Who We Are

The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc. (CHH) was founded in 1976 by a group of physicians, social workers and students who came together out of concern for the number of rapes in Lowell and who then committed themselves to eradicating sexual violence in Lowell and the surrounding communities.
In 1985, CHH (formerly Rape Crisis Services of Greater Lowell) was incorporated as an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization. In 2012, we changed our name to The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc. to reflect our positive vision and relationships with the broader Merrimack Valley area.

A world free of sexual violence

  • We envision a world free of systems of oppression, full of new possibilities; an equitable world in which all individuals and communities are healthy and thrive. We envision a just future,where sexism, racism and other forms of oppression are dismantled: a world where women and girls are safe and valued. We envision a world where men and boys engage in healthy masculinity and where concepts of gender are inclusive and not binary.
  • We work to place survivors’ lives and voices at the center of all we do, particularly the voices of SE Asian, Black, and Latinx survivors and others who have been most marginalized in our communities.

This vision drives our goals to strengthen culturally-relevant advocacy, promote prevention and community engagement, and influence public policy and systems change.

Annual Report 2023

Our Mission

The Center for Hope and Healing provides trauma and resilience-informed support and safe spaces for survivors to heal through its free and confidential counseling, legal and medical advocacy, and 24-hour crisis hotline.

CHH uses a social justice framework to prevent sexual violence, advance equity, educate, raise awareness and organize in the communities it serves and beyond.

CHH intentionally delivers anti-racist, innovative, culturally relevant programming designed for BIPOC, Black, Indigenous and other People of Color – survivors and communities which include immigrants, non-English speakers, Black girls, LGBQ/T – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer/Transgender people, youth, men, boys, and others who have historically been un- or under-served.

What makes CHH unique is our culturally specific work to eliminate sexual violence by:

  • eliminating its use as a tool of oppression against those most marginalized
  • increasing awareness about the extent and depth of the problem
  • making culturally-and linguistically specific issues visible
  • strengthening community models of prevention and intervention
  • identifying and expanding resources
  • informing and promoting research and policy
  • deepening understanding and analyses of the issues surrounding violence against women.

  • We value honesty and transparency.
  • We value self awareness and genuineness.
  • We show up as our “whole selves” with our lived experiences and identities
  • We treat those around us with respect and dignity, regardless of past actions.
  • We value feedback and constructive criticism.
  • We are accountable to survivors, the communities we serve and one another.

Core Practices:

  • We practice intentional self-reflection and awareness
  • We practice giving appreciation in our daily work
  • We practice giving and receiving constructive feedback.
  • We abide by a code of ethical behavior for all–Board, staff and volunteers.
  • We utilize the cooperative process (visions tool) in support of equity and antiracism.

  • We are committed to building a new society that sustains equitable communities.
  • We believe in community lies the capacity to heal and prevent sexual violence.
  • We demonstrate kindness and empathy to those we serve and one another.
  • We suspend judgment and listen to learn from others’ lives and perspectives.
  • We value deep listening to survivors, communities and one another.

Core Practices:

  • We work to build communities where everyone belongs.
  • We practice healing from trauma through self-care and community care.
  • We practice building community and teamwork by social activities, sharing food, having fun and joy together.
  • We see mistakes as opportunities for learning and practicing forgiveness.

  • Our north star is our mission to eradicate the oppressions that use sexual violence as a weapon.
  • We commit as individuals to self-examination of our privileges and oppression and to work to reduce harm and increase equity.

Core Practices:

  • As individuals and as an organization we practice self-reflection to align our actions with our values.
  • We co-create programs and services in partnership with survivors and community partners.

  • We strive to provide the highest quality of professional support, services and programs.
  • We are led by survivors’ voices and unique definitions of healing and justice.
  • We commit to continuous learning, growth and professional development.
  • We continuously work to improve our expertise and the quality of our work.
  • We value creativity, innovation and new ideas.
  • We see mistakes as opportunities for growth.

Core Practices:

  • During transitions, we keep our focus on our North star—our vision and mission.
  • We persist in collaboration, even when it is challenging
  • We inspire ourselves and one another to continuously learn and grow professionally
  • We network and attend and support local and national professional trainings.
  • We utilize best practices and stay up to date in the movement.
  • We allow for each of us to share brilliance, ideas and new learning via shared facilitation, teach backs and in house workshops

  • We believe survivors and those we serve are the leaders of their own destiny.
  • We believe survivors and those we serve deserve respect and dignity.
  • We center the voice, choice and autonomy of survivors and those we serve.
  • We approach survivors of sexual violence as more than just their victimization.

CORE PRACTICES:

  • We amplify the voices of those who have historically not been heard or served.
  • We prioritize the confidentiality, safety and well-being of survivors and loved ones.
  • We work to end society’s acceptance of rape and the stigma faced by survivors.
  • We provide advocacy for economic empowerment and access to resources and information
  • Our trauma-based counseling provides intentional space for healing and restoration.
  • We do what we say we will do; our actions speak louder than our words.

  • Love gives people a greater sense of belonging, meaning, and value at work
  • We see our work to end sexual violence as part of the movement to transform our society into one that is free from oppression and suffering.
  • We believe that social justice involves transformation-as individuals, organizations and communities.

Core Practices:

  • We practice anti-racism, inclusion and equity within our organization, in our services and programs by utilizing multicultural and antiracist frameworks and practices
  • We foster a culture of teamwork, mutual support and accountability in accomplishing our mission. We achieve more collectively than individually.
  • We share power and resources by collaborating rather than competing with others in our services, programs, community activities and funding.
  • We organize and educate those in our programs and in the community in positive, empowering ways to develop a shared commitment to the movement to end sexual violence.
  • We utilize practices of liberation in our daily work, such as movement, breath, land acknowledgment, healing/wellness and community care