The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, YWCA Rhode Island, Progreso Latino, Sojourner House, Youth In Action, and Princes 2 Kings are implementing groundbreaking primary prevention programs this year thanks to Rhode Island’s first dedicated funding
[Providence, RI – March 8, 2017] In 2016, recognizing that the prevention of dating and domestic violence is vital to the health of all Rhode Islanders, the Rhode Island General Assembly established the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund (DVPF). The DVPF will be administered by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) and will support evidence-informed primary prevention programs that aim to stop intimate partner violence before it starts. A total of $180,000 in grant funding will be distributed annually.
"For more than ten years, Rhode Island has been at the forefront of primary prevention programs that aim to prevent intimate partner violence," said Deborah DeBare, Executive Director at the RICADV. "We are excited that this funding will increase the number of schools, community groups, and community-based agencies that are engaged in this work, enabling us to reach diverse communities and populations throughout Rhode Island."
In January 2017, three Implementation Project awards were granted to local organizations. When making decisions about which projects would be funded, priority was given to proposals that focused on altering norms, policies, and community conditions that impact girls and boys of color and LGBTQ and Two-Spirit youth, and that support the implementation of the Lindsay Ann Burke Act in schools.
YWCA Rhode Island received a $55,000 implementation grant to train educators, youth workers, service providers, and community members on the historical and current ways that institutional and structural racism impact girls of color and to provide a proven practice for building resiliency in girls.
"Our project recognizes that girls of color are often overlooked when community members, service providers, and educators address issues of gender and racial inequality, and its relationship to intimate partner violence," said Deborah Perry, President/CEO of YWCA Rhode Island. "It is a clarion call to all of our better selves to highlight the unique struggles of girls of color and ask what we as individuals and as part of larger organizations can do to improve our society by raising awareness and focusing on altering norms, polices, and community conditions that impact girls of color."
Progreso Latino received a $55,000 implementation grant to execute Teen & Adult Prevention Program (TAPP), which will use a holistic public health approach to build the community’s capacity to address intimate partner violence in the Blackstone Valley area. TAPP will create adult and youth social action groups that will assess community challenges and then mobilize the community to identify and lead social change efforts and policy reforms. Progreso Latino has partnered with Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, the local domestic violence agency in that area, to provide domestic violence prevention education to social action groups and local schools.
"We understand that violence is a symptom of many factors and that we need to work together in order to make a difference," said Mario Bueno, Executive Director of Progreso Latino. "We are eager to work with the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center along with other organizations in order to seek out grassroots solutions to intimate partner violence."
Sojourner House received a $55,000 implementation grant to launch the Interpersonal Violence Youth Peer Advocacy Network Program in Providence and Woonsocket communities. With support from three community-based youth serving organizations, Youth Pride Inc., Youth In Action, and Youth Works 411, as well as the Providence Student Union, Sojourner House will train youth activists and establish a peer advocacy program that will support schools with the implementation of the Lindsay Ann Burke Act.
"Sojourner House currently operates a variety of direct and emergency services programs to help victims of abuse reclaim their lives," said Vanessa Volz, Executive Director of Sojourner House. "We're thrilled to receive funding to help address the root causes of interpersonal violence and therefore be part of the solution to prevent violent relationships before they happen. We know this work is a community effort, which is why we've partnered with local youth organizations and schools in Providence and Woonsocket to implement our project."
In addition to the three Implementation Project grants, the RICADV awarded two one-time community micro-grants. Priority was given to short-term projects that foster and increase community cohesion through public awareness, education, and the arts; and that help community members make a personal connection to the issue of intimate partner violence by encouraging bystanders to take action.
Youth In Action received a $9,755 micro-grant to support the development and implementation of a series of youth-designed community events, including a youth-led led film and discussion series and social media campaign. Youth In Action will train staff to recognize, respond to, and make referrals for families experiencing intimate partner violence.
Princes 2 Kings received a $5,000 micro-grant to develop an engaging and educational stop motion animation film addressing teen dating violence. The script will be developed by the program participants, who will also perform, record, and edit the film.
More information about domestic violence primary prevention, the Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, and these projects can be found on the RICADV’s website: www.ricadv.org/dvpf.
About the RICADV:
The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island. The organization provides leadership to its member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The RICADV's network of member agencies provides a wide array of services for victims, including emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system. For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100. For more information about the RICADV, visit www.ricadv.org.
About Princes 2 Kings:
Princes 2 Kings is a multicomponent program that combines academics and tutoring in STEAM, as well as athletics, mentoring, cultural enrichment activities, and workforce development for program participants year-round, with a goal of improving high school graduation rates among middle school and high school males of color in the West End and South Side of Providence. Learn more: www.facebook.com/P2KPVD.
About Progreso Latino:
Progreso Latino is a community-based organization located in Central Falls whose mission is to empower Rhode Island’s Latino and immigrant communities to achieve greater self-sufficiency and socio-economic progress by providing transformational programs that support personal growth and social change. Learn more: www.progresolatino.org.
About Sojourner House:
Sojourner House is the local domestic violence agency serving Providence and Northern Rhode Island. Their mission is to promote healthy relationships by providing culturally sensitive support, advocacy, and education for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence; and to effect systems change. Learn more: www.sojournerri.org.
About Youth in Action:
Youth in Action is a youth-led organization whose focus is on engaging youth to be full participants and leaders in their communities, serving as agents of social change. Youth In Action uses digital media arts, community health, and student centered techniques to engage youth and build a context for passion and closing the achievement gap. Learn more: www.youthinactionri.org.
About YWCA Rhode Island:
YWCA Rhode Island is a social justice organization and movement providing direct service to, collaborating with, and advocating on behalf of the most structurally disenfranchised people in our society, including low-wage workers, the unemployed, women and girls, people of color, English language learners, immigrants, survivors of abuse, members of the LGBTQ community, as well as current military and veterans. Learn more: www.ywcari.org.