The following are new or innovative resources we’ve heard about that we hope will be useful to practitioners. If you know of resources that you would like to be included in future eNewsletters, please send them to Rebecca Henry at Rebecca.Henry@americanbar.org.
OVW Announces New Sexual Assault Services Program
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) announced a new Sexual Assault Services Program in April of this year. The program will support the establishment, maintenance and expansion of rape crisis centers. Further, awards made through the program will help states, Indian tribes and territories provide intervention and related assistance to victims, including 24-hour hotlines; advocacy through medical, criminal justice and social support systems; and community-based, linguistically and culturally specific services for underserved communities. Once completed, eligibility requirements, funding thresholds, and application procedures for the Sexual Assault Services program will be posted on www.ovw.usdoj.gov/.
Legal Momentum Introduces Online Course Regarding
Intimate Sexual Partner Assault
Legal Momentum has expanded their tools to inform the world about issues concerning domestic violence against women. I ntimate Partner Sexual Assault: Adjudicating This Hidden Dimension of Violence is Legal Momentums’ first web- based course. This Course was created by the National Judicial Education Program under the direction of Senior Vice President Lynn Hecht.
This course focuses on the sexual assault that often accompanies intimate partner violence. Study show that a number of women who are victims of domestic violence are also subjected to sexual abuse from the batterer and are at a greater risk of being killed by their abuser. The course teaches methods for determining those risks.
Although the primary target audiences for this web-based course are judges, it will provide insight to everyone involved in domestic violence issues.
CDC Survey Finds Health Problems More Common For Victims of Violence
The Centers for Disease Control have undertaken the largest-ever survey of intimate-partner violence. CDC researchers asked adult participants in the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey if they would answer questions about intimate-partner violence. More than 70,000 Americans -- just over half those asked -- agreed.
The study shows that those who suffer from intimate-partner violence have a strong probability of suffering from asthma, stroke and arthritis. The CDC also revealed that women who have experienced intimate-partner relationship violence are at a greater risk for heart disease than those women who have not. Heavy drinking, smoking, and infection with HIV or STD are also risk behaviors linked with intimate partner violence.
The study by the CDC also identifies a huge disparity in the delivery of health care for battered women. Due to the link between domestic violence and health issues, the CDC suggests that doctors make it a common practice to question patients about intimate-partner domestic violence, to allow early detection of adverse health problems resulting from domestic violence.
FMI: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Feb. 8, 2008: Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence
CDC Releases First Report from 16 States Participating in the National Violent Death Reporting System
On April 10, 2008, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released the first summary of data concerning deaths collected by NVDRS. The report, “Surveillance for Violence Deaths- National Violent Death Reporting System, 16 States, 2005,” summarizes date from nearly 16,000 violent deaths in the states participating in the NVDRS. Key findings of the report include:
- Two hundred violent incidents involved a homicide followed by a suicide of the suspect.
- Relationship problems or intimate partner violence were precipitating factors for many forms of violence.
- Prevention programs and efforts aimed at addressing mental health problems may reduce precipitating factors for violence.
- Programs and efforts to increase education and outreach about warning signs for violence are very important for prevention.
FMI: CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Apr. 11, 2008 Surveillance for Violence Deaths- National Violent Death Reporting System
Verizon Awards $1 Million to National Family Justice Center Alliance
Verizon recently announced that it will be giving a $1 million dollar grant to the National Family Justice Center Alliance. The grant will be used to establish the Family Justice Institute, a technology and training arm of the National Family Justice Center Alliance that will streamline services and provide training to employees and volunteers. The grant will be used to develop systems that:
- Allow multiple agencies within a Family Justice Center to quickly and securely share information.
- Create protocols for the development of electronic “safety deposit boxes.”
- Develop online training for Family Justice Center employees and volunteers nationwide.
- Assess technology needs.
Verizon has been a longtime supporter of Family Justice Centers. In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $5.5 million in grants to aid in domestic violence prevention.