Founded in 1971 as a career resource center for women, WISE began as a
grassroots organization offering education and employment training as well as
support and information for new moms. As WISE became recognized as a safe space
where women could gather as a community, they began to talk about experiences
in their lives beyond careers. WISE listened and was struck by the stories of
domestic and sexual violence at home and in the work place and realized that
women were suffering.
In 1981 WISE joined the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence,
and the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and started our
24-hour crisis line (1-866-348-WISE). Eight years later the crisis line
was receiving over 1000 calls annually.
In 1994 WISE hired a Youth Violence Prevention and Community Outreach
Coordinator, expanding the mission to not only respond as a crisis center, but
to advocate for social justice through education. Today WISE outreach programs
reach an average of over 5000 people annually.
In 2001 WISE rented the first apartment to serve as a confidential emergency
shelter for women fleeing violence. WISE is a member of the Upper Valley
Housing Consortium, and sponsors women and families working to rebuild their
In 2006 WISE bought the Program Center at 38
Bank Street in Lebanon NH,
a permanent home and safe space for WISE, clients and the community. On
February 8, 2008 WISE moved into the Program
Center and has continued to provide
and expand critical support for victims and survivors in the Upper Valley. 2008 was also the first year in which WISE supported over 1,000 unique clients.
In November 2009, WISE was proud to unveil
our new website which you are now surfing, updating from our previous site: