NEW RESOURCE: Learn how your state scores for survivor financial security

We are so thrilled to announce the launch of our National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard.

Over the past year, we researched the policies of all 50 states and DC and identified 13 different policy categories that are most directly linked to a survivor’s ability to build and maintain financial security.

We evaluated and scored each state based on whether and to what extent its policies are supportive of survivors’ financial security. Each state was given an overall score based on how well (or poorly) they did across each policy category.

We found that only 2 states are survivor financial security friendly, while 38 states have not prioritized survivor financial security in their state policies.

This map and scorecard is both a resource and a roadmap for action. For each state, the scorecard outlines the existing policies impacting a survivor’s ability to build and maintain financial security and provides state-specific policy recommendations that will ensure that all survivors have access to the financial resources and support their need to thrive. 

Our map and scorecard is perfect for:

  • Folks who want to learn more about the laws in their state and how they compare to others across the U.S.
  • Folks who want to take action and advocate for better and more supportive policies for survivors in their state.
  • Elected officials and those working in legislative offices.
  • Survivors who are interested in learning more about, and getting engaged in, the policy-making process in their state.

We are confident this resource will urge more states to reevaluate their current responses to intimate partner violence and begin to prioritize policy solutions that center survivors’ long-term financial security. Join us for our upcoming webinars to learn more (see below).

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Policy Map and Scorecard or are interested in partnering with us on state-level policy work, please contact Sabrina Hamm, Policy and Advocacy Specialist (

May 27th at 1pm PST

Learn more about FreeFrom’s National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard 

Who should attend? Folks working in policy advocacy across all movements and government officials at all levels, as well as folks working in the intimate partner violence movement.

June 16th at 1pm PST

Building collective power through policy change

Join us for a walkthrough of FreeFrom’s National Survivor Financial Security Policy Map and Scorecard and discussion on how you as a survivor can leverage this tool to engage in policy change and advocacy work on behalf of yourself and other survivors in your state. 

Who should attend? Survivors interested in learning about how to get involved in policy change and advocacy work that will impact survivors in their state. 

We’re hiring for 3 new positions – know someone who should join our team?

Want to join our team or know someone who should? FreeFrom is a team of survivors, and we each bring our unique personal experiences to the work we do. We are a proudly queer, feminist, and people of color-led organization.

We intentionally cultivate a spirit of creativity and experimentation in our work, understanding that we must be willing to try new approaches and apply new frameworks in order to solve a systemic problem like IPV. 

On a typical FreeFrom work day, you can find us: sharing our wins, challenges, and ideas for innovation; wearing stuffed animal slippers; talking astrology, art, literature, movies, healing, new research, and feel-good things; taking breaks to hang out with the kids in our learning pod (the kids of staff who are currently doing e-learning from the office with a trained professional); sharing memes and ways to prioritize self-care on our group chat; testing tech, client products, and theories; and collaborating on exciting projects.

We also offer great benefits and perks: 

  • Fully covered health, dental and vision insurance;
  • 401k with a 5% match;
  • Unlimited paid vacation plus a vacation stipend;
  • Gender-based violence paid and protected leave;
  • Unlimited menstrual leave for people with uteruses;
  • An annual tech stipend;
  • A personal and professional growth stipend; and
  • A stipend to help you build wealth.

Open positions: 

Facebook introduces 20-day paid leave policy for survivor-employees

Facebook has announced that it will begin offering 20 days of paid leave to employees who experience gender-based violence. The company previously offered unpaid leave to survivors, but it was limited to employees in the U.S. Now, Facebook employees across the globe will be able to access up to 20 days of paid leave if they or a family or household member experiences domestic abuse or sexual assault.

Under this new policy, employees will have to tell their managers they need an emergency leave, but they are not required to disclose the reason or provide a police report or any other documentation.

The number 1 reason survivors stay in or return to situations of abuse is that they can’t afford to stay safe. Providing paid and protected leave to employees experiencing gender-based violence allows survivors to deal with the consequences of harm without worrying about losing their job.

Contact FreeFrom’s Director of Systems Change Initiatives, Amy Durrence, at if you’d like to work with us to implement a paid leave policy at your business.

New York Times cites FreeFrom’s work and most recent report

We’ve been working collectively with thousands of survivors across the country over the past year building a model for an effective and inclusive no-strings-attached cash assistance program for survivors. Following the release of our latest report last month entitled, “Trust Survivors: Building an Effective and Inclusive Cash Assistance Program,” our work has been cited in a New York Times article about Biden’s COVID-19 Aid Package and its focus on survivors of intimate partner violence.

The New York Times said:

“Some organizations that support abuse survivors, like FreeFrom, prefer that relief money go directly to those who have been abused, giving them the flexibility to cover expenses that can restore their independence, like day care, transportation or health care. They hope Mr. Biden will eventually fulfill his campaign pledge to allocate $5 billion in such cash grants to survivors in need.”

We’re so excited to see our collective work being highlighted and the data and stories from survivors being centered in this conversation.

FreeFrom is among 10 finalists selected for Equality Can’t Wait Challenge

We are so excited to announce that we are a finalist for the $10MM Equality Can’t Wait Challenge.

From more than 550 applicants, we are beyond honored to be in the final 10 and excited to join some of our favorite folks and partners like Native Women Lead, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Caring Across Generations, and others as fellow finalists.

If FreeFrom wins one of the three $10MM grants available, we will use it to shift the way our society understands and responds to the problem of intimate partner violence. We will call on all pillars of our society to take responsibility for this systemic problem and shift the burden of recovery away from survivors.

The Challenge, hosted by Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation company—with additional support from MacKenzie Scott and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and managed by Lever for Change—was launched in June 2020 to accelerate the pace of progress toward gender equality in America.

Sonya Passi, our founder & CEO, was quoted in a Forbes article announcing the top 10 finalists. The Challenge, she said, “gives us the freedom and ability to be bold and visionary and the funding to invest in structural change so that every pillar of our society is actively working to support survivors and their long-term safety.”

ANNOUNCING OUR NEW REPORT, Trust Survivors: Building an Effective and Inclusive Cash Assistance Program

We are very excited to share a groundbreaking report that we released today entitled, Trust Survivors: How to Build an Effective and Inclusive Cash Assistance Program, that compiles data and stories from 1,000 survivors about how to make cash assistance work for them.

The Biden-Harris Administration has pledged $5 billion to be used as direct cash assistance for survivors. At FreeFrom, we are thrilled about this promise as we know from our experience giving unrestricted cash grants to over 4,100 survivors from across the U.S. that survivors’ #1 need is cash to spend as they see fit.

To help the Biden-Harris Administration design a survivor-centered program, we asked an incredibly diverse sample of survivors what they need and overwhelmingly, they expressed that they need a program steeped in flexibility and trust.

Some key takeaways from the data:

  • 71% of survivors were not seeking support from a domestic violence or sexual assault organization when they applied for a Safety Fund grant;
  • 53% of survivors report that they do not have any “proof” that they are a survivor (e.g., police report or restraining / protective order);
    • 68% of survivors can’t or don’t feel safe getting a police report;
    • 69% of survivors can’t or don’t feel safe getting a restraining / protective order;
  • 84% of survivors would not be able to access cash assistance if they had to meet certain added eligibility requirements beyond their experience of harm.

FreeFrom’s Testimony Leads California Oversight Commission to Recommend Living Wages for IPV Service Providers

In February 2020, FreeFrom’s Director of Systems Change Initiatives, Amy Durrence, testified before California’s Little Hoover Commission on how the state can improve its response to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

In our testimony, we argued that California must prioritize financial security for survivors in order to better respond to IPV, including by paying service providers – many of whom are survivors themselves – a living wage. Read our full written testimony here.

This month, the Commission released its full report and recommendations to the state. The report – which relies heavily on FreeFrom’s testimony – includes a formal recommendation that California “require all state-administered domestic violence grants to provide a living wage and annual cost-of-living increases to awardees.”

“It is unrealistic to expect service providers to help survivors toward financial recovery if they themselves have not experienced financial security…At a minimum, state-administered grants must provide a living wage to service providers. Not a survival wage, but a wage that allows them to live safely and healthfully in their community, obtain good health insurance, cover childcare and transportation expenses, and save for retirement.”

Little Hoover Commission Report, Jan 2021

Citing FreeFrom’s testimony, the Commission also made the following recommendations prioritizing economic security for survivors:

  • Create a one-stop financial security support program to help survivors start over;
  • Transition the Victim Compensation Board model from one that compensates survivors via reimbursements to one that offers up front real-time payments;
  • Provide survivors with compensation through the Victim Compensation Board regardless of whether they “cooperate” with law enforcement;
  • Allow survivors to use the state’s Restitution Fund to cover the cost of attorneys’ fees necessary to pursue civil cases against their harm-doers;
  • Officially recognize survivors as a group facing barriers to employment;
  • Connect survivors with state apprenticeship programs so they can earn income while completing their education or training; and
  • Make the state-administered emergency housing program more flexible for survivor needs

We are thrilled with the Little Hoover Commission’s focus on economic security for survivors, and we are committed to working with the California Legislature to make sure that these recommendations become a reality.

Resiliency, Drive and Commitment: Why Survivors Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, February 2 at 11am PT

Join Ana Zimmerman, Indian Tyler and Jennifer Spivak, 3 incredible entrepreneurs and members of the FreeFrom community, as they talk about (1) what they’ve learned in the process of building their businesses; (2) what advice they have for other survivors just starting out; and (3) why survivors make the very best entrepreneurs.

The panel will be moderated by our Founder and CEO, Sonya Passi.

The Biden-Harris Administration pledges $5Bn in Cash Grants for Survivors

The Biden / Harris Administration is pledging $5 Billion in cash grants for survivors and we need your help. We’re working to make sure this money is as accessible as possible for all survivors and centering those who are usually systemically left out of the conversation and policy-making process.

If you received a grant from us, we want to hear directly from you about your experience. We want to know what made it accessible and useful to you and what restrictions would create barriers for you to access it, so we can collectively make it very clear to the Administration what will make this program successful and useful for you and all survivors.

Please look out in your email and/or text messages for a quick 6-question survey from us to include your thoughts and ideas by THIS FRIDAY at 5PM PT. We will pay you $50 for your time.