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Regional activities on violence against women
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The U.S. government and women's health
The Office on Women's Health supports the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls Initiative to respond to the problem of violence against women and girls in the United States. Through this nationwide initiative, the Regional Offices on Women's Health fund activities and events that educate communities about violence against women and girls. This work is directed by the Regional Women's Health Coordinators (RWHCs).
Below are some examples of the OWH regional offices' work.
Region III has funded three violence against women projects in Fiscal Year 2010 that target adolescents. The projects were awarded $5,000 each and include:
- The Primary Prevention of Intimate/Interpersonal Partner Violence. This project is located in Dover, DE. On May 19, 2010, 100 Delaware Bureau of School-based Wellness Centers school employees and directors held a workshop. The workshop educated and raised awareness among participants about the prevention of partner violence among adolescent girls.The audience developed strategies to address primary prevention of intimate partner violence in their schools during the 2010-2011 school year.
- "Meet DaVE" (Dating Violence Education). This project is located in Lynchburg, VA. Approximately 1,000 women and girls ages 12 to 24 from the inner city participated in educational and theatrical workshops and an essay contest to address bullying, stalking, sexual assault, rape, gang activity, and emotional and sexual abuse through educational workshops. The workshops took place from February 11, 2010 to July 24, 2010.
- Hampton University - Fighting Violence Against Women. This project is located in Hampton, VA. High school and college girls participated in three educational workshops in February, March, and June 2010. Topics included sexual assault, signs of abusive relationships and stalking, dating violence, gangs, and bullying. The workshops trained university first responders and a student task force about sexual violence.
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Region IV, based in Atlanta, GA, collaborated with the Women's Center of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, FL to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The theme for the activities was Prevent Sexual Violence on Our Campuses. Activities included a college campus kick-off with the Walk-a-Mile and Clothesline Project. There also was a community kick-off with representatives from the mayor's office, criminal justice system, and victim-serving agencies. The event included an educational film screening with a discussion panel and an art exhibit.
Partnerships included University of North Florida Women's Center, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, State Attorney's Office, Jacksonville University, and Florida State Community College. A diverse target population of more than 600 was reached.
South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council hosted the 2nd Annual Midlands Women and Girls Symposium in Columbia, SC. The event was co-hosted with multiple partners across the spectrum of government and community-based organizations and a partnership with the Palmetto Health Alliance. The theme for the one-day event was Saving the Next Generation. It included a plenary with panels made up of survivors and experts, a luncheon with a keynote speaker, and small group breakout sessions for the women and girls. The goal was to engage more than 300 adolescent females and adult women to educate them about teen dating violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, HIV and other STIs, and teen pregnancy.
Additional violence against women and girls projects funded for the 2010 fiscal year include:
- Center for Women and Families
- Knox County Health Department
- KIDDS Dance Project, Inc.
- Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Nurses Association, Inc.
- University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
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Region VIII supported several initiatives to prevent violence against women in Fiscal Year 2010.
Region VIII continues to support the Domestic Violence Research and Action Coalition (DVRAC) that is housed at the Center on Domestic Violence at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver. The region contributed funding and support to the biannual research luncheon hosted by the Center on Domestic Violence in September 2009. The luncheon, titled "Current Intimate Partner Violence Research in Colorado," brought together more than 70 professionals and students working in violence prevention. Speakers presented on their research conducted through the auspices of several universities in the state of Colorado. In addition, Region VIII staff supported DVRAC by helping to organize of the research track to be held at the biannual National Coalition Against Domestic Violence conference. Staff also reviewed workshop presentation proposals for the conference.
Region VIII also contributed funding to four organizations in FY 2010. The funding ranged from $2,355 to $5,000. A brief description of the projects is below.
- Operation Reach Out – Promoting Crime Victims Awareness and Prevention. The Central Valley Health District of Jamestown, ND received funding for a project to increase community awareness of crimes against women and girls. The project also taught women and girls personal safety skills. The project worked to educate law enforcement personnel, educators, health professionals, athletes, counselors, clergy, and other community leaders about violence against women and girls. The project used National Crime Victims Rights week to partner with law enforcement in creating a free Stop Violence Conference. The conference had many aspects, including presentations by a violence survivor and the director of the University of North Dakota Women's Center, and a "rockumentary" presentation. Through many diverse events, organizers provided safe ways to obtain local and national resource information. A billboard was displayed for one month on the main street of Jamestown, posters were placed in public locations across the city, informational cards were placed in restaurants, on grocery shopping carts and in other locations, and PSAs were run on TV and radio throughout the month of the project.
- YES: Youth Empowerment Series. The Sexual Assault Victim Advocate (SAVA) Center of Fort Collins, CO used the funds supplied by OWH to complement other funds that run their programs for youth. The project used several methods to provide sexual violence prevention education to middle school students, high school students, parents, and staff within Poudre School District (PSD). This goal was accomplished through peer education and staff-led presentations. It also included performances of the theatrical prevention education play "Until Someone Wakes Up." The second goal of the YES Program is to empower and enable youth to become productive, engaged, and strong contributors to their community. Two additional methods were used in schools:
- SuperGirls Empowerment Running Program. SuperGirls is presented to girls ages 7 to 12 at outreach sites such as after-school and summer programs. SuperGirls provides developmentally appropriate lessons on topics such as self-image, healthy relationships, gender violence, bullying, and body awareness. Super Girls pairs the participants with adult women to provide mentorship and ongoing support while training to run in a race.
