Family Violence Prevention Fund

doctor speaking to students

MARCH 2011

March is National Nutrition Month. Health conditions, such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases, are associated with domestic violence. Teen victims of physical dating violence are more likely than their non-abused peers to engage in unhealthy diet behaviors such as taking diet pills or laxatives and vomiting to lose weight. Primary care physicians and nurses should assess for domestic violence during their patients’ annual examination in order to address these adverse health effects.

There are different ways you can help bring awareness to domestic violence not only this month, but all year long. Find out what you can do at your school, clinic, and community by reading the features below. Read our online fact sheets to learn more about the issue and take a look at our online catalog of materials to support your campus activities.  Let me know what you’re planning on your campus for March and beyond by sending me an email:

Also, feel free to email me with any questions or to talk more about campus strategies to help raise awareness of domestic violence. If you would like to subscribe to this listserv, click here and be sure to check the box for “Student Health Network.”

Michelle Dalida
Family Violence Prevention Fund
Graduate Health Intern

1 in 4 Hotline Callers Report Birth Control Sabotage, Pregnancy Coercion

What may be the first national survey to determine the extent of “reproductive coercion” was released on February 15 by the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF). The survey found that 25 percent of callers to the National Domestic Violence Hotline reported that they had experienced this form of domestic and dating violence. Reproductive coercion is defined as threats or acts of violence against a partner’s reproductive health or reproductive decision-making. It includes forced sex, a male partner pressuring a woman to become pregnant against her will and interference with the use of birth control. The women who reported this form of abuse said that their male partners either would not allow them to use birth control or sabotaged their birth control method (such as poking holes in condoms or flushing pills down the toilet). Some of the women said they had to hide their birth control.

“Birth control sabotage is a serious form of control that leads to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections,” said FVPF President Esta Soler. “While there is a cultural assumption that some women use pregnancy as a way to trap their partner in a relationship, this survey shows that men who are abusive will sabotage their partner’s birth control and pressure them to become pregnant as a way to trap or control their partner.” 

More than 3,000 callers participated in the survey by answering all or some of four questions between August 16 and September 26, 2010. Callers’ ages ranged from 13 to over 55, with nearly 40 percent age 25 to 35. More than half of the callers were Caucasian, nearly one quarter were African-American, and 17 percent were Hispanic. Callers who were in immediate danger were not asked to participate in the study.

For those who did participate in the study, patterns included pressure to become pregnant early in the relationship or before the victim felt ready and, in some cases, pressure to become pregnant followed by pressure to have an abortion.

According to the FVPF, the rate of reproductive coercion is probably even higher than these findings showed because some callers who experienced this form of control were not included in the survey because they needed to be referred to help immediately.

The negative health consequences to reproductive coercion are clear: according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 40 percent of abused women reported that their pregnancy was unintended compared to eight percent of non-abused women. Additionally, female victims of violence are three times more likely than non-victims to experience sexually transmitted infections, according to a study in the Archives of Family Medicine.

As a result of this study, the National Domestic Violence Hotline started to train its advocates on how to identify and support callers who experience reproductive coercion. “It is validating for women who are experiencing this form of abuse to know that they are not alone and that there is help available. You can really hear the change in their voice when they realize someone understands what they’ve been through.” said Hooper.

Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence (GCASAFV) Regional Summit 2011: Creating Safe, Healthy & Violence-Free Island Communities

GCASAFV is hosting their Regional Summit 2011 from March 6-10, 2011 in Hagatna, Guam at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort. Topics covered by the conference include Safety and Technology, Survivor Confidentiality and Best Practices and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. For more information visit or click here to view the announcement.

Web Conference: Advancing a Critical Analysis: Incorporating Consciousness in Prevention Efforts
Raising consciousness about oppression and gender issues is an increasingly important aspect of preventing sexual and domestic violence. But how does critically re-evaluating the social world fit in sexual and domestic violence prevention. Guest speakers and presenters including Annie Lyles and Christine Change of Prevention Institute will share their strategies to raise critical consciousness and dialog with participants about ways to help others develop and understanding of secual and domestic violence linked to a broader social context of oppression and privilege. This 90 minute session will start at 11am PST on March 8, 2011. For more information and to join this session, click here.

