About Us

Northwoods Battered Women’s Shelter, Inc. (NBWS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit located in Bemidji, MN which primarily serves Beltrami and Cass counties. NBWS is a domestic violence shelter and advocacy program with a vision of a community free of domestic violence in which safety is a basic human right. NBWS provides emergency crisis shelter and advocacy to victim/survivors of intimate partner violence; this includes shelter services to women and their children and short-term safe housing to men and their children.

Crisis Shelter

Crisis shelter is temporary, short term housing. With the crisis shelter and safe housing services, NBWS provides emotional support, meals, items to meet basic needs (personal hygiene products and clothing), and transportation.


NBWS provides individual advocacy to anyone in need of services, for both those residing at NBWS and those who are not. Individual advocacy means working alongside individuals to obtain self-identified goals, emotional support, crisis intervention (typically through the NBWS 24 hour crisis phone line), and assistance in connecting with local resources. NBWS also provides legal advocacy which includes assistance with filling out Orders for Protection and Harassment Restraining Orders, court accompaniment (for civil or criminal cases), and tracking court matters on behalf of victim/survivors.

NBWS advocacy also consists of institutional advocacy and social change advocacy. Institutional advocacy is acting as a voice for victim/survivors, collectively, within systems or institutions that interact with victim/survivors, such as the Criminal Justice System or with local service providers. Social change advocacy is impacting social norms and attitudes towards domestic violence; this large picture advocacy is implemented by educating others on the dynamics of domestic violence and speaking to the collective needs of victim/survivors using the information learned from direct service work.

Crisis Shelter