Transition House's Full Story

The picture on our Home page was drawn by an eight year old girl, who we will call Mary. 
When Mary stayed at Transition House, she was always very happy and fun, and always very helpful to her mother. One of the volunteers had this to say about Mary: "She's so strong, that she can lift all of my 105 pounds. She tickles like a demon. She's smart, and has yet to lose a game of tic-tac-toe, to anyone in the house. She's so much fun to be around, and can make anyone smile."
When Mary stayed at Transition House, she also liked to sing, and draw pictures. One day, a volunteer asked Mary to draw a picture of Transition House. You can tell by the drawing on our Home page, Mary was very happy to have Transition House as a safe refuge for herself, and her mom.
Some History behind Transition House
In 1975, two formerly battered women opened their apartment to other women fleeing domestic violence. They called it Transition House, which became the first battered women's shelter in New England, only the second in the United States. At that time, "assault and battery" was a crime only when inflicted on a stranger: it was not illegal to beat your partner. Marital rape was considered a paradox. Discussion and studies of family violence centered on the psychological state of the victim and the failings of a marriage.
The opening of Transition House was a result of the efforts of thousands of women who rejected the notion that domestic violence was a psychological and private problem. The battered women's movement took hold when women recognized domestic violence as a social issue... one that could not be solved until we looked at the institutions that allowed violence against women to continue, and changed them.
In August of 1976, 5000 women marched in Boston in a "Women Support Women" march. The march helped raise funds to buy a 22-room, two-family house for Transition House. It also raised awareness of domestic violence, which resulted in many women becoming involved in the work against battering.
Now almost 25 years later, the important work done by these pioneers, and the continuing recognition of the problem by the community has resulted in many steps toward ending violence against women. The growth of battered women's shelters and the many resources sensitive to battered women's issues has provided women with choices and opportunities that before this were not available.
At Transition House, we believe that women need only knowledge of their rights and choices to succeed. Through our 24-hour hotline and shelter services, we are committed to spreading this knowledge. With a safe space, women are able to make these choices. They are also able to hear stories of other women, and offer each other support and understanding. One resident shared her story with us for our newsletter. This is what she told us:
One of the many people that Transition House has helped to change their lives. 
I came to the United States to be with my husband and his family who had settled in New York. Although I felt emotionally abused for many years, the first time that I was physically battered by my husband was when I became pregnant with my first child. I didn't know what to do. When I turned to my in-laws, they sided with my husband and did not believe me. When I turned to the police, they arrested my husband and put him in jail for a week. The doctor who treated my wounds asked me no questions. I had nowhere to go. I did not speak English, and I did not know about battered women's programs. When my husband came home from jail, things only got worse.
By the time I was pregnant with my second child, I thought I would never get away. I felt like a rat in a maze. That no matter where I turned, I would never get out of this house of terror. I thought either he would finally kill me, or I would kill myself.
One day, my friend Katherine called to ask if I wanted to move to Boston with her. I packed a small suitcase, taking my daughter, and left everything I knew behind. I had no place to live, no money, and no family in Boston. A few days later, I arrived at Transition House, seven months pregnant and scared. At first, the feelings of hopelessness continued and I cried every night alone in my room, worrying about my children and myself. But soon the other residents and staff, some of whom spoke my language, began to comfort me and share their own stories. I began to realize that I wasn't alone. Being pregnant and having my baby in the shelter was a million times better than when I was with my husband and his family. I knew that each night when I slept I didn't have to fear tomorrow, that at last I was safe.

You can find out more about Transition House by visiting their website at:  .
Nelson DeOliveira
Louis D. Brown
Deana Brisbois
Matthew Blek
Jason Harper
Transition House
Tara Coakley
Ahmed Ali Hashi
Cheryl Perkins