About Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence
In 1971, our founder Bea Robinson Mendez, concerned about the lack of services and options for domestic violence survivors, gathered a small group of her friends to figure out a solution. They set up a shelter in a garage and established a hotline number to provide information and support to survivors. Unbeknownst to them, it would become the second domestic violence agency in California and the first bilingual domestic violence shelter in the nation. So began the story of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence (NDS).
Domestic violence is the most prevalent form of gender-based violence, often the most frequently reported crime to law enforcement, and arguably the one with the greatest damaging effect on children and youth. We are the only stand-alone, domestic violence agency in Santa Clara County, answering approximately 15,000 crisis calls and serving an average of 3,000 survivors of domestic violence annually. Our comprehensive, compassionate, bilingual services are available free of charge to all women, men, LGBTQ and individuals across the gender spectrum and of varying abilities.
Our mission is to end domestic violence in the moment and for all time!
Our vision is of a community environment that breaks the silence, views and treats domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence as unacceptable upholds supportive accountability for those who harm, and where survivors and families have the support and resources to achieve the highest quality of life possible.
In 2021, Next Door Solutions celebrated its 50th anniversary. Learn more about our history HERE.
The following conveys the core values on which Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence (NDS) operates. The NDS community strives to uphold these values within the organization and in its work on behalf of the organization.
ONENESS AND CONNECTEDNESS
We are all in this work together and are all interconnected. We grow together by honoring and celebrating our diverse experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, and identities. We put this into practice internally and externally. We know that this requires a commitment to utilize diverse communication strategies and to at times over-communicate to ensure our connectivity. We are not separate from the community we serve. We are survivors, informed by survivors, and center survivors. We believe that it will take a collective approach to end gender-based violence. There is strength in unity, so we build bridges and collaborate with community partners to actualize the change we seek.
(Impetus- connection, interconnected, unity, community, collaboration)
We believe that accountability is an opportunity to hold a mirror to words or actions. We are dedicated to a trauma-informed, empathetic approach to the evaluative assessment of responsibilities, agreements, and commitments. We care enough about survivors, our communities, and ourselves to address harm, in the moment and continuously, with
understanding and empathy, knowing it is through our collective growth in which we will overcome.
(Impetus- accountability, compassion, kindness, visible accountability)
EQUITY AND JUSTICE
We understand that gender-based violence is a tactic of oppression and we stand firmly against all forms, including sexism, heterosexism, racism, anti-Blackness, misogyny, xenophobia, ableism, ageism, and white supremacy. Our laws and systems too often benefit those with privilege and must be transformed to reflect the reality and needs of all. We advocate for both individuals and for change in the systems that are complicit in the conditions of their oppression. Equity begins by acknowledging that we have unequal starting places. Our commitment to equity works to address these barriers and imbalances. We recognize that people need different opportunities and we prioritize equity over equality. We serve with humility, recognizing individuals as experts in their own journeys.
(Impetus- anti-oppression, anti-racist, inclusion, centered, end white supremacy, equity, and equality)
SURVIVOR & COMMUNITY-CENTERED
We honor the dignity of the whole person, making space for everyone to contribute with the full range of their lived experiences. We center survivors as experts in their own lives, families, and communities and honor their autonomy, knowledge, and lived experiences. We recognize that, while we center survivors’ needs and experiences, violence and abuse, will not end without community involvement and responsiveness to the entire family. We work to recognize and understand trauma and the many ways it shows up in our relationships, families, and communities. We believe that individuals are innately empowered to make decisions about their safety, their healing, their needs, and their overall future. We firmly believe that ending violence and creating and ensuring peace, in our relationships and communities, requires an unequivocal dedication to the prevention of harm. We work on the individual, community, and systems levels to avert the very harm our intervention services address.
(Impetus- acknowledgment and trust of lived experiences, survivor-centered, prevention, community)
INCLUSION FOR LIBERATION
We strive for inclusion that moves beyond diversity and toward eventual freedom and liberation. Inclusion is the act of creating a space where each person is authentically valued, seen, and respected. By centering historically excluded communities, unlearning our own biases, and seeking perspectives outside our own, we seek to break down learned barriers to ensure that all are incorporated. We hold empathy and compassion for each other and our community, seeking to create and align with spaces where people can be their whole, and fully recognized selves.
(Impetus- inclusion, all voices)