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NELCWIT's History

The New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT) was created in response to the needs of local women and children experiencing domestic violence and abuse. In 1975, four women meeting around a kitchen table in New Salem outlined a plan to combine crisis intervention and safe shelter with ongoing advocacy and support for women navigating complex legal, vocational, and financial problems.

NELCWIT’s first outreach office opened in 1976, operated by a staff of up to 22 volunteers offering crisis counseling and temporary shelters through a careful network of approximately a dozen private homes. In 1977, NELCWIT was incorporated as a non-profit multi-service center addressing the needs of women in major life transitions, and in 1979, NELCWIT opened its first shelter for women and their children who had experienced abuse and needed to escape their immediate situation. In 1984, rape crisis services were expanded, increasing our public education efforts to prevent sexual violence and our capacity to assist survivors of sexual assault and incest.

Over the past four decades NELCWIT’s services have expanded and evolved. We now serve people of all genders, and have bilingual (English/Spanish) services. NELCWIT opened the Franklin County Children’s Visitation Program (FCCVP) in 2001, offering a safe and neutral setting for supervised family visitation.

Through NELCWIT’s main offices in Greenfield MA, and a satellite office in Orange, MA, NELCWIT continues to provide crisis services, advocacy, support, and referrals to people who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, or incest. NELCWIT also has a 24-hour crisis hotline, court advocates in both the Greenfield and Orange courts, Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) advocates who respond to domestic violence calls at local police departments, and Medical Advocates who respond to hospitals to provide support to survivors of sexual violence. In addition to these crisis-based services, NELCWIT staff and volunteers also engage in public education and advocacy around domestic and sexual violence, and explore how intimate partner violence intersects with larger, systemic issues of oppression and racism.

For immediate crisis intervention, please call our 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 413-772-0806


The policies of NELCWIT prohibit any form of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, gender identity or gender expression, age, marital status, national origin, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law with respect to employment, volunteer participation and the provisions of services.