Recent Event Highlights: Senate Bill 28, FVPSA is Reauthorized , Plan for IPV Primary Prevention , House Bill 336, New Advisor on Violence Against Women, The Teen Dating Violence Task Force, and 71 more...
Created by DCADV on Jun 13, 2011
Last updated: 08/09/11 at 04:14 PM
Tags: Domestic Violence Intimate Partner Violence Violence Against Women DV IPV Domestic Violence Services
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Senate Bill 28, the Address Confidentiality Bill, successfully passed both the House and Senate and was signed into law by the Governor on May 19, 2011. This Act protects the safety of certain victims of violent crime by creating Delaware’s Address Confidentiality Program, which will be administered by the Delaware Department of Justice. Effective October 3, 2011, the Program permits victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault, as well as persons participating in Delaware’s Witness Protection Program, to keep their actual address confidential by applying to the Department of Justice for a substitute address to which all mail will be delivered.
April 2011 marked the first meeting of Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s (DCADV) DE M.E.N. (Delaware Men’s Education Network). As one of their first activities promoting the importance of men’s involvement in ending domestic violence, DE M.E.N. created a PSA, “It’s In Your Neighborhood”. The mission of DE M.E.N is “to involve men in promoting healthy, safe relationships.”
Congress passed a bill to reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) as part of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) reauthorization on November 10, 2010. The bill was signed into law by the President on December 20, 2010. The FVPSA reauthorization of 2010 builds upon the successes of the existing program while making improvements. Overall, the bill maintains the core work of the FVPSA program, which includes funding for: (1) Formula grants to states to provide shelter and supportive services through subgrants to local domestic violence programs – local programs serve nearly a million adult and child victims annually, (2) National and specialized training and technical assistance resource centers, (3) The National Domestic Violence Hotline – often the first call victims make when fleeing a violent home, and (4) Grants to State Domestic Violence Coalitions, which act as the information clearinghouses and coordinate state- and territory-wide domestic violence programs, outreach and technical assistance. Key improvements to the Act include: (1) A distinct definition of dating violence, based on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) definition, to ensure that all victims in danger can access services, (2) An expanded emphasis on prevention, by improving and statutorily defining the DELTA prevention program, (3) A newly authorized program for children who are exposed to domestic violence - the Specialized Services for Abused Parents and their Children program, (4) A formula fix in funding for State Domestic Violence Coalitions to evenly distribute funding to the coalitions in the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and American Samoa, and (5) A broadened definition of eligible entities for subgrants to allow for partnerships between domestic violence programs and community-based organizations with a history of providing culturally appropriate services to underserved population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ), and the Department of Defense (DoD), developed the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) in 2010. In 2010, NISVS began collecting ongoing population-based surveillance data, generating accurate and reliable incidence and prevalence estimates for intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking victimization. The survey is conducted among English and/or Spanish-speaking male and female adults living in the United States. During the first year, data were also collected from female members of the active duty component of the US Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy) and female spouses of married male service members. The CDC will release the first national report of NISVS data in October 2011. These data will help inform public policies and prevention strategies at both the national and state levels, and will help guide and evaluate progress toward reducing the substantial health, social, and economic burdens associated with intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Intimate Partner Violence Prevention Consortium released “Delaware’s Plan for the Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence” in 2010. This plan provides strategic direction for Delaware’s primary prevention efforts aimed at stopping domestic violence before it ever happens. Delaware’s plan seeks to influence systemic change within four priority areas: (1) Non-Traditional Systems: Systems, agencies, faith-based organizations, service organizations, and civic groups that are not traditionally associated with intimate partner violence will come to understand and realize their role in the primary prevention of IPV and will willingly and effectively engage in policies and practices that promote healthy relationships and foster respectful societies. (2) Education of Individuals and Systems: Delaware’s public and private education systems will incorporate principles and practices that promote healthy, non-violent relationships, and will provide evidence-based instruction on healthy relationships and intimate partner violence prevention. (3) Data Collection and Surveillance: As an essential part of Delaware’s public health research agenda, broad data collection efforts across age groups and populations will be conducted so that key intimate partner violence health indicators can be studied. (4) Cultural Values and Societal Norms: Attitudes will be cultivated that embrace healthy, non-violent relationships within local communities and throughout Delaware. Preventing abuse and violence in relationships requires true social change. It is an active, assertive process of creating community conditions where healthy relationships can flourish.
