federal grant from the Community Services Administration.
Mass. Coalition member Esther Mosak presents her paper, “Coalition—Building and the Battered Women's Movement” at the First National Conference Against Domestic Violence in Washington, D.C.
Coalition initiates training and planning sessions to assess the organization's strengths and weaknesses.
Coalition publishes For Shelter and Beyond.
Massachusetts Governor Weld chooses coalition's office to sign into law bill criminalizing stalking.
Coalition uses state funds to launch a media campaign to increase education about domestic violence.
Jane Doe 10K Walk for Women's Safety raises $350,000.
Coalition launches protest fundraiser, encouraging people to donate the cost of a commercial videotape about the O. J. Simpson case to batter women's causes.
Coalition and the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault merge to form Jane Doe, Inc.


0.15 cubic feet (1 container)

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in alphabetical order.

Physical Location


Related Archival Materials:

Women's Educational Center (Cambridge, Mass.) records (M047)

A microfilmed version of the Massachusetts Coalition of Batter Women Service Groups records is located in the Archives Faculty Publications Collection filed under Grassroots Feminist Organizations.

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the Massachusetts Coalition of Batter Women Service Groups, which is accessible at:*/


  • Schechter, Susan. Women and Male Violence: The Visions and Struggles of the Battered Women's Movement. Boston : South End Press, 1982.
  • Jane Doe, Inc. website ( Copyright, 2002. Retrieved October 11, 2007
Finding aid for the Massachusetts Coalition of Battered Women's Service Groups Collection
Finding aid prepared by Kendra Kelley
December 2007
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US