The Virginia Department of Criminal justice Services hosts the National Forum on Campus Sexual Assault
The Department of Criminal Justice Services is hosting a National Forum on Campus Sexual assault. This forum is designed to bring together experts in the field of campus sexual assault to discuss the latest research, policies, legal challenges, interdisciplinary cooperation, and reporting issues. Scheduled topics include Campus Law Enforcement/ Public Safety Response and Legal Issues Surrounding Campus Sexual Assault/ Clery Act,  Sex Crimes Allegations: management and best practices in the University Setting, Policy Implications of Campus Sexual Assault Practices,  Sexual Predators on Campus: Research Studies and Statistics, and more. The conference will be held from Wednesday, March 30-Friday, April 1, 2011 in Hampton, VA. For more information and to sign up for this conference, click here.

The Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs Presents Victims No Longer: Advocacy with Male Survivors of Sexual Assault
This training, to be held in Seattle, Washington, will offer an introduction to working with male survivors, as well as offer a more in depth analysis of the bigger picture. Training will address topics such as the effects of boyhood sexual abuse, the impact of gender construction and sex role socialization, and conducting psycho-educational male support groups. For more information on this training and to sign up, click here.

Keeling, J. et al (2011) “Postnatal disclosure of domestic violence: comparison with disclosure in the first trimester of pregnancy.” Journal of Clinical Nursing 20 (1-2): 103-110.

: This study explored the prevalence rates of domestic violence reported during the first trimester of pregnancy and in the postnatal period. Background: Domestic violence is known to have a deleterious effect on the physical and psychological well-being of a woman, with an adverse effect on the unborn child. Design: A validated anonymous and self-administered questionnaire (Abuse Assessment Screen) using five closed questions were used for data collection in all samples. All women were approached alone, and the questionnaire was completed in private. Method: Drawn from the same geographical area, this survey collected data from women accessing hospital clinics, in a large university teaching hospital in the UK. Results: Comparing self-reporting rates of domestic violence in the first trimester of pregnancy to the postnatal period yielded statistically significant results. Only 7.3% booking-in clinic and 8% postnatal women reported violence at some stage in their life, whilst higher rates in pregnancy counseling clinic (35.1%) and early pregnancy unit (26%) were reported. However, the reported rates of domestic violence in the year before the women were pregnant revealed a different trajectory. Lower rates of domestic violence were evident in three samples. Conclusions: The disparity in disclosure rates of domestic violence suggests that an emotional inhibitory response to disclosure may occur at specific periods of pregnancy and that the timing of asking about domestic violence may be critical to this disclosure. The pandemic nature of domestic violence reflects the need for practice in maternity care to reflect the changing needs of a woman during her gestational experience. Relevance to clinical practice: The primary objective of health care providers should be to engage a pregnant woman in a meaningful relationship, gaining her trust to facilitate the disclosure of domestic violence. Hence, whatever the policies for the provision of maternity care, the changing needs of a pregnant woman must be met. To view this article, click here.
[Source: Web of Knowledge]

McGarry, J. et al (2011) “The impact of domestic abuse for older women: a review of the literature.” Health and Social Care in the Community 19 (1): 3-14.
: The consequences of domestic abuse are far reaching, impacting significantly on long-term health and emotional wellbeing of those affected. However, while the literature offers an insight into the scope and nature of domestic abuse among the younger population in the UK, there is currently little available data regarding older women and domestic violence. This is increasingly being recognized as a significant deficit in awareness and understanding within society as a whole and more particularly for those responsible for support and care provision. While research in this area may be scarce the work that has been undertaken to date would suggest that domestic abuse is both a significant and an under-recognized phenomenon, which has a wide-ranging impact on the lives and health of older women. It also suggests that older women's experiences of domestic abuse are markedly different from those in younger age groups and that these differences have not been adequately acknowledged or accounted for. Given that the UK has an ageing population and that emerging national policy initiatives are beginning to recognize domestic abuse as an issue for older women, it is fundamental that health and social care professionals are able to both identify domestic abuse and understand the particular experiences and needs of older women affected by domestic abuse. The aim of this literature review is threefold: (i) to provide a comprehensive summary of the impact of domestic abuse for older women particularly within the context of health, (ii) to explore the particular barriers to recognition and reporting abuse and (iii) to highlight the particular gaps in our knowledge and understanding from a policy and care provision perspective. A systematic approach to a review of the literature was used to identify key literature and available evidence relating to domestic abuse among older women. To view this article, click here.
[Source: Web of Knowledge]

Vivolo, A. et al (2010) “Developing Sexual Violence Prevention Strategies by Bridging Spheres of Public Health.” Journal of Women’s Health 19(10)
: Sexual violence (SV) is a significant public health problem with multiple negative physical and emotional sequelae for both victims and perpetrators. Despite substantial research and program activity over the past 20years, there are few programs with demonstrated effectiveness in preventing SV. As a result, the field may benefit from considering effective approaches used with other risk behaviors that share risk factors with SV. The Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken several steps to identify and understand the breadth of risk factors for sexual violence and to delineate the implications of these factors in the development of effective prevention strategies. This report from CDC will highlight several risk factors that, although not traditionally included in SV prevention efforts, may be important areas on which to focus and may ultimately prevent youth from embarking on trajectories resulting in SV perpetration. To view this article, click here.
[Source: Web of Knowledge]

Funding Opportunity: Grants to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Program- Office on Violence Against Women

The Grants to Enhance Culturally and Linguistically Specific Services for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Program was created by the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005. This program creates a unique opportunity for targeted community-based organizations to address the critical needs of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking victims in a manner that affirms a victim’s culture and effectively addresses language and communication barriers.  The deadline for this opportunity is March 15, 2011. For more information on this grant, click here.

Funding Opportunity: Research and Evaluation on Trafficking in Persons- National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) seeks proposals for research and evaluation projects to address the knowledge gaps related to trafficking in persons in the United States. NIJ is particularly interested in studies of labor trafficking and of traffickers and their facilitators. NIJ is also interested in evaluation studies of counter-trafficking programs and tools. Applicants should familiarize themselves with prior NIJ awards in these areas as part of their literature review. All applications should identify the implications for policy and practice in the United States. For more information on this opportunity, click here. The deadline for this grant is March 16, 2011.

Fellowship Opportunity: W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship Program 2011- National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice’s W.E.B. Du Bois Fellowship Program seeks to advance the field of knowledge regarding the confluence of crime, justice, and culture in various societal contexts. The 2011 Du Bois Fellow will focus on a criminal-justice-relevant policy question in a manner that reflects its saliency as an integral part of the American past, present, and, increasingly, the future. The Fellowship places particular emphasis on crime, violence, and the administration of justice in diverse cultural contexts. For more information on this fellowship, click here . The deadline for applications is March 22, 2011.

Call for Abstracts: 139th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
The American Public Health Association is accepting contributed abstract for their annual meeting to be held on October 29- November 2, 2011. The theme of the meeting is “Healthy Communities Promote Healthy Minds and Bodies.”Authors are encouraged to submit abstracts on current and emerging public health issues. Abstracts must be 250 words or less. For more information on abstract topics, click here. The deadline for abstracts is April 1, 2011.

Call for Workshop Proposals: 2011 California State Domestic Violence Conference
The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence is looking for workshop proposals for their conference taking place on September 13-14 in Sacramento, California. Workshops on all aspects of domestic violence prevention and intervention are welcome. For more information on this opportunity, click here. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2011.

Bilingual Domestic Violence Specialist- HR Dynamics, Inc.- New York, NY

The successful candidate will provide case management services and individual and group counseling to individuals who are coping with domestic violence issues. To see the listing and apply for the position, click here.

Elder Domestic Violence Counselor- Greater Lynn Senio Services, Inc.- Lynn, MA
The responsibilities of this position include providing community outreach, education, support, home visits, casework and group facilitation for women age 50 and over who are or have been victims of domestic violence. To view the listing and apply for the position, click here.

Domestic Violence Program Coordinator- AWARE, Inc,- Jackson, MI
This position coordinates all components of the company’s domestic violence program, including staff supervision, volunteer training and coordination, record keeping, and many other responsibilities. To view this listing and apply for the position, click here.

Family Care Specialist- SAFE Alternatives for Everyone- Temecula, CA
A skilled case manager is needed to work as part of the agency’s team to assist families impacted by family violence. To see the listing and apply for the position, click here.

Assistant Director, Domestic Violence- FEGS- New York, NY