On March 18, 2010, House Bill 336 requested to amend Title X of the Delaware Code relating to protection from abuse proceedings. This Act enhances the Family Court’s ability to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse by authorizing the Family Court to enter the no contact provisions of protection from abuse orders for up to 2 years in every case and, where aggravating circumstances exist, authorizing the Family Court to order no contact for as long as it deems necessary to prevent further abuse, including the entry of a permanent order. It was signed into law on July 12, 2010.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s (DCADV) in partnership with three municipal police departments, Delaware City, New Castle City and Elsmere, and People’s Place, launched a project intended to encourage appropriate arrests, and decrease the number of dual arrests in domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases, through training of officers on identifying the predominant aggressor, the use of a lethality assessment tool and the development of agency domestic violence policies.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2009. Major celebratory events included the 15th Anniversary Conference with keynote Elaine Whitefeather, DE Attorney General Beau Biden and US Senator Ted Kaufman, as well as The Purple Ribbon Event featuring guest speaker Lynn Rosenthal, the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women. As part of the DCADV’s 15th Anniversary Celebration in, they assembled a group of 15 male leaders to take a stand against domestic violence. Now known as the “15 Men”, this group has further solidified to become an on-going structure of the organization and has become engaged in many activities to support the work of DCADV, including primary prevention efforts.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) worked in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education and DELTA Program partners (Child, Inc., Delaware Center for Justice, and the Prevention Subcommittee of the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Rights Task Forces) to create a Healthy Relationships Model Instruction Unit for grades 9-12, which promotes gender respect, effective communication, and advocacy, as well was explores media influence on cultural values and social norms.
In 2009, as part of its 15th year anniversary celebration, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence created “The 15 Men”, a group dedicated to engaging more men in domestic violence awareness and prevention. This distinguished group includes: William Allan (President, Verizon Delaware), John Baker (Executive Director, Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies), Beau Biden (Delaware’s Attorney General), Chris Coons (County Executive, New Castle County), John W. Ford (Owner, RE-MAX Associates), Michael Kersteter (Executive Director, People’s Place II), Jerome Lewis (Pastor & Founder, Seeds of Greatness Ministries, Inc.), Kevin Lucas (Executive Director, Witney’s Lights), Mark Nardone (Editor, Delaware Today), Brad Sams (Delaware Air National Guard/Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien & Courtney), Gregory Scudder (Omega Psi Phi), Michael Szczerba (Chief, Wilmington Police Department), Mario Turco (President of Philadelphia Tri-State Region, Verizon Wireless), Michael Waite (Vice President of Operations and DJ, WJBR), and Rafael Xavier Zahralddin-Aravena (Managing Shareholder, Elliott Greenleaf).
Vice President Biden, the author of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, announced the appointment of Lynn Rosenthal as the new White House Advisor on Violence Against Women on June 26, 2009. Ms. Rosenthal is one of the nation’s foremost experts in domestic violence policy, and has worked at the local, state and national levels to create an environment where violence against women is not ignored and perpetrators are held accountable. This is a newly created position at the White House, dedicated specifically to advising the President and Vice President on domestic violence and sexual assault issues. Ms. Rosenthal’s areas of domestic violence expertise include housing, state and local coordinated community response, federal policy on violence against women, and survivor-centered advocacy. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. From 2000-2006, Rosenthal served as the Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) where she represented 54 state and territorial coalitions whose collective membership included more than 2000 local domestic violence programs. She played a major advocacy role in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2000 and 2005 and has assisted states and local communities with implementation of this groundbreaking federal legislation. She also worked closely with corporate partners to bring millions of dollars to local communities to respond to domestic violence. She partnered with The Allstate Foundation to develop a highly successful national initiative to promote economic empowerment for survivors of violence. Prior to her service at NNEDV, Rosenthal was director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence where she developed innovative service models for rural and legal services. On her return to Florida in 2006, Rosenthal developed the state’s first comprehensive plan to help survivors of violence find housing. In this new position, Ms. Rosenthal will serve as an advisor to the President and Vice President on domestic violence and sexual assault issues; be a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy community; coordinate with the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) on implementation of Violence Against Women Act programs; coordinate with the Department of Health and Human Services on implementation of Family Violence Prevention Act services (including the National Domestic Violence Hotline); coordinate with the State Department and USAID on global domestic violence initiatives; and drive the development new initiatives and policy aimed at combating domestic violence and sexual assault with advocacy groups and members of Congress.
