Northwoods Battered Women's Shelter

About Northwoods Battered Women's Shelter

Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter, Inc. (NBWS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Bemidji, MN which primarily serves Beltrami and Cass counties. NBWS is a domestic violence shelter and advocacy program with a vision of a community free of domestic violence in which safety is a basic human right. NBWS provides emergency crisis shelter and advocacy to victim/survivors of intimate partner violence; this includes shelter services to women and their children and short-term safe housing to men and their children.

Crisis shelter is temporary, short term housing. With the crisis shelter and safe housing services, NBWS provides emotional support, meals, items to meet basic needs (personal hygiene products and clothing), and transportation.

NBWS provides individual advocacy to anyone in need of services, for both those residing at NBWS and those who are not. Individual advocacy means working alongside individuals to obtain self-identified goals, emotional support, crisis intervention (typically through the NBWS 24 hour crisis phone line), and assistance in connecting with local resources. NBWS also provides legal advocacy which includes assistance with filling out Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders, court accompaniment (for civil or criminal cases), and tracking court matters on behalf of victim/survivors.

NBWS advocacy also consists of institutional advocacy and social change advocacy. Institutional advocacy is acting as a voice for victim/survivors, collectively, within systems or institutions that interact with victim/survivors, such as the Criminal Justice System or with local service providers. Social change advocacy is impacting social norms and attitudes towards domestic violence; this large picture advocacy is implemented by educating others on the dynamics of domestic violence and speaking to the collective needs of victim/survivors using the information learned from direct service work.

Our Mission:

To provide crisis shelter, victim-center advocacy and supportive services for victims of intimate partner violence.

Our Vision:

A community free of domestic violence in which safety is a basic human right.

Agency Core Values:
Dignity – Respect for the worth of every person and their right to self-determination.
Safety – We oppose the use of all forms of violence as a means of control and we affirm the basic human right of every person to live in peace.
Inclusiveness – Diversity in those we serve, our staff, and leadership.
Knowledge – We believe education and understanding of oppression are vital to individual, organizational, and community change.
Stewardship – Committed to the wise use of all human, financial, and physical assets and resources.

Agency Definitions:
Individual Advocacy – Biased support of a victim in obtaining self-expressed goals.
Institutional Advocacy – Challenging systems and institutions so they respond more effectively to the needs of victims of intimate partner violence.
Social Change – To act collectively within and across communities to end oppression in all forms.
Intimate Partner Violence – A range of coercive tactics including the current threat or use of physical and/or sexual violence to establish control over a current or former partner or spouse.


Youth Advocate

April 2019 Akron, OH
“I had the opportunity to be creative and create programs and activities for the kids to. Because it's a shelter, the kids are not always consistent. Families come and go every other month so I am constantly having to tailor activities to my new group of kids.”
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