Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships

  • sue osthoff

Sue Osthoff

National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
Executive Director

Sue Osthoff co-founded the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women in September 1987 with Barbara Hart, Esq. As the organization’s director, Sue provides direct technical assistance and trainings, develops resources and other written materials for a wide variety of audiences, and participates in national organizing and policy development. Prior to the Clearinghouse, Sue coordinated the Self-Defense Program at Women Against Abuse, a battered women's program in Philadelphia, and provided direct services to both battered women charged with homicide or aggravated assault and their attorneys. Sue’s initial work in the battered women's movement was in 1979 as a counselor/advocate in Massachusetts.


Sue has served on the advisory boards of several national domestic violence organizations. In 2002, she co-edited three special issues of the journal Violence Against Women on women’s use of violence. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Violence Against Women and is on the advisory board of the journal Women, Girls & Criminal Justice. 


Sue has been honored with multiple awards:  the Gloria Steinem “Women of Vision” Award (1991), the Crystal Stair Award for “extraordinary contributions to social welfare” from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work (2000), the Louis D. Apothaker award from the Philadelphia Bar Foundation (2003), the Saltzman Award for Contributions to Practice from the American Society of Criminology Division on Women and Crime (2010), one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews (2010), and the Trailblazer Award from the Bread & Roses Community Fund, located in Philadelphia (2014).