In June, 2009, Delaware’s General Assembly established a Teen Dating Violence Task Force. The Task Force was given the responsibility of submitting a report containing recommendations for schools relating to policies on teen dating violence. The following excepts are highlights from the report: The Task Force adopted the following definition of dating violence: “Dating violence shall be defined as a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power in a current or past relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that can cause fear, degradation, humiliation, injury, or harm, or uses any other coercive behaviors to control the other person. Abuse can occur in both heterosexual and same-sex or serious and casual relationships and covers a wide range of behaviors that includes harassment, verbal, emotional and economic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, and physical abuse.” The Task Force researched what other states are doing about this problem, and noted that “in 2009 and 2010, twenty-two states introduced or enacted legislation that directs their Department of Education to implement policies for reporting and responding to dating violence and/or required schools to provide dating violence education.” Examining the social implications of dating violence, the Task Force found that “dating violence involves a pattern of coercive, manipulative behavior that one teen uses against the other for the purpose of establishing and maintaining power and control.’ And, the Task Force explained why it is so important to establish school policies: “teen dating violence is a threat to school safety and undermines our schools’ capacity to accomplish their core mission, academic achievement.” The Task Force's Report focuses on prevention and their framing of it as a public health, not just criminal justice, problem. The report addressed prevention in a number of ways, including these suggestions: (1) Schools should emphasize the importance of healthy relationships by focusing on primary prevention to help teach teens make sound personal decisions, and build relationship skills where a culture of respect becomes the norm. (2) Schools should have a thorough and consistent process in place for implementing youth-led campaign and/or program to prevent teen dating violence (3) Schools should partner with community organizations that promote health, safety, and public health-oriented violence prevention strategies. (4) Every curriculum, at a minimum, should include the following “best practice” components: Power and Control in relationships, gender stereotypes and expectations, media literacy, and effective communication skills to promote healthy behaviors. (5) Schools should foster a violence-free climate for all abuse (bullying, teen dating and sexual abuse) and convey and reinforce positive messages to address cyclical, subculture messages that promote or normalize violence. The Task Force concluded that “teen dating violence is a major public health and safety concern in the State of Delaware due to the detrimental effects of violence and the impact it has on young victims, offenders, their families, their schools, and their communities.” The Task Force also acknowledged that, “by providing the knowledge, systematic support, and positive culture through a healthy relationship curriculum and school policies, we empower teachers, parents, and students to act against dating violence.” Finally, the Task Force stated that, “While SCR 21 directed the Teen Dating Violence Task Force to make recommendations for schools, members concluded that violence in interpersonal relationships is everyone’s concern. Therefore future initiatives should address engaging all segments of our community, including business, faith communities, media, and youth programs to collaborate and coordinate efforts to promote healthy relationships.” Please visit http://dvcc.delaware.gov/documents/2010_TDVTF.pdf to read the entire Teen Dating Violence Task Force 2010 Annual Report.
On May 14, 2009, House Bill 170 was introduced and assigned to the Labor Committee in House. This was an Act to amend Title 19 of the Delaware Code relating to unemployment compensation. HB 170 was passed by both the House and Senate, and signed by the Governor of Delaware on July 1, 2009. Section 7 of this Act states that an individual who is discharged from work due to circumstances directly resulting from the individual's experience of domestic violence will not be disqualified from the receipt of unemployment insurance benefits for this reason.
“Promoting Safe and Respectful Relationships: Moving Beyond Domestic Violence Intervention,” Delaware’s very first statewide conference dedicated to primary prevention of domestic violence, was held on October 28, 2008, at the Duncan Center in Dover. This was also the first conference organized by the Prevention Subcommittee of the Domestic Violence Task Force and the Victims’ Rights Task Force. Sixty attendees were provided a wealth of information on a number of topics including: (1) How to talk to youth about gender respect and healthy relationships, (2) How to prevent violence by taking a comprehensive approach that fosters coalition building and works to define prevention as a community issue, and (3) How to help youth resist the “act like a man” and “act like a lady” boxes that foster attitudes which contribute to violence against women and girls.
