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  • SOAR Media

    SOAR members are involved in raising awareness about our vision in which domestic violence is no longer tolerated.

  • Speak Up!

    At schools and community centers, SOAR members provide presentations
    about the dynamics of domestic violence.

  • Policy Priorities

    SOAR members are very active in advocating for laws that protect victims of domestic violence and their children.

  • Support SOAR

    Join our quest towards the elimination of domestic violence

  • Join SOAR

    SOAR recruits, trains and empowers survivors to use their voices for change.

Behind Closed Doors

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Behind Closed Doors Debut
Trinity Repertory Company Dowling Theater was a phenomenal success!


Behind Closed Doors is an original play written and performed by 15 survivors of domestic violence from SOAR, a task force of RICADV. This performance is a true account of their experiences with domestic violence, hope and survival, and seeks to draw you into their lives to dispel the stigmas of this often misunderstood abuse. The script was crafted by Trinity Repertory Company teaching artists Michael Williams and Francesca Montanile, who mentored the SOAR members in cultivating their performances. The play was developed over ten 90-minute sessions in which the survivors journaled, wrote poetry and told stories that were weaved into a play composed completely of their own words. The women speak both their own words and the words of their fellow survivors. All proceeds from Behind Closed Doors benefit SOAR/RICADV in raising awareness to end domestic violence.


 "It was the most compelling presentation regarding domestic violence I have seen. With real-life stories presented in a creative way, the play took the audience from early warning signs of domestic violence, to psychological control and physical abuse, to escape and finally ongoing survivorship; it encompassed all aspects of the cycle of violence. The strength of the fifteen women presenting their stories was inspiring on many levels. Everyone should view this play, especially young people starting out in new relationships." ~ Peter Kilmartin, RI Attorney General 

"Behind Closed Doors was such an inspiring, educational, and emotional presentation." ~ Student 

"My initial reaction was summed up into one word: wow. There were more emotions expressed in that play than any other play that I have ever been to, and this I feel is important because it was real-life experiences that were being told." 

"I would like to start off by saying that this was the most influential school event that I have been to in my college career. The courage that these women put on display to tell their stories was something that I had never seen before. I am thankful that I was there to witness it."

About SOAR:

SOAR (Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships) is a nationally recognized  task force of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, made up of survivors of domestic violence. SOAR's mission is to promote, advocate and work towards the elimination of domestic violence and to embody and give visibility to the voices of abused women. SOAR is the only group in Rhode Island specifically working on systems change that entirely consists of domestic violence survivors, and is a leader among similar groups in the nation.

SOAR is one of only four recent recipients of the highly competitive 2012 Mary Byron Award Celebrating Solutions. This monetary award is given to organizations across the country for their work in implementing solutions that fight domestic violence or serve domestic violence survivors and families.


SOAR members received special recognition from the Attorney General during Victims' Crime Week for their performance in the play Behind Closed Doors.

The Trinity Repertory Company, Michael Williams and Francesca Montanile received the 2012 Justice Award in the Category of Domestic Violence Prevention for their role in creating Behind Closed Doors.



Giving voice

SOAR is a grassroots taskforce of domestic violence survivors dedicated to lending their voices to change the systems that oppress women, while educating the community about the dynamics of domestic violence. We were originally formed in 1989, when a group of domestic violence survivors vowed to move on from their inner healing, so that they could address the root causes of domestic violence and the solutions necessary for change.

We came together with a defined mission in mind, to promote, advocate and work towards the elimination of domestic violence and to embody and give visibility to the voices of abused women.

Since 1989, SOAR has grown to more than 100 members. Members have worked on a variety of projects that enable the voices of domestic violence victims to be widely heard. SOAR has worked on everything from public media campaigns to changing legislation, not only for survivors but also for their children who are affected by domestic violence.



To fulfill the mission of the taskforce, SOAR members actively work in three different areas:

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1.   Systems change: SOAR has led and participated in different projects that aim to create systemic changes that ensure procedures and safeguards are used to promote victims' and children’s safety. Click here to learn about our current project.

2.   Legislative Activism: Each year our Legislative Platform attempts to address issues that affect domestic violence victims and their children. SOAR members are very active in reviewing legislation and lobbying to create laws that will protect victims about domestic violence and their children.

      3.   Community Education: Members provide trainings and presentations to schools,
            colleges, and community centers to raise awareness of domestic violence dynamics.    


Our group holds meetings on a regular basis. At these meetings, we plan our public education and outreach, discuss legislation, organize events, and work towards achieving the goals that SOAR members have chosen. At each meeting we provide childcare, transportation and food.

Finally, SOAR recruits, trains and empowers survivors to use their voices and experiences to challenge and change the areas that continue to be barriers to keeping women safe and maintaining violence-free lives.