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Primary prevention aims to stop intimate partner violence (IPV) before it starts, so babies born tomorrow grow up to never witness, experience or perpetrate abuse in their lifetime.

While clinical services and education are essential for responding to the violence that is already happening in our communities, the Deborah DeBare Domestic Violence Prevention Fund (DVPF) supports projects that aim to prevent IPV before it happens in the first place. Projects are designed to have a broader, sustainable impact, such as policy, systems and environmental change, in order to reach larger groups of the population, rather than one individual at a time.

Projects aim to create safe, supportive environments and stable, nurturing community conditions so that IPV is less likely to occur.


The RICADV is currently accepting proposals for DVPF Community Micro-grants!

To view the Request for Proposals, click here.

For more information, click Request for Proposals in the menu below.

The RICADV will hold a technical assistance call for applicants via Zoom web conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. To register for the technical assistance call, please email Krista D’Amico, director of prevention, at krista@ricadv.org. Participants are encouraged to email their questions in advance. Questions will be addressed during the call, and a recording will be posted to this page of our website shortly after. The Zoom call information will be emailed to registered participants only.

ARISE Hidden LotusYouth members of ARISE participate in the Hidden Lotus program, supported by DVPF Community Micro-grant funding

Request for Proposals

The RICADV is currently accepting proposals for Domestic Violence Prevention Fund Community Micro-grants! To view the Request for Proposals (RFP), click here.

The RFP welcomes applications that address shared risk and protective factors for violence and focus on changing harmful norms, policies and community conditions that allow domestic violence to happen in the first place.

A total of $88,000 will be distributed to support one-time Community Micro-grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000. Community Micro-grants will support short-term projects that will be completed by June 30, 2023.

Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2022. Applications should be emailed in PDF format to Krista D’Amico, director of prevention, at krista@ricadv.org.

Purpose & Goals

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health issue that can be prevented.

The purpose of the DVPF is to increase the number of schools, community groups and community-based organizations that are engaged in a public health approach to preventing IPV.

DVPF projects can, for example, support RI schools to align with the state’s comprehensive teen dating violence education law, the Lindsay Ann Burke Act through school climate and systems change strategies, such as:

  • Policy implementation
  • Staff training
  • Media campaigns
  • Community organizing with parent organizations, athletic programs and district-level health and wellness committees

While domestic violence and dating abuse can happen to anyone, the burden of this violence is not shared equally among groups. Women of color, people who are LGBTQ, people with disabilities and youth bear a disproportionate impact.

The goal of the DVPF is to address such disparities in Rhode Island by supporting prevention strategies that prioritize and center communities most impacted by IPV. The DVPF Advisory Committee gives prioritiy to proposals that focus on engaging and affirming youth of color; LGBTQ, Two-Spirit, and Gender Nonconforming youth; and youth with disabilities in IPV prevention efforts and activities.

Implementation Projects

DVPF Implementation Projects focus on addressing shared risk and protective factors for violence and on altering norms, policies, and community conditions to prevent IPV before it starts.

  • Grantees

  • Progreso Latino (2017 to present)

    Progreso Latino received a $50,882 Implementation Project annual award* for its Teen & Adult Prevention Program (TAPP), which uses a holistic public health approach to grow the community’s capacity to address intimate partner violence (IPV) in the Blackstone Valley area.

    TAPP engages cohorts of adults and youth as social action committees that mobilize around common goals towards social change and policy reform. In partnership with the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Progreso Latino is building on the successes and experiences of its previous DVPF project, continuing to draw from the leadership of survivors and youth and adding a new men’s engagement component.

    *The grant period for this Implementation Project is January 2020 through June 2023.


    DVPF Project Spotlight

    In March 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Progreso Latino implemented its COVID-19 Response Plan, comprised of the remote continuation of 12 core programs and the expansion of its on-site Central Falls Food Pantry, a member agency of the RI Community Food Bank. This critical partnership enabled Progreso Latino to respond to the significant increase in the number of households accessing the food pantry as a result of the pandemic, many for the first time.