The Women Empowered Against Violence in Every Relationship Task Force (WEAVER) is a domestic violence survivors’ task force sponsored by the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV). WEAVER was established in 2008, out of the Women Survivors’ of Abuse Task Force, and meets monthly to develop strategies to educate the general public, criminal justice officials, government officials, service providers, advocates, and other professionals about domestic violence from the survivors’ perspective. The mission of the WEAVER Task Force is simply to end violence against women. Some of its goals include: (1) To empower the voices of survivors on behalf of battered women, (2) To advocate on behalf of survivors and battered women, (3) To take an active stand to effect social, political, and economic change on behalf of survivors and battered women, (4) To educate ourselves and others surrounding the unmet needs of battered women, and (5)To create a network with those who share our experiences, philosophies, and goals. WEAVER membership is open to all women who have experienced domestic violence or abuse at the hands of an intimate partner. For further information, contact DCADV.
In 2008, People’s Place’s shelter program, Families in Transition, became known as the SAFE (Shelter, Advocacy, Freedom, Empowerment) Program. The SAFE program uses a trauma-informed approach known as the Sanctuary Model to provide a safe environment, shelter, and support for women and children in domestic violence situations in Kent and Sussex Counties in Delaware. Services offered by the SAFE program include: (1) Emergency shelter (45 days) in a safe supportive, (2) Family therapy, (3) Case management, and (4) Transition services helping families to establish a new safe home environment on their own.
In September, 2007, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) implemented the Civil Justice Project (CJP) with funding from Altria. The purpose of this court observation program was to help ensure that DCADV’s court-oriented policy, systems advocacy and training efforts are guided by the needs of domestic violence victims’/survivors’ and informed by their actual court experiences. Local college students from the University of Delaware, supervised by DCADV staff, used a court observation tool to collect information about court processes and experiences. By observing the hearings, participants collected both qualitative and quantitative data used to inform advocacy and training efforts, as well as court practice through recommendations provided to the court. The Civil Justice Project provided an exciting learning experience that gave students a hands-on opportunity to see our justice system at work. New Castle County Family Court welcomed this effort and helped to make the Project a success. A scaled down version of this original project will begin again in 2011.
Delaware became one of only a few states to add a question to their Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) about student’s experiences with verbal abuse in the context of a dating relationship. The similar percentages around physical violence reported by boys and girls in Delaware and nationally initially suggested they experience dating violence at comparable levels. However, girls’ numbers nearly doubled when responding to the verbal abuse question. Girls reported significantly higher percentages than did boys, both at the high school level (16.3% vs 7.9%, respectively), and at the middle school level (8.2% vs 4.7%, respectively).
In 2007, Delaware signed a law allowing victims of abuse in both heterosexual dating and same-sex relationships to apply for orders of protection in a domestic violence situation. According to this law, a person is eligible to file an order of protection from abuse against a current or former dating partner. According to10 Del.C. § 1041(2): "Domestic violence" means abuse perpetrated by one member against another member of the following protected classes: a. Family, as that term is defined in § 901(12) of this title, regardless, however, of state of residence of the parties; or b. Former spouses; persons cohabitating together who are holding themselves out as a couple, with or without a child in common; persons living separate and apart with a child in common; or persons in a current or former substantive dating relationship. For purposes of this paragraph, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a substantive dating relationship. Factors to consider for a substantive dating relationship may include the length of the relationship, or the type of relationship, or the frequency of interaction between the parties.
In 2006, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) was awarded a federal grant to create a new public education project to address teen dating violence called “Messages from Teens”. This project expanded primary and secondary prevention efforts to a wider audience of teens in Delaware through the creation of public service announcements produced “by and for teens’ and teen dating violence tool kits sent to all high school in Delaware.
Through this project, students received lessons on healthy relationships, learned media literacy skills, and developed the technical skills and expertise necessary to create public service announcements (PSAs). Multiple forms of abuse were depicted in these PSAs, such as controlling a partner via text messaging, physical abuse, threats, intimidation, and coercion, in order to convey the importance of knowing warning signs for abuse in teen dating relationships.
In 2006, the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (NTDAH), a 24-hour national web-based and telephone-operated helpline created to help teens experiencing dating abuse took its first call. “If teens are not turning to their parents for help, it is essential that they have a private outlet where they can discuss their fears with someone who will provide immediate assistance” said Sheryl Cates, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Texas Council on Family Violence. “This helpline and website were designed exclusively for teens so they can speak to a peer or an adult advocate anonymously and confidentially.” Teens and parents anywhere in the country can call toll free, 866-331-9474 or log on to the interactive Web site, loveisrespect.org, and receive immediate, confidential assistance. In addition to a toll-free phone line, loveisrepect.org is the first interactive dating abuse website, staffed by trained advocates, where teens can write and immediately get assistance in a one-on-one private chat room.
