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Since 2003, the RICADV has received DELTA funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent intimate partner violence (IPV) before it happens in the first place.

DELTA stands for Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances.

Currently, we receive funding under DELTA Impact, through which state domestic violence coalitions implement and evaluate prevention strategies and fund local communities to do the same.

While we know IPV occurs in every city and town in Rhode Island, we also know there are community-level factors (e.g., poor neighborhood support and cohesion, harmful gender norms, norms supportive of aggression, a lack of economic opportunities, and unemployment) that increase an individual’s risk for violence and poorer overall health outcomes. The purpose of DELTA Impact is to decrease the risk factors in our communities that may lead to IPV and to increase protective factors that prevent it.

With support from DELTA Impact, the RICADV is contributing to the national evidence base for how to prevent IPV before it starts, in collaboration with state and community partners and other state domestic violence coalitions across the country.

To learn more, visit the CDC’s DELTA Impact webpage.

State-Level Prevention

The goals of the RICADV’s DELTA Impact project are to increase the prioritization of IPV primary prevention in Rhode Island and to support and enhance community and state-level prevention programs and policy efforts.

State-level primary prevention strategies include:

  • Economic Justice Policies: According to the CDC, the most promising evidence-informed strategies for preventing domestic violence before it starts include strengthening economic supports for families. Such efforts can include enacting policies that help families access paid leave, meet basic needs, and increase household income. By striving to achieve economic justice for all Rhode Islanders, we can improve a wide range of health outcomes in our state, while potentially decreasing the rates of domestic violence in our communities.

  • State Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity (CHAE): Co-chaired by RICADV Empowerment Evaluator Cynthia Roberts, the CHAE is a legislated state commission. The CHAE is responsible for coordinating expertise across state agencies to develop a plan for Rhode Island to achieve health equity and decrease health disparities.
    • In partnership with the CHAE, the RI Department of Health recently released the Rhode Island Health Equity Measures, a comprehensive set of community and state-level indicators of health equity. The Health Equity Measures are intended to help communities assess the impact of health equity initiatives, and to help identify systems and policies that affect the ability of every Rhode Islander to live a healthy life and achieve their full potential. 

  • State Leadership Team: Made up of key state and community stakeholders, the State Leadership Team guides the implementation and evaluation of the State Plan for IPV primary prevention. The group meets regularly to plan, align efforts, and share data, findings, and lessons learned.

  • Teen Dating Violence Prevention: The RICADV collaborates with state and community partners on policy and systems change strategies for preventing teen dating violence, including strengthening the implementation of the Lindsay Ann Burke Act. In 2006, Rhode Island became the first state to pass this comprehensive teen dating violence education law, requiring all public middle and high schools to establish a policy for responding to dating violence and to educate staff and students on the issue.

  • Ten Men: Through Ten Men, local male community leaders engage their spheres of influence to create social change, educating themselves and others about men’s role in ending IPV, raising the visibility of men engaged in IPV prevention efforts through public awareness campaigns and communications strategies, and mobilizing the community to create solutions for preventing IPV.
Community-Based Prevention: Greening Urban Spaces

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC)-Newport Health Equity Zone (HEZ) currently implements a DELTA Impact prevention strategy focused on greening urban spaces.

Studies have shown that neighborhoods with more open spaces and trees have lower rates of intimate partner violence and reduced violent crime rates. Public housing residents with nearby trees and natural landscapes reported 25% fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence.

With the goal of improving health on the neighborhood level, the Newport HEZ strives to empower residents with the skills needed to create community change. The HEZ is engaged in a variety of resident-driven activities connected to greening urban spaces, including a Farmers Market at the Pell School and a marked walking/biking path in the North End.

The Greening Urban Spaces Working Group of the Newport HEZ also advocates for increased access to parks and open space as one of the key social determinants of health in the HEZ community.

What are Health Equity Zones (HEZ)?

Rhode Island HEZs were established by an initiative through the Rhode Island Department of Health. HEZs are place-based health equity collaboratives designed to decrease health disparities in a designated community in RI.

The Newport HEZ is a citywide coalition mobilizing residents and resources of the North End and Broadway neighborhoods to make Newport a place where everyone can thrive. The WRC, a member agency of the RICADV, serves as the backbone agency for the HEZ.

Evaluation

Evaluation is a core component of DELTA Impact funding. Since so little is known about evidence-informed approaches to primary prevention, focusing on evaluating our strategies helps increase our understanding of how to prevent IPV in our communities.

The RICADV continues to design and implement our evaluation approaches in order to understand the impacts of our primary prevention efforts and to contribute to a national body of evidence for preventing IPV before it starts. Under DELTA Impact, we are also working to identify and track state-level risk and protective factor indicators and incorporate state-level evaluation data into statewide planning processes.

The RICADV takes a data-to-action approach in our prevention initiatives, using evaluation findings to direct and shape our efforts. We regularly share data, findings, and lessons learned with key local, state, and national-level partners, as well as the broader IPV prevention field.

We are committed to a utilization-focused, stakeholder-engaged approach to evaluation, which means we use, translate, and disseminate our findings with key partners. These partners also closely inform all of our evaluation efforts, such as by helping develop plans, tools, and processes and by collaborating with the RICADV in making meaning out of the data and using the findings.

History of DELTA Funding

With support from the CDC, the RICADV has been actively applying the public health framework to preventing IPV for over fifteen years.

In 2003, the RICADV became one of 14 states to receive CDC DELTA funding to build greater capacity for IPV primary prevention in Rhode Island and to establish a multidisciplinary steering committee that developed a strategic primary prevention plan for the state.

Ten years later, the RICADV was selected as one of 10 states to receive the DELTA FOCUS (Focusing on Outcomes for Communities United with States) grant.

Through DELTA FOCUS, we continued our work to prevent IPV at the national, state, and local levels. We implemented strategies to improve the environments and conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play, also known as the social and environmental determinants of health.

In 2018, the RICADV was again selected as one of 10 states to receive the DELTA Impact grant from the CDC to continue and expand this work to prevent first-time IPV perpetration and victimization in RI.

As a result of this longstanding partnership with the CDC, the RICADV has been at the forefront of implementing and evaluating evidence-informed programs and strategies for preventing IPV before it starts.

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