    The CF Food Pantry transformed from a small pantry serving 1,124 households in 2019 into a mass anti-hunger operation serving over 15,000 households in 2020. Progreso Latino continues to serve hundreds of people per week at the pantry.

    Progreso Latino also launched a multilingual, culturally responsive communications campaign through its website, social media platforms, and in-person outreach efforts. The campaign focused on raising awareness about Progreso Latino's programs, COVID-19 education and testing, domestic violence prevention and services, employment, housing, financial programs, education, policy and advocacy, the 2020 census, voting and elections. The campaign highlighted the agency's commitment to serve all immigrants, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. These communications have reached thousands of Latino and immigrant families and many other Rhode Islanders.

    Progreso Latino’s Adult Social Action Committee, currently made up of 10 to 15 core participants, helps community members build leadership skills and become further involved in the issues impacting their community. Progreso Latino continues to build solidarity with various partner coalitions, such as the Raising RI Coalition and the Coalition for a Multilingual RI, with the goal of connecting Adult Social Action Committee participants to local policy campaigns and change efforts, particularly those that support low-income communities and people impacted by domestic violence. Some of the important policy issues they have discussed and testified on include driver’s licenses for all, health insurance for undocumented children, shorter sentences for juvenile detainees, and a sugary drink policy that would add a SNAP incentive for fruits and vegetables.

    Progreso Latino has also developed a leadership toolkit that Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center (BVAC) can provide to survivors of domestic violence who participate in BVAC’s support groups and who are interested in advancing their passion to end domestic violence by strengthening their leadership and advocacy skills.

    Progreso Latino ASAC photoProgreso Latino ASAC photo2As part of Progreso Latino’s DVPF Implementation Project, members of their Adult Social Action Committee attend and speak at a State House rally in support of state-level policy that would ensure driver’s licenses for all, including undocumented immigrants.

  • Sojourner House (2017 to present)

    Sojourner House received a $50,882 Implementation Project annual award* to continue implementing the Peer Advocacy Zone (PAZ), in collaboration with Youth In Action, Nathanael Greene Middle School, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England’s teen peer education program STARS (Students Teaching About Responsible Sexuality).

    The Peer Advocacy Zone works with youth-focused organizations and middle and high school students to educate and train young people to become active in the movement to end teen dating violence and sexual assault in their schools and communities. The peer advocates develop and lead awareness projects around violence prevention and provide educational workshops to their peers.

    *This annual award amount refers to the 2020-2023 DVPF grant cycle.


    In April 2020, during national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the PAZ students created this poster to promote wearing jeans for Denim Day, a national initiative to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. The students also participated in a social media selfie campaign to show solidarity with survivors.

    Denim Day flyer SOJ DVPFAlani SOJ DVPF

    I wear jeans on Denim Day because I am showing support for those who are survivors, and those who struggle on a day-to-day basis. Wearing tight jeans is not an invitation to assault, nor should it be an excuse to victim blame.

    - Alani, a student at Paul Cuffee School in Providence

  • YWCA Rhode Island (2017-2019)

    YWCA Rhode Island received a $55,000 Implementation Project annual award from 2017 to 2019. Their DVPF project focused on training educators, youth workers, service providers, and community members on the historical and current ways institutional and structural racism impact girls of color and on providing 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. 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.” - Deborah Perry, President/CEO


    YWCA Rhode Island provided racial justice training to over 100 people, and also trained 60 youth workers in Girls Circle, an evidence-based prevention program for building resiliency in girls.

    DVPF YWCA RIStaff from the RICADV and our member agencies attended a 3-day training with YWCA RI

  • Nowell Academy (2020-2021)

    Nowell Academy, a public charter high school serving pregnant and parenting youth, received a $50,284 Implementation Project annual award to launch the school’s Safe and Supported Counseling Center (SSCC), in partnership with Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island.