Delaware’s Governor Ruth Ann Minner declared February 2006 as Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized for a second time in 2005. This time around, Congress took a more holistic approach to addressing violence against women. In addition to enhancing criminal and civil justice, as well as community-based responses to violence, VAWA 2005 created notable new focus areas such as: (1) Containing provisions that exclusively serve to protect immigrant victims of domestic violence but also include immigration protections to alleviate violence against immigrant women, (2) Developing prevention strategies to stop violence before it starts, (3)Protecting individuals from unfair eviction due to their status as victims of domestic violence or stalking, (4) Creating the first federal funding stream to support rape crisis centers, (5) Developing culturally-and linguistically-specific services for communities, (6) Enhancing programs and services for victims with disabilities, and (7) Broadening VAWA service provisions to include children and teenagers.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) sponsored the “Call to Men: It’s Time to Work” Conference, focusing exclusively on engaging men to help end violence against women. This conference was the first conference of its kind in Delaware. Approximately 65 people attended, including local coordinators, CCR members, members of the DCADV’s Call to Men Workgroup, and a number of community members. Over 80% of the attendees were men.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) marked its 10th anniversary 2004 with a celebration luncheon and a conference on Domestic Violence in the Hispanic community. Both events are sponsored by Signature Donor Verizon Wireless and feature NNEDV national spokesperson Victor Rivers. In addition, numerous officials participate including US Senator Joseph Biden, Governor Minner and Attorney General Jane Brady as well as State Senators Patricia Blevins and Liane Sorenson.
The DELTA program initiated Delaware’s first “Healthy Relationships” curriculum and dating violence prevention program at Dickinson High School. This curriculum was part of a comprehensive prevention strategy implemented across the social ecology to prevent domestic violence from occurring in the first place. Dickinson High School volunteered as the implementation site. On the individual level, it included a 12-lesson plan curriculum taught in health classes by the DELTA Coordinator from Child, Inc. as part of the Domestic Violence Task Force’s DELTA Project. The curriculum was launched by a school-wide assembly of the existing “Maddie & Paul” play on dating violence from Delaware’s Safe Dating Theater Project. On the relationship level, the DELTA coordinator also facilitated the “Teens Talking About Relationships” (TTAR) club, which helped students model and promote healthy attitudes and behaviors to their peers. In 2005, Dickinson students in TTAR won the 2005 Governor’s Youth Volunteer Service Awards for their amazing leadership roles in an effort to make the culture of their school one that promotes healthy, equal, and respectful relationships, including the use of innovative techniques to get their message out to students, teachers, parents, and the community via skits, monologues, poetry, music, media, and pledge cards. Another relationship-level component of the program was aimed at parents, and included a “DELTA” at Dickinson Newsletter and an End-of-Year Parent/Student Banquet. Workshops were also held to train teachers on the program. On the community level, youth-led school and community events were conducted, such as an evening forum where TTAR students asked all participants to take a pledge against dating and domestic violence. On the societal level, a website was developed to complement the lessons in the curriculum and promote healthy relationships to teens, parents and teachers. As a result, www.safeandrespectful.org was launched in 2007. In 2010, the DELTA project at Dickinson evolved into implementation of a statewide prevention strategy when a 5-lesson module derived from the original DELTA curriculum was approved by DOE and provided to Delaware teachers. Efforts to implement complimentary activities across the social ecology as described above are ongoing for the statewide focus. Some of the learning objectives include the following: (1) Identifying and understanding qualities and behaviors found in healthy relationships, (2) Analyzing gender beliefs, (3) Providing a critical analysis of images and messages in order to be an independent thinker capable of resisting and challenging unhealthy cultural norms, (4) Understanding the benefits of empathetic communication, (5) Understanding the relationship between respect for self and respect for others in order to identify personal expectations of respect in a relationship, and (6) Learning how to assertively set boundaries.
