Our Mission

BWJP is the national legal resource for gender-based violence. Our projects provide some of the nation’s leading specialized policy and practice initiatives on improving survivor safety.  

Our work addresses the many facets of gender-based violence, such as complex family dynamics, the importance of protection orders, the risk of firearms, and how to prevent the violence in the first place. It’s through our many programs and partnerships that we’re able to think systemically and at a community level.

We’re at the forefront of the movement to create systemic change, and we take that responsibility seriously. We know that it’s critical to maintain an intersectional lens that prevents further harm for historically marginalized communities. We will continue this critical work to keep survivors safe and support thriving families and communities.

Our History

The Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) started in 1993 as a part of the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) under the visionary leadership of Ellen Pence—one of the “Mothers” of the domestic violence movement. This Minnesota program was an international leader; producing such industry standards as the “Power and Control Wheel” and “Coordinated Community Response”, both of which are still widely used throughout the world today. BWJP further developed as the legal project of DAIP and the national legal resource center through a designation from the Department of Health and Human Services.  Its Project Director, Ms. Denise Gamache was its leader in 1993 and by 2015 this legal project of DAIP had grown into its own organization. Therefore, in 2015, the Battered Women’s Justice Project was formally established as its own 501(c)(3) non-profit. In 2020, Ms. Gamache retired, and Amy J. Sánchez was hired as the CEO of BWJP to develop and implement a new vision at the nexus of gender-based violence and systems change.

What We Do

Provide support in the form of technical assistance, consultations, training, and assessments to communities and organizations looking to create systemic change.

Develop research, guides, and other tools to address trends and “hot topics” related to gender-based violence.

Serve as a resource for local advocacy programs and state coalitions interested in providing enhanced legal responses and support to survivors.

Support appellate advocacy through legal research, analysis and writing support.

Serve as experts for policymakers and the media.

Identify best practices in systems and local communities and help promote their implementation nationwide.

Undertake special projects to identify emerging issues, and ensure the resources we provide are based on the realities of all survivors. 

Our Core Values

We understand that the way we go about our work is every bit as important as the work itself. We commit to living our core values so that we maintain utmost integrity. This means aligning our governance and operational structures to nurture a culture of learning and exploration. 

  • Tenacity
    Act with tireless conviction in order to always do the right thing, no matter the adversity
  • Equity
    Create and advocate for just solutions that provide a tailored, intersectional approach to addressing complex realities
  • Accountability
    Hold oppressive legal and social systems accountable for justice, healing, and societal transformation
  • Agency
    Support the rights of all survivors working towards self-determination and choice in all aspects of their lives
  • Courage
    Never give up on our capacity to affect systemic and community change