Services & Resources

Help Line

The DAIS Help Line provides crisis intervention, safety planning, support, information, and referrals to survivors of domestic abuse, their families, friends, other service providers, and the general public. The Help Line is the gateway to all other DAIS services. The Help Line is answered by trained volunteers and staff and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Help Line can be reached at 608-251-4445 or 800-747-4045 (toll free in Dane County).

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 Emergency Shelter

DAIS runs the only domestic violence shelter in Dane County. The DAIS Emergency Shelter program offers housing, food, clothing, support and resources for survivors of domestic violence and their children. The emergency shelter is a communal living environment. DAIS also provides legal assistance, support and counseling, referrals to other community resources, and access to medical and social services. Residents receive individual case management and assist one another through resident support groups. Special programming is available for children whose parents use the shelter program.

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Children’s Program

The DAIS Children’s Program provides family-focused crisis intervention services to children from violent homes. Our goal is to provide children from violent homes with physical and emotional safety, structure and consistency, opportunities to process their feelings and experiences through age-appropriate play and creative activities, and experiences with positive discipline. The DAIS Children’s Program is open to children residing in shelter, as well as children whose parents attend the DAIS Community Support Group. Programming is offered five days a week and is staffed by volunteers who have been trained to recognize and respond to the needs of children in crisis.

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Crisis Response

The DAIS Crisis Response Program provides direct assistance to survivors of domestic violence at confidential locations across Dane County. Crisis response advocates provide domestic abuse survivors with face-to-face emergency safety planning, housing information, parenting support, and referrals to other community resources. Children’s advocates may be available when children accompany parents to crisis response appointments. The Crisis Response Program allows DAIS to assist people in outlying areas who may not be able to access Madison-based services.

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Support Groups

DAIS offers four weekly Community Support Groups for anyone who identifies as female across Dane County and one monthly Community Support Group for friends and family of survivors. The goals of DAIS’ Community Support Groups are to decrease isolation, increase safety, and connect participants with other DAIS services and community resources.

The Community Support Groups are “peer-based,” meaning participants share and support each other. Children’s services are available so that women may bring their children with them to group.  The Community Support Groups follow a regular format each time it meets. We start with a check-in (name, how they are feeling, if they want time to share), a quote or a poem with discussion about the selected piece, and finally open discussion.

Mondays: Survivors of Violence 9:30am – 11:00am
Wednesdays & Thursdays: Women who have experienced intimate partner violence 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Thursdays: Creciendo Juntas 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Fridays: Women with VISION (age 50 or older) 12:00pm – 1:30pm

Sundays: Monthly Friends and Family Support Group 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Please call the DAIS Help Line at 608-251-4445 to sign up.

Men Moving Forward

Men Moving Forward is a facilitated support group for anyone who identifies as male to work together on issues of physical, emotional, or sexual violence. The group meets twice a month in Madison and is intentionally LGBT-friendly.

The group will include open, sharing peer support, and may incorporate helpful informational materials. Topics may include the dynamics of abuse, safety planning, self-esteem, physical and emotional health, effects of domestic abuse on children, and community resources.

Please call OutReach at 608-255-8582 or email  for more information.

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Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (SAAV)

Unfortunately, research shows that abusers often use pets to leverage power and control over their family, through threats, acts of cruelty, and even causing the death of family pets. Statistics show that many victims remain in violent situations because they are afraid to leave their pets behind. This is a choice that no domestic abuse victim should ever have to make.

Through the Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims (“SAAV”) Program, victims of domestic abuse may be eligible to place their pets in a temporary and confidential shelter location for a period of up to 90 days.

The SAAV Program is a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit all volunteer organization, which provides services to domestic abuse victims with pets through a collaboration between DAIS and the Dane County Humane Society. All intakes into the SAAV Program takes place directly through DAIS. Therefore, victims who are interested in potentially receiving services through The SAAV Program should contact DAIS 24 hour Help Line at 608-251-4445 or toll-free at 800-747-4045.

To learn more about The SAAV Program, or to learn about the link between domestic violence and animal abuse, visit

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