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Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center

2010 National Crime Victim Service Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center | National Crime Victim Service Award
Team Members: Paula Lucas; Caitlin McGuan; Noelle Donahue; Brooke Galloway; Rebecca Luxenberg
Portland, Oregon

The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center (AODVC) was founded by Paula Lucas to assist women fleeing partner violence when living outside the United States. A survivor herself, Ms. Lucas and her three young children narrowly escaped an abusive marriage in the United Arab Emirates and were forced to undergo an international child custody case. 

While living in a domestic violence shelter back in the U.S., Ms. Lucas dreamed of an organization that could have offered her assistance. In 1999, she founded the first nonprofit organization assisting Americans who are survivors of domestic violence overseas. AODVC went from a grassroots organization to being recognized as the leading program in the U.S. to serve American domestic violence and child abuse victims in foreign countries. 

AODVC is the only nongovernmental organization to provide culturally sensitive domestic violence and advocacy to Americans overseas. AODVC is a much needed service for the 5.25 million American civilians living abroad, and it provides a continuum of services, including long-term case management, safety planning and relocation, legal assistance, professional counseling, and assistance with basic needs. 

AODVC advocates for overseas American domestic violence victims through public policy, collaborates with U.S. governmental institutions to provide information sessions, and offers specialized training to its volunteers. AODVC, in collaboration with the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas and the U.S. State Department, provides trainings to AODVC Volunteer Outreach Ambassadors around the globe. 

AODVC was nominated by John Andrew Damon, Circuit Court Judge, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.