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Mobilizing Communities for Healthy Relationships

February 22, 2017

Close to Home (C2H) is a promising strategy that engages community members to design solutions and lead social change for domestic violence, teen dating violence, and sexual violence prevention.

Strength United Youth
Strength United Youth Leaders at 2016 Statewide Convening: Mobilizing Communities for Healthy Relationships.

 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) sponsors four-year projects (2014-2018) to shift organizations toward community-driven prevention strategies leading to community-level change. These projects focus on youth leaders to mobilize their communities by creating dialogue and action to promote healthy relationships. Positive improvements were found among the C2H youth leaders. 

Matched pre-test and post-test surveys from 2014-16 data (N=85) showed statistically significant changes on individual outcomes of C2H youth leaders in their knowledge, attitudes, and leadership skills in engaging their communities. These preliminary results showed increases in the following:

  • Knowledge about healthy relationships
  • Connections with adults and peers
  • Knowledge about relationship and sexual violence
  • Intention to intervene if witnessed relationship and sexual violence
  • Understanding that relationship and sexual violence is preventable
  •  Community organizing skills. 

"Our work is allowing for conversations around domestic and sexual violence/teen dating violence to happen in safe open spaces, recognizing that this is a community issue and it's something that can be discussed at that level. This project also opens up the issue at a community level creating an understanding that to make change it's the responsibility of everyone. Most everyone agrees that they want the community to be a safe and thriving place where violence is not tolerated, but this project allows community members to share experiences, stories, thoughts, frustrations and hopes around ending domestic and sexual violence/teen dating violence, as well as tie other interests and passions into the cause, in hopes to move closer to our goal." - Tahoe Safe Alliance

Recent accomplishments include:

  • Trained 205 youth leaders in domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual violence, root causes and intersections of violence, healthy relationships, upstander guidance, media literacy/technology, gender equity, community engagement, and leadership.
  • 105 youth leaders completed community mapping to identity assets and resources to support community involvement and solutions.
  • over 600 surveys were distributed to community members by youth leaders to identity issues and concerns specific to their local communities.
  • Engaged 159 business owners, parents, schools, and community members in deeper community conversations around domestic violence, teen dating violence, and sexual violence; thereby promoting community engagement over education.
  • Developed a peer learning community for sites to support each other around best practices and challenges in community mobilizing.
  • Held two statewide convenings with youth leaders and staff sharing best practices and lessons learned in community mobilization for 238 participants.

The next two years of the project will focus on community outcomes such as identified community strengths/assets; communities' prioritization of domestic violence, teen dating violence, and sexual violence issues and solutions; and the level of community engagement and action. 

To find more about this project, please visit the C2H site here.

Click here to learn more about C2H (.pdf)

This update was produced by the Safe and Active Communities Branch, California Department of Public Health. Funding sources:

  • Domestic Violence Training and Education Fund
  • Clue Shield of California Foundation
  • Rape Prevention and Education Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control