    The SSCC was designed to be a peer-to-peer intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention and response center, with a focus on meeting the needs of unaccompanied minors at risk of IPV. Unaccompanied minors are youth under eighteen years old who have migrated to the country without a lawful status in the U.S. and who have no parent or legal guardian available to care for them. Nowell Academy students would be empowered and trained to provide education, advocacy and support to their peers and receive a stipend as peer counselors.


    With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nowell Academy’s project plans and objectives changed as they navigated challenges such as the shift to distance learning, students’ lack of access to technology, and the disruption of in-person client advocacy services. The peer counselor training curriculum was successfully developed and piloted with a small group of students in the spring of 2020; however, the focus of the project turned to supporting at-risk youth during the crisis in order to decrease the risk factors for IPV.

    In early 2021, Nowell Academy’s project pivoted to focus on enhancing students’ social-emotional learning and increasing their awareness and skills in developing and maintaining healthy relationships. The project would continue to implement a model of incentivizing at-risk youth to participate in prevention programs and compensating students for their time through leadership stipends as they became healthy relationship ambassadors within the school community. The Trusting Ties Healthy Relationships Group was piloted in the spring of 2021 with a small cohort of students.

    Dorcas International Institute was an active funded partner on Nowell Academy’s project, promoting protective factors among youth who are unaccompanied minors in order to decrease the risk of IPV. Support from the DVPF provided Dorcas International the ability to offer groups for youth clients focused on healthy relationships, positive attitudes and behaviors, and artistic expression and to provide program incentives and stipends.


    Nowell Academy’s funding ended in June 2021.

 

Community Micro-grants

Community Micro-grants are short-term projects that foster and increase community cohesion through public awareness, education, and the arts. The goal of these projects is to help community members make a personal connection to the issue of intimate partner violence prevention and encourage bystanders to take action and get involved in their schools and communities.

  • 2022

  • 2021

  • 2020

  • 2019

  • 2018

  • 2017

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) received a $15,000 micro-grant to implement Junior Flames, a student-centered leadership, academic, and social-personal development program for middle school-aged youth. Co-created by the youth, Junior Flames currently consists of 13 young people from Providence, Cranston, Warwick and East Greenwich school districts. The youth will attend weekly workshops to increase self-efficacy around identifying different types of abuse and signs of healthy and unhealthy interactions. They plan to create a digital mural alongside a Tik Tok awareness campaign to empower their peers to recognize and disrupt physical, verbal and emotional abuse, emphasizing healthy relationships and community healing through the arts. The youth will also read and discuss the book Young Revolutionary: A Teen's Guide to Activism by Chanice Lee, during an interactive training series created by ARISE's Anti-Racist Educator. The training series will support the middle school cohort with education and tools to advocate effectively, sustainably and successfully around the issues that matter to them. Junior Flames is a space where young people can be their authentic selves and learn and unlearn together. 


The Empowerment Factory received a $4,000 micro-grant to help support a 10-week after-school restorative justice art program for elementary school and middle school-aged young people enrolled at Sackett Recreation Center, culminating in a community mural project. The goal of the program is to utilize art-making to build positive social and emotional skills for youth ages 5-15. The program will integrate restorative justice practices to encourage a shared sense of accountability among young people, their educators and mentors, and community members, with the aim of building a thriving community culture committed to authentic relationships.


The Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP) received a $4,000 micro-grant to provide professional development for school administrators, educators, counselors and nurses across public school districts in Rhode Island. KBEP aims to empower young people and adults to play an active role in addressing and reducing the factors that contribute to sexual and dating violence. The professional development sessions will provide districts the opportunity to address issues related to relationship violence and teach safe, healthy alternatives to violence in their schools. These workshops will bring together adults in the community who are responsible for guiding, educating or mentoring students and give them the training to recognize the presence or potential presence of violent behaviors.


New Bridges for Haitian Success (NB4HS) received a $15,000 micro-grant to develop and disseminate print materials in Haitian-Creole that include resources and information about domestic violence. NB4HS will engage its own staff as well as leaders from faith-based organizations to participate in a series of workshops and forums related to domestic violence prevention, working with them to strengthen their ability to support victims of domestic violence. Thirdly, NB4HS will continue to advocate existing systems that address intimate partner violence to enhance culturally competent services and responses.


Providence Housing Authority (PHA) received a $15,000 micro-grant to enhance PHA’s Victim Support Program to help prevent intimate partner violence among residents of color, residents who are LGBTQ+ and residents who are disabled, under the age of 25. PHA will collect qualitative and quantitative baseline data as part of this project, and will work with LGBTQ+ youth service organizations to provide trainings to PHA staff. The goal is for PHA to implement consistent intervention and prevention strategies agency-wide in order to better respond to and prevent intimate partner violence and be able to conduct safety planning with victims of domestic violence who identify as LGBTQ+. The PHA will also strive to actively engage young LGBTQ+ residents through community building events and by establishing a Peace Ambassadors team.


The Refugee Dream Center received a $15,000 micro-grant to train a cohort of 10 refugee youth in domestic violence awareness over the course of eight months. The goal is to build a support network for the young people to help address the root causes of domestic violence from a culturally responsive perspective. The program will aim to equip refugee youth with valuable tools to respond to and prevent incidents of domestic violence, tailored specifically to their backgrounds and their own experiences of trauma.


Youth In Action received a $15,000 micro-grant to partner with The Gentlemen's Academy to pilot the Ten Young Men program with adolescent male-identified youth. The program builds on the model of Ten Men, a prevention strategy of the RICADV that engages adult men in the community to play an active role in ending domestic violence. This effort will focus on the recruitment of 5-10 young men in 8th-12th grade within the Providence Public School District to participate in a cohort where they receive education, support and coaching from peers and adult allies, based on the Ten Men approach of "Engage, educate, mobilize."

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) received a $10,000 micro-grant to prevent multiple forms of violence, including teen dating violence and suicide, among Southeast Asian youth through Junior Flames, a student-centered leadership, academic, and social-personal development program for middle school-aged youth.


Progreso Latino received a $7,950 micro-grant to expand its multilingual, culturally responsive health communications campaign and to continue its efforts to address food insecurity among Latinos and immigrants in Rhode Island through the Central Falls Food Pantry.


Youth In Action received a $10,000 micro-grant in support of its work to create spaces for youth to build and practice leadership skills, with a focus on social-emotional support and identity development. Funding supported youth-led Action Groups aiming to create social and systemic change in the community. Action Groups focused on outdoor equity, language justice, ending youth homelessness, and ending domestic violence.

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) received a $10,000 micro-grant to address teen dating violence and other forms of intimate partner violence in the Southeast Asian community through its culturally-responsive Hidden Lotus program for high-school aged youth. Program participants developed a video public service announcement (PSA) to be shared with the community and on social media. Hidden Lotus shifted to a hybrid in-person/virtual model to adapt to public health guidance and restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Partnership for Providence Parks received a $7,950 micro-grant to support a 10-week youth-centered Restorative Art program in collaboration with Providence ¡CityArts! for Youth. The program aimed to strengthen youth participants' connection to one another and their community and to build social-emotional skills, such as compassion and communication. The program would culminate in the creation of a community mural. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not possible to implement the proposed project. The Partnership for Providence Parks pivoted to research, develop, and curate ARTKits! which were take-home kits available at free meal sites throughout the summer. Offering these kits supported the effort to get youth to the meal sites and provided them with meaningful do-it-yourself at-home art-making activities while stay-at-home orders were in effect.


Meeting Street received a $10,000 micro-grant to expand their multi-generational primary prevention programs, in particular to engage middle school-aged boys through the One Circle Foundation's evidence-informed model The Council for Boys and Young Men. Funding also supported Meeting Street in expanding the survivor-led Women's Circle peer support and empowerment group, which includes parents enrolled in the organization's early childhood programs.

Domestic Violence Resource Center (DVRC) received a $4,208 micro-grant to empower young people and promote community-wide understanding and LGBTQ+ acceptance by hosting a Gay Prom, an event that celebrates and elevates awareness of marginalized populations like queer youth in South County.


Meeting Street received a $5,800 micro-grant to develop an intimate partner violence staff training plan to help build the capacity of their staff to support families experiencing violence.


Rhode Island Cross-Campus Learning Collaborative for Sexual Violence Prevention (through Day One) received a $5,000 micro-grant to launch a traveling photography exhibit featuring Kate Ryan’s Signed, X project in April, national Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Adoption Rhode Island received a $13,022 micro-grant to educate youth in the foster care system using the evidence-based curriculum Safe Dates. The goal was for youth to then create an artistic expression of what they learned through Safe Dates to help raise awareness of dating violence in the community.


Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) received a $15,000 micro-grant to adapt One Circle Foundation’s evidence-based curriculum and offer a culturally responsive, 50-hour group for Southeast Asian youth to discuss healthy relationships, trauma, social and personal development, and communication.


Blackstone Valley Community Action Program received a $9,512 micro-grant to educate high school age youth of varying gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, and national origin in Pawtucket and Central Falls in order to overcome stereotypes and raise education levels in the community about dating violence. The goal was for these youth to in turn provide peer-based training to other youth, and spread knowledge throughout the community.


Elizabeth Buffum Chace Center received a $1,950 micro-grant to deliver the Decoding Your Teen curriculum to foster parents, kinship care providers, group home staff, DCYF social caseworkers, and other caretakers of youth involved in DCYF care.


Katie Brown Educational Program received a $15,000 micro-grant to work with existing student clubs at Central, Classical, Mt. Pleasant, and Hope High Schools and the Juanita Sanchez Educational Complex to aid students in crafting a 30-minute student-led assembly for their peers. Project goals also included developing testimonials, a website, and two “healthy relationship check-in” events for students.


Progreso Latino received a $15,000 micro-grant to offer a Grassroots Film & Discussion Series in Spanish, with a focus on engaging Latino boys and men in the Blackstone Valley area in discussions that explore the role of machismo in domestic violence prevention.

Princes 2 Kings received a $5,000 micro-grant to engage male youth in conversations about healthy masculinity in an effort to develop an educational stop motion animation film addressing teen dating violence.


Youth In Action (YIA) received a $9,755 micro-grant to develop and implement a youth-led film and discussion series for young people in Providence. YIA also trained staff on how to recognize and respond to teen dating violence and make referrals for youth and families experiencing intimate partner violence.

Grant-Making Process

The DVPF supports two categories of funded projects, Implementation Projects and Community Micro-grants.

During the period when grant applications are being accepted, the RICADV will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP). We promote the RFP widely among our networks and share the announcement on our communications platforms. Follow us on social media, and sign up for our email newsletters to make sure you receive updates! The RFP is also posted here on this page of our website.

When the RFP window closes, the RICADV convenes the DVPF Advisory Committee, a legislated committee made up of members of the RICADV’s Board of Directors, as well as directors of several state departments, including the department of health, the department of human services, the office of the attorney general, and the office of the general treasurer, or their designees.

The Advisory Committee reviews all proposals and makes decisions on the awards. The RICADV provides technical assistance and support to the committee and does not have a voting seat.

History of the DVPF

The Domestic Violence Prevention Fund (DVPF) was established by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 2016. It was renamed the Deborah DeBare DVPF in 2018, in honor of the RICADV’s longstanding executive director Deborah DeBare, who led the coalition for 22 years.

By passing the DVPF legislation (R.I.G.L. § 12-29-12), the General Assembly created a fund with the primary purpose of preventing intimate partner violence (IPV), which includes domestic violence and dating abuse. This is the first state funding of its kind and the only state-level funding available in Rhode Island to address the prevention of IPV.

The DVPF is administered by the RICADV and funds evidence-informed primary prevention programs in Rhode Island. Primary prevention aims to stop IPV before it starts, to prevent people from ever becoming victims or perpetrators of abuse.

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