- Speak OUT! Clubs. During the 2009-2010 school year, SAVA piloted Gender Violence Prevention Clubs at Poudre High School and Lesher Middle School. The club is a by-kids and for-kids lunchtime project to increase awareness of sexual violence within the school.
- Crossroads Safehouse's Teen Dating Violence Institute (TDVI). The domestic violence shelter in Fort Collins, CO conducts outreach to teens to prevent teen dating violence. TDVI talks with teens about healthy relationships and the warning signs of domestic violence. This information is not part of any mandatory curriculum in Larimer County. Because the dynamics of dating violence include ambiguous behaviors such as "quick involvement" (e.g., saying "I love you" early in the relationship) and jealousy, which can seem charming and protective, teens too often become entangled in abusive relationships. These presentations allow teens to talk to teens, under the guidance of trained professionals, about abusive relationships. They also provide a way for teens to better understand the impact of abuse and the different forms of abuse. Funds from OWH were used to train teen peer educators, coordinate 17 peer-instructed educational presentations throughout the Poudre and Thompson Valley School Districts, host meetings with school personnel from more rural areas of Larimer County to expand the TDVI program, and to get ready to provide the program in schools in the fall of 2010.
- Domestic Violence Prevention Workshops for Teens and Women at Mercy Housing Colorado's Holly Park Apartments. Mercy Housing collaborated with Rape Assistance and Awareness Program (RAAP) to offer training curricula to residents and other community members through evening courses that included:
- Together Keeping Children Safe, which offered presentations for caregivers, parents, and resident service staff on child sexual abuse and tips for keeping children safe
- Harassment Ends by Respecting Others (HERO), which taught middle school youth about harassment and abusive behavior
- Sexual Assault Free Environment (SAFE), which taught high school women about healthy dating and relationship decisions
- Self-protection and Empowerment Training (SET), which taught women to learn how to convey boundaries and learn self-protection techniques to fend off an attack
OWH Region VIII will continue to support efforts to end violence against women through other means throughout the fiscal year.
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Region IX funded a number of projects under the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls funding opportunity in Fiscal Year 2010, including:
- Proyecto Cambio (Project Change), which is located in La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, CA. Proyecto Cambio is a comprehensive intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention and intervention program designed to reduce the incidence of IPV among Latino immigrants in Contra Cost County who speak only Spanish. It uses promotoras (lay health workers) to promote health education related to domestic violence to underserved, low-income Latino women. The promotoras use the ACT Against Violence Curriculum facilitated by staff from John F. Kennedy University. This curriculum addresses domestic violence, risk factors for child violence in the family and its consequences, positive conflict resolution, discipline vs. child punishment, and how children experience violence in the media and the home.
- Young Women are Sacred, which is promoted by My Brothers and Sisters House in Arizona. The goal is to prevent teen violence, including dating violence, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Young Women are Sacred workshops are geared to pre-teen and teenage girls to help them understand that they own their bodies and are responsible for the decisions they make regarding their bodies. Topics covered include risk behaviors for abuse, how to increase healthy choices in terms of partners, and where to go for support. Female elders provide the history of their villages and the historical and contemporary roles of women in the Nation.
- Safe Embrace, which is a community-based organization dedicated to stopping the cycle of violence in families by providing intervention and prevention services. The project focuses on female at-risk youth involved with Washoe County Juvenile Services who are residents of the McGee Center. The teens will be organized into a support group to educate them about healthy choices to prevent their being violent to others and from being victims of violence themselves.
- The Southern Indian Health Council, Inc., which hosted a youth wellness conference. The goal was to educate tribal youth and tribal leaders on issues related to domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, substance abuse, and depression and other mental disorders using culturally relevant strategies and techniques.
- Wesley Community Center, which was given funds to support its Solamente Mujeres (Women Only) project. The organization's goals include raising awareness among staff and clients about violence against women and girls. The organization hopes to teach staff to respond appropriately to victims of violence, educate women and girls about the services and resources available to them, and empower the females to recognize and address violence in their own lives and in their families.
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Region X continues to provide funding to community organizations for projects to prevent violence against women and girls. In FY2010 regional projects were carried out by several organizations. These organizations include:
- Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County in Bellingham, WA
- NE Coalition of Neighborhoods in Portland, OR
- Oneida Crisis Center, Inc. in Malad City, ID
- SafePlace in Olympia, WA
The regional staff has established on-going relationships with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Staff have provided information and support for trainings and annual conferences in Washington and Oregon. In addition, Region X is partnering with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence to hold a training for domestic and sexual violence service providers and emergency management officials on responding to the needs of women and children affected by natural or man-made disasters. Women are often at increased risk of domestic and sexual violence in the aftermath of a disaster.
Content last updated: July 16, 2012.
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