New PI report on preventing domestic violence in California via multisector, upstream, health equity approach
In California and across the country, there is greater recognition that where we live, work, and play not only shapes personal behavior, such as eating and physical activity, but also drives health outcomes such as diabetes and heart disease. Now, a new Prevention Institute (PI) report also draws the connection between community environments and health and safety in our intimate relationships. Community environments that support safe relationships include those with norms that support gender equity and engagement in family matters, strong community responses to domestic violence, and housing and economic stability, among other factors. Addressing the drivers of inequities, such as unequal access to power and resources, is necessary to ensure that everyone has greater opportunities for access to the community conditions that support safe relationships, regardless of race, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors.
With support from Blue Shield of California Foundation, PI’s Sectors Acting for Equity (SAFE) project informs and strengthens a statewide approach to preventing domestic violence in California. Developed as part of the SAFE project, the new report acknowledges and builds on domestic violence prevention work taking place throughout the state and country. It also offers updated research, analysis, and next steps to systematically address this complex problem, including inequities in rates of domestic violence. The report identifies opportunities to shape community factors for 13 different sectors, including the public health sector and domestic violence services sector, as critical leaders and partnership-builders. It offers a method for multiple sectors to identify joint strengths, strategies, and outcomes to increase their effectiveness and impact.
By naming the factors that can create the conditions for safety and by honoring existing assets, this approach emphasizes strengths and resilience. Applying principles of health equity, the framework shows that community-level prevention and community-level intervention can be mutually supportive. In this way, California can address the needs of domestic violence survivors who are most marginalized and the communities in which they live, in a manner that supports both healing from and prevention of domestic violence.
Visit our web page to read the report, learn about the approach, and get involved in the work moving forward in California.
“In this report, Prevention Institute introduces a health equity approach to prevent domestic violence. This framing is crucially important in helping to shift the field’s focus toward addressing the root causes of domestic violence. Drawing on practitioner wisdom and the latest research, this approach connects communities, families, and individuals as interdependent. Domestic violence affects entire communities. But that also means that communities have the power to engage on this issue, to inspire families and individuals to strengthen the bonds that bring them together and advance intervention and prevention strategies that will work for their communities and families—and that will bring us one step closer to ending domestic violence in California.”
– Lucia Corral Peña, Senior Program Officer, Blue Shield of California Foundation