To facilitate primary prevention of intimate partner violence at the community level, CDC began funding the DELTA Program in 2002. Nine state domestic violence coalitions were initially funded, including DCADV; five more were added in 2003. DCADV initially funds 3 coordinated community responses. The DVCC, with Abriendo Puertas as the fiscal agent, aimed to conduct research with the rapidly growing Hispanic and migrant community in Sussex County in order to assess what culturally-appropriate and meaningful domestic violence prevention efforts should entail. Culturally-specific prevention programs were developed and administered to Hispanic youth through a partnership with Iglesias del Maranatha in Seaford. DCADV also funded the Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF) with Child Inc. as the fiscal agent, who aimed to provide school-based prevention programming, and the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force (DVRTF) w/the Delaware Center for Justice as the fiscal agent to provide prevention programming to adjudicated youth. DVTF and DVRTF funding and programs continue to present day. Two committees from each task force were formed which later grew into one Prevention Subcommittee to help guide Delaware’s DELTA programming.
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) was reauthorized for the first time in 2001. Congress improved on the foundation established in VAWA 1994, including: (1) Identifying the additional related crimes of dating violence and stalking, (2) The creation of a much-needed legal assistance program for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, (3) Promoting supervised visitation programs for families experiencing violence, (4) Further protecting immigrants experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, by establishing U- and T-visas and by focusing on trafficking of persons.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) began providing regularly scheduled workshops entitled “Domestic Violence 101” in 2001. Offered twice every year, DV 101 is a two-day training program featuring information on domestic violence history, problem prevalence, domestic violence dynamics, advocacy, intervention, resources, legal remedies, and other information.
Abriendo Puertas, Delaware’s first shelter for battered immigrant women, opened in 2001. Services include: (1)Transportation, (2) Translation, (3) Court advocacy, and (4) General support with housing, work, education, health, and other related issues. The length of stay at the shelter is 60 days. Victims may be accepted from Kent and New Castle Counties in Delaware, as well as from out of state through proper referral. [ ] Abriendo Puertas joined the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence in February 2002, and as of 2008 has been run by People’s Place.
People’s Place II opened Cindy’s Place, a new domestic violence shelter for abused women and children in Seaford, Delaware, in 2000. This new shelter was made possible with increased federal funding for shelters coming to Delaware through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act program. .
In May of 2000, Delaware became 1 of 14 states selected by the Family Violence Prevention Funds to participate in the development of a national strategy to address domestic violence and intimate partner violence in the workplace. The group, known as the Corporate Citizen Initiative, agreed that its goals would be to: (1) Develop and share best practices, resources, and educate the public on domestic violence and workplace issues, (2) Foster cooperation and partnership between businesses, domestic violence victim advocates, and agencies, and (3) Bridge the gap between employers and employees by providing employers with training and resource materials. The Department of Justice led this initiative, convening a domestic violence advocates, business leaders and government officials who engaged in policy and training efforts aimed at improving the workplace response to DV in Delaware.
The Women of Color Task Force (WOCTF), a committee of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV), was established in 1999. The WOCTF meets monthly to discuss and develop strategies regarding outreach and delivery of domestic violence services to communities of color. The WOCTF defines women of color as “women who have claimed the power to name and define themselves and their experiences through their culture and diversity.” The WOCTF strives to increase public awareness of domestic violence through support, education, and training. The WOCTF recognizes the isolation, frustration, anger, lack of representation, and invisibility felt by women of color in the domestic violence movement, and pledge to work towards the following goals: (1) To educate through training, prevention, and availability of resources, (2) To advocate by removing barriers and connecting with national organizations, (3) To empower through education, (4) To network through outreach and making contacts with others who share our experience, philosophy, and goals, and (5) To be proactive by identifying opportunities for collaborative efforts. The WOCTF is open to all women who self-identify as a woman of color. Women who are interested in the issue of violence against women, as well as survivors of domestic violence are welcome to join. For meeting information, ideas and other questions contact DCADV.
Project PRIDE (Promoting Respect In Dating Experiences) was established in 1999, operating as the first and only dating violence intervention program in Delaware. Project PRIDE targets the middle school through college-age population in New Castle County for their dating violence intervention programs. Since 1999, Project PRIDE has provided counseling services to over 225 victims of dating violence and their families, developed a successful teen advisory and action council (RAID: Respectful Actions In Dating), and presented dating violence education to over 5,000 young men and women, as well as for hundreds of youth-service workers and domestic violence professionals. Young women and men are vulnerable to abuse in their dating relationship for a number of reasons: They are typically inexperienced with intimate relationships, they have romanticized notions of jealousy and possessiveness, and they are frequently unable to recognize abusive behaviors. At the same time, they are struggling for independence in relation to their families, thereby removing themselves from potential supports as they face challenges in their relationships. Early dating experiences can have a profound impact on self-esteem, expectations, and patterns of future relationships. In 2000, the Respectful Actions in Dating Teen Action and Advisory Council (RAID) was formed at Child, Inc., with participation from approximately 45 young people, as an extension of Project PRIDE.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) celebrated its 5th anniversary with an Annual Meeting and Advocates’ Retreat in Dewey Beach, Delaware.
The Uniform Domestic Incident Report (DIR) was adopted by law enforcement agencies in Delaware, in 1998. Every time the police respond to a domestic violence call, they are required to fill out a copy of the DIR, even if an arrest is not made. The point of the DIR is so that every domestic violence incident report is recorded in a uniform manner. The report should include the following information: (1) A Victim Rights Notice, which explains ones legal rights, and includes information on how to find local domestic violence services, (2) The officers' names and badge numbers, so that one can contact them again if he/she has questions or needs to add information to the police report, and (3) An explanation if the police are not making an arrest. The DIR is an official record of what happened when the police responded. It can be used in Family Court, by the District Attorney, or by a judge in a criminal case.
In 1998, the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) began a certification process for domestic violence advocates. The Domestic Violence Specialist Certification is a voluntary program coordinated by the DCADV that was established to recognize and enhance the skills of advocates and service providers working in the field of domestic violence. The certification process helps to foster uniformity in domestic violence services throughout the State of Delaware, by ensuring that standards of training and service are consistently high for those working with both victims and perpetrators. The DCADV offers trainings in numerous topics throughout the year that are approved for DV Specialist Certification. Eligibility requirements include the following: (1) Completing 70 clock hours of approved specific Education and Training. (2) Providing 2,000 hours of direct service, and (3) Undergoing 12 hours of supervised field experience by a Certified Delaware Domestic Violence Specialist. Once certification is awarded, the applicant must meet all standards required for re-certification every two years, including 24 hours of additional domestic violence training. Contact the DCADV for more information about becoming a certified domestic violence specialist.
Men, women, and children from around the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., on October 18, 1997 to call for solutions to domestic violence. The first March to End Silence About Domestic Violence had its origins in 1990 when a group of artists and writers in Minnesota developed "The Silent Witnesses," an art exhibit with 27 life-sized silhouettes to remember the women who had been killed that year by husbands, boyfriends, or acquaintances in Minnesota. For the march, representatives from all 50 states brought Silence Witness exhibits that represented the number of women murdered by domestic homicide in one year, totaling more than 1,500 Silent Witnesses. The march began near the Washington Monument and proceed to the Capitol's west front.
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) created the Delaware Silent Witness Project in 1996. Through the Silent Witness Initiative, originating the Minnesota in 1990, deceased victims of domestic violence are represented by life-size, red wooden figures, providing a dramatic display of one of the most serious consequences of domestic violence. By 1997, all 50 states had developed their own Silent Witness Program.
Eve Ensler wrote the first draft of the Vagina Monologues in 1996, following interviews she conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. The interviews began as casual conversations with her friends, who then brought up anecdotes they themselves had been told by other friends; this began a continuing chain of referrals. In an recent interview, Ensler said that her fascination with vaginas began because of “growing up in a violent society. Women’s empowerment is deeply connected to their sexuality… deeply connected to our vaginas.” The Vagina Monologues first opened at the HERE Arts Center in New York City on October 3, 1996, and ran through November. The play gained popularity through a word of mouth campaign that culminated with a performance at Madison Square Garden in 2001, which featured Melissa Etheridge and Whoopi Goldberg performing segments of the play. Today, the Vagina Monologues are performed by thousands of theater troops and feminist organizations all over the United States, and even abroad. On Valentine’s Day, 1998, Eve Ensler, and a group of women in New York City, established V-Day. Set up as a 501(c)(3) and originally staffed by volunteers, the organization’s seed money came from a star-studded, sold out benefit performance of the Vagina Monologues at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. The show raised $250,000 in a single evening. V-Day’s mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. To do this, once a year, in February, March, and April, Eve allows groups around the world to produce performances of her play, as well as other works created by V-Day, as long as the proceeds from the performances go to local projects and programs that work to end violence against women and girls, such as shelters and rape crisis centers. What began as one event in New York City in 1998, today includes over 5,400 V-Day events annually. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. It is a catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations. V-Day also generates broader attention for the fight to stop violence against women and girls, including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sex slavery. The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, including movements in 130 countries around Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and all of North America. In 2001, V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's 100 Best Charities, in 2006 one of Marie Claire Magazine's Top Ten Charities, and in 2010 was named as one of the Top-Rated organizations according to GreatNonprofits. In the past twelve years, the V-Day movement has raised over $80 million and reached over 300 million people worldwide!
The National Domestic Violence Hotline was established in 1996 as a component of the Violence Against Women Act 1994 (VAWA). The Hotline is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention, as well as and referrals to victims of domestic violence. The Hotline answers a variety of calls and is a resource for domestic violence advocates, government officials, law enforcement agencies, and the general public. The Hotline serves as the only nationwide domestic violence hotline, with access to more than 4,000 shelters and domestic violence programs across the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. Advocates receive approximately 23,500 calls each month. The Hotline is toll-free, confidential, and completely anonymous. It operates 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, in more than 170 different languages through interpreter services. The Hotline also provides a TTY line for the deaf, deaf-blind, and the hard of hearing. The staff at the Hotline is available to provide assistance and guidance in a variety of areas including media, public relations, fundraising, public policy, legal advocacy, and public education and training.
In 1996, Delaware’s first domestic violence newsletter was published jointly by the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) and the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council (DVCC).
The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) hosted its first statewide conference on domestic violence in 1996.
In 1996, the World Health Organization declared that intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women were global public health problems.
The YWCA established its Week Without Violence in 1995. This week-long series of community events promoting diverse approaches to creating a violence-free world is held during the third week of October and is celebrated by people in over 90 countries around the world.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action were adopted at the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September of 1995. The Platform reflects the new international commitment to achieving the goals of equality, development and peace for women throughout the world. It also strengthens the commitments made during the United Nation’s Decade for Women (1975-1985), which culminated with the Third World Conference for Women in Nairobi, Kenya. The 12 critical areas of concern in the Platform for Action are as follows: (1)Women and poverty, (2) Education and training of women, (3) Women and health, (4) Violence against women, (5) Women and armed conflict, (6) Women and the economy, (7) Women in power and decision-making, (8) Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, (9) Human rights of women, (10) Women and the media, (11) Women and the environment, and (12) The girl child. The Platform for Action sets out strategic objectives and explains the measures that should be adopted by all governments, the international community, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.
Carol Post was hired as the Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV). She still holds this position today.
The Delaware Center for Justice implemented Project Target, a program that provides domestic violence services to victims of abuse 50+ years of age.
Created in 1995, the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) implements the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Since its inception, OVW has awarded over $4 billion in grants and cooperative agreements, and has launched a multifaceted approach to implementing VAWA. By forging state, local, and tribal partnerships among police, prosecutors, judges, victim advocates, health care providers, faith leaders, and others, OVW’s grant programs help provide victims with the protection and services they need to pursue safe and healthy lives, while simultaneously enabling communities to hold offenders accountable for their violence.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed officially signed onto law on September 13, 1994 by President Bill Clinton. Drafted by Delaware’s then-Senator Joseph Biden, VAWA was introduced in Congress in 1990 and enacted as Title IV of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, in order to address the widespread problems of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of violence against women. VAWA is a comprehensive law that includes measures to reduce the frequency of violence against women, provide services to victims of gender-based violence, and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. It was the first comprehensive federal legislative package designed to end violence against women. Among other things, we can thank VAWA for… (1) The formation of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, (2) An increase in federal monetary support for battered women’s shelters, (3) New criminal penalties for domestic violence committed across state lines and interstate violations of protection orders. It is now a federal crime to commit domestic violence or intimate partner violence across state, territory, or tribal lines, and to cross said lines with even the intent to violate a protection order, (4) New laws requiring all states to enforce orders of protection issued by other states, even in cases when the protection order would not have been issued in the second state in the first place, (5) Increased prison sentences for certain federal sex crimes, (6) The battered immigrant woman provision, which allows battered immigrant women to obtain lawful immigration status without relying on the assistance of an abusive citizen husband, (7) An increase in federal funds and support for education on sexual assault and domestic violence, and for studies of gender bias in federal courts, (8) New gun control provisions, making it a federal crime for a person to possess a firearm and ammunition if they are subject to a protection order, or have been convicted of certain domestic violence or intimate partner violence misdemeanors, and (9) Several grant programs, including research grants, professional training grants, and direct-service grants.