It was just two months after the death of George Floyd that one of the largest domestic violence nonprofits in the United States, Women Against Abuse, brought in several diversity consultants to conduct a racial-equity audit. The goal of the audit, Women Against Abuse told staffers, was to become “a fully inclusive, multicultural, and antiracist institution.”
By November 2020, the organization, which is ostensibly devoted to “serving all survivors,” was offering to pay “BIPOC” employees more than their white counterparts and discouraging black abuse victims from calling the police. Its employees were also at war with each other, bickering over whether Jews are a persecuted minority group and whether there is such a thing as a non-racist white person.
Those events prompted Nicole Levitt, an attorney with the group’s legal center, to file a discrimination complaint against her employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that it “berated, humiliated, and subjected” her to “mandatory thought reform efforts.”
“Women Against Abuse used to be liberal,” Levitt told the Washington Free Beacon. “Now it’s illiberal.”
This story is based on Levitt’s discrimination complaint, Women Against Abuse’s response to it, and materials from the equity audit that Levitt shared with the Free Beacon. It reveals how the leading domestic violence nonprofit in Philadelphia descended into dogmatism and infighting, obsessing over identity as domestic homicides in the city reached an all-time high of 43 in 2021—more than double the previous year.
That obsession manifested in avant garde policies that led the group far astray from its core mission. The policies weren’t just the product of employee activism, but of outside consultants—including Ragina Arrington, now the chief executive officer of the Clinton Foundation’s Global Initiative University, who since July 2020 has been helping Women Against Abuse conduct its equity audit.