Our History of Helping Abused Women
Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) was founded in 1984 to address the growing prevalence of domestic abuse and family violence in the Latino community.
Originally funded under the East Harlem Council of Human Services (EHCHS), VIP operated as a demonstration project—a large-scale intervention designed to improve the health and social outcomes of a population at the community level. The organization informed and educated the public about the role and impact of domestic abuse on the Latino community while providing crisis intervention assistance.
In 1989, with funding from the New York State Department of Social Services, VIP split from EHCHS and opened its first office in Manhattan. Its non-residential program was formally established, and services expanded to include a bilingual hotline, counseling, and advocacy work.
A Safe Place
During much of the 1980s, crime and poverty rates rose in New York City and the city suffered a shortage of affordable housing. Immigrant victims of domestic violence became especially vulnerable to homelessness because of the barriers that prevented many from accessing emergency shelters. For VIP and the NYC as a whole, 1988 was a monumental year: Morivivi—the first domestic violence shelter specifically targeting immigrant Latina victims—was established.
Continuing the Mission
By the turn of the century, VIP had expanded its scope of residential services. In 2005, Casa Sandra opened its doors to the public as one of the only supportive housing units in the city providing services to undocumented victims.
As our residential services grew, so did programming. Funding from the Department of Youth & Community Development allowed VIP to expand its non-residential programs to locations in Queens and the Bronx. Our continuum of care now included crime victim, economic empowerment, and community education and outreach services. Former clients also became involved in providing services to fellow survivors when the Promotora (community health advocate) program opened in 2009.
In just over 30 years, VIP has become a $3.4M organization with eight distinct programs providing services to over 10,000 New York State residents. While our underlying mission is to serve Latina victims, our programs encompass concepts that resonate with victims from all cultural backgrounds—empowerment, self-determination, and cultural competency. Immigrants of all ethnic backgrounds have established close ties to VIP because it is one of the only agencies in the city that assists those with undocumented status. While VIP provides crisis intervention and stabilization services to New York City inhabitants, its influence and mission have had a global reach.