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Home / News / What's In a Name?

What's In a Name?

Most commonly used words for domestic violence programs revealed

Jul 19, 2015

We’ve all seen lists of the most common given names and last names for people, or trending baby names. But, you’ve probably never seen a list identifying the most common words used in the given name for domestic violence programs, until now and thanks to

“Most people know the website as the place to find help faster and easier than ever before, if you’re experiencing domestic violence. Or as the place to go online or socially to read a steady flow of fresh, helpful articles and dialogue with others,” says Chris McMurry, a board member for Theresa’s Fund which operates

“One of the lesser known attributes of the site is that it contains probably the largest database on domestic violence programs that has ever been assembled in North America,” he adds. “The database allows us to look at the field in meaningful new ways, and one of those ways is naming conventions.”

The top five most common words, or more accurately nouns, are: Center, House, Women, Family and Violence, and each is used by more than 10 percent of the 3,354 programs providing help services in the U.S and Canada. The word “Center” is most popular and it appears in 585 of the given names or 17.4% of all the given names across the two countries.


    1. Center (585)
    2. House (435)
    3. Women (431)
    4. Family (400)
    5. Violence (357)
    6. Shelter (327)
    7. Services (316)
    8. Domestic (301)
    9. County (290)
    10. Safe (172)

The database contains up to 156 points of information on each of the 3,354 programs. The Statistics area of the website is dedicated to tabulating some of this data by state and presenting it in easy-to-read charts. The website’s organizers have plans during the next year to create an ever more robust online data center allowing people to sort the data based on rurality and congressional district, and including roll-up data on capacity, operations and services.

About Theresa’s Fund

Theresa’s Fund is an Arizona-based 501(c)3 non-profit charity started in 1992 by Preston V. McMurry, Jr. Originally, and at a time when domestic violence wasn’t yet a headline, Theresa’s Fund focused on changing the landscape of domestic violence services in its home state through grant making, board development and fundraising for Arizona-based organizations like East Valley Child Crisis Center, Sojourner Center, Florence Crittenden, Emerge, UMOM, and West Valley Child Crisis Center. In 2014, it developed the concept as a way to expand its reach to people across the U.S./Canada. is the first online and mobile searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence.