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All of our services are free and confidential.

Call our 24-hour hotline

Safety is a human right, and every
person deserves to live free from
domestic violence.

Alianza assists, supports, and empowers those whose lives are affected by battering and abuse. We believe that victims and survivors of domestic violence deserve respect and can make their own choices. Our staff — whom we call advocates — offers a high level of emotional support for independent decision-making.

person with ladderWhat We Do

We empower survivors of domestic violence to stay safe and achieve greater independence.

We do this by helping with logistics such as safe housing, food, clothing, medical support, court orders, legal help, therapy, and childcare — practical things survivors need to flourish.

But we also provide things that aren’t as visible.

We provide emotional support, empathy, and the space for survivors to tell their story.

Our staff — whom we call advocates — are allies.
They stand side by side with participants.

Many of our advocates are intimately familiar with the cycle of abuse.
They have either survived domestic violence or know someone who has. In many cases, both.

Our advocates work as a team.
They represent a diverse array of cultures and backgrounds and they all share one belief: that everyone has the right to live without fear of abuse.

All of our advocates are relentlessly positive.
They invested in treating all participants like equals.

No matter how a survivor finds us or where they are in the cycle of abuse, our number one goal is to make sure each survivor is believed and supported.

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Bilingual/bicultural services available.

Our advocates speak English, Spanish and Russian.

We see you.
We hear you.
We believe you.

Our services are free and confidential.

Administrative Staff

Carmen Nieves Executive Director

Carmen Nieves

Executive Director

Carmen Nieves has held numerous key roles within Alianza (formerly Womanshelter /Compañeras) and became Executive Director after serving as a program leader for more than 20 years. She brings a wealth of experience in domestic violence services, innovative models for program development, and community education and collaboration. Recognized in Holyoke, and across the state of Massachusetts as a champion for survivors of domestic violence, Carmen has served on numerous domestic violence advisory committees and is well-known as a bilingual domestic/intimate partner violence trainer.

Pamela Barnes

Deputy Director

Margie A. Quinones-Ortiz

Executive Office Manager/HR Support

Julia Zegarra

Communications Coordinator

Gwendolyn Hardrick

Business Manager

Ivette Hernandez

Director of Residential Services

Emily Skoczylas

Outreach & Education Coordinator

Jocelyn Martinez

Director of Programming and Services

Drew Warner

Grants Compliance Manager

Karen Boyle Cavanaugh

Executive Director (1999-2018)
In Remeberance

Tamicha Colon

Director of Housing

Elsa Bonilla

Development Manager

Our Board of Directors

Denise Duguay


Alan Fletcher
Mary A. Socha, Esq.

Alianza is currently seeking candidates for its Board of Directors! Our Board members are essential to the health and success of our programs and services. Learn more and fill out a Board application here.

Rebecca Ramah


Dana Dyer Hines
Jamal A. Lacy

Maria Galano, PhD


Marie Nathan
Rev. Charlotte LaForest

John Marx

Vice President 

Brenda Bak

Alianza is grateful for the generous support from the Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, U.S. Department of Justice, Holyoke and Chicopee Community Development offices, United Way of Pioneer Valley, and the Diocese of Springfield. Alianza receives Title III/Older Americans Act funding from WestMass ElderCare allocated by the Administration of Community Living and the Mass. Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Alianza’s programs and services are partially supported by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance through a Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

We also extend our thanks to the many foundations, corporations, and individuals who support us in our work on behalf of domestic violence survivors.