The Office on Women's Health (OWH), in partnership with Futures Without Violence, has selected five health sites serving Native communities and six states to continue a public health initiative designed to improve the health and safety of women and children. Project Connect: A Coordinated Public Health Initiative to Prevent Violence Against Women is supported by OWH and funded through the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005.
The selected grantees who will begin work in January 2013 include:
Project Connect is a national initiative to change how adolescent health, reproductive health, and Native health services respond to sexual and domestic violence. Research demonstrates that programs like Project Connect can help improve maternal and adolescent health and decrease the risks for unplanned pregnancy, poor pregnancy outcomes, and further abuse.
"Project Connect is one of the only programs providing a national, coordinated public health model to improve the health response to domestic and sexual violence,” said Nancy C. Lee, M.D., deputy assistant secretary for Health-Women's Health. “We're proud to continue our collaboration with Futures Without Violence on this groundbreaking and transformative initiative.”
OWH and Futures Without Violence will provide technical assistance and monitor the grantees selected for Project Connect. The 11 grantees were selected through a competitive process and will be awarded funds for implementation over a period of three years.
Project Connect grantees are committed to providing innovative, effective, and culturally relevant services to traditionally underserved communities, including LGBTQ youth, rural women living in poverty, and Latinas. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is implementing an evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of both the clinical intervention and policy change efforts.
Over the past three years, Project Connect has trained nearly 6,000 health care providers in specific interventions to assess for and respond to domestic and sexual violence in their clinical settings. The initiative has helped establish partnerships between public health programs and domestic and sexual violence advocates to effectively identify and refer victims of abuse. Project Connect teams have also had a significant impact on state-level policies, including instituting assessment of domestic and sexual violence into statewide protocols, improving data collection by adding new questions about domestic violence to statewide surveillance systems, increasing funding statewide for clinics that address violence, and requiring annual training on violence in key state programs.
Content last updated: January 31, 2013.