In May 2018, WFW awarded its largest grant to date: $450,000 over three years to Buncombe Partners in Prevention, a collaboration involving Helpmate, Mountain Child Advocacy Center, Our VOICE and Pisgah Legal Services. The goal of their prevention project is to promote healthy relationships where people live, learn, work, play and worship, ultimately reducing the perpetration of sexual violence, domestic violence and child abuse in Buncombe County.
The project is off to a strong start and the Partners shared many successes in their most recent interim report, which was submitted at the end of November. Below is a summary of the progress made on the four main components of the project:
Community Attitude Survey: The Attitudes Toward Violence survey will produce year-over-year comparative data to allow Buncombe County to track changes in community norms about violence.
- An evaluation subcommittee has worked with researchers from UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Asheville to ensure that the Community Attitudes survey instrument and methodology are as strong as possible.
- The Partners administered two baseline surveys and annual administrations will occur in late spring/early summer. Results are sorted by zip code so specific programming can be targeted to areas of high need.
Prevention Education: In addition to changing community tolerances for violence, prevention work in the community creates an environment in which survivors feel comfortable disclosing their experiences and reaching out for support.
- Between 7/1/18-10/31/18, the Partners provided prevention education programming to 7,598 individuals (75% primary prevention, 9% secondary prevention, 16% tertiary prevention). 93% of attendees at primary prevention education workshops who completed an evaluation were able to demonstrate a change in a targeted area of knowledge, skill, attitude or behavior.
- Buncombe Family Justice Center conducted 205 intakes between 7/1/18-9/30/18. Among recipients responding to an exit survey, 71% self-reported reduced fear and anxiety.
- Three prevention mini grants were awarded to organizations that demonstrated the capacity to carry out their planned activities, which were clearly aligned with the Pathways to Prevention plan:
o My Daddy Taught Me That - healthy relationship training for boys, using a train-the-trainer model;
o Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) - supporting efforts to reform sexual health education curricula that is directly informed by youth and marginalized communities;
o De Mujer a Mujer - production of a story-telling project/workshop series that will culminate in production of a video series for Latino youth.
Best Practice Compendium: A tool for employers and schools, the compendium will provide protocols focused on improving employee and student skills for building healthy relationships and effectively managing conflict.
- The Prevention Task Force developed the Best Practices Research Committee, which has begun compiling a compendium of best practice protocols for workplaces and educational settings.
- The Partners have worked with the HR Department from the City of Asheville, Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools, with multiple local bars and restaurants on anti-harassment policies, with salons and with Mars Hill University, Warren Wilson College and UNCA on bystander intervention programs.
Advocacy: Activities will result in the publication of at least one white paper annually outlining a public policy initiative which, if enacted, could contribute toward a reduction of domestic violence, sexual violence and / or child abuse.
- Pisgah Legal Services has compiled a draft list of prominent policy advocacy initiatives for prevention. A white paper outlining these strategies will be published in January with instructions for how community members can advocate for the desired outcomes.
- Through their participation on the NC Domestic Violence Commission, the Collaborative has compiled a list of recommendations for communities considering development of a Family Justice Center. These recommendations were approved by the DV Commission and provided as a formal recommendation for the NC Governor's Crime Commission to be used in their grant-making process.