Many times communities feel as if they are pulling domestic violence victims out of a river just before they reach a dangerous waterfall. As each woman is abused and seeks help, they reach in and pull them out. But eventually, there are too many women in the river and the advocates cannot reach them all. Focusing on prevention allows us as a community to move up stream and stop them from being pushed into the river in the first place.
In the spring of 2009, ICADV became part of the Center for Disease Control's DELTA PREP project. Aimed at primary prevention, DELTA PREP is a chance for our coalition to approach domestic violence work in a new way. ICADV has always been part of the social change movement; however, with such demand for intervetion services, we lost sight of stopping violence before it starts. This prevention focus is now a part of every aspect of our work through our participation in the DELTA PREP project. The project has three phases each that are aimed at creating change at different levels.
In the first two years, we focused on the staff, infrastructure, and partners of our coalition. We have changed our mission, vision, and advocate certification to include prevention. We have trained all our staff, and they have started to write their own prevention focused goals. In just a short time, we have gone from solely responsive services, to including work on stopping violence before it starts. Our Assistand Director frequently says that she is looking to put herself out of a job by shifting to preventing domestic violence.
HEALTHY REALTIONSHIP CLASSES
In the summer of 2009, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence began offering healthy relationship classes at the Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls' State Training School in Toledo, IA. Classes are once a week for six weeks, facilitated by college-aged students, and geared towards teens (12-17). Topics include: Defining Healthy Relationships, Setting Boundaries, Assertive Communication, Asking for Help, Owning your Sexual Power, and Breaking Up.
In the spring of 2010, the project expanded to include classes at the Polk County Detention Center. Children & Families of Iowa Domestic Violence Service (CFI/DVS) and Latinas Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.) are leading and managing the classes at the Polk County Detention Center in partnership with ICADV.
If you are interested in being a volunteer facilitator or getting a copy of the curriculum please contact the prevention coordinator.
ICADV and eleven of its member programs are partnering for a prevention readiness project. Over the course of a year, participating programs will undergo a community readiness assessment conducted by student interns. Programs will use the results of the assessment to develop action plans to improve their ability to successfully support prevention programming at their agency. For more information please contact the prevention coordinator.
IOWA MEN'S ACTION NETWORK
This statewide group of men is working to end gender based violence in the state of Iowa. They welcome new members and send out a regular newsletter. Check out their web site to learn more about what they are up to.
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH
February is nation Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. It is a great time to hold an event or contest at your school. Below is a list of ideas. If you would like assistance designing an activity for the month of February, please contact the prevention coordinator.
There are lots of ways to get involved with ICADV. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our prevention coordinator.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD VIDEO CONTEST
Beginning in February 2011 ICADV hosted a “Speak Up” video contest that charged high schoolers with creating one minute video and radio PSAs. The Speak Up contest is part of ICADV’s recognition of Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. February was designated to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic violence. The winning video and radio PSAs are relevant to the lives of teens, have an element of creativity, and articulate a clear message about dating violence.
This year ICADV is hosting the "Let Your Voice Be Heard" video contest. High schoolers will again have the opportunity to develop 30 second video PSAs. Winners will be selected in February. There will be several opportunities for students to be involved in Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month, including by participating in the contest. Click here for more information. All students who will be on camera will need to complete and submit a Media Waiver found here. Please feel free to hang posters in your school to get more students involved. If you have any questions, you can contact our Prevention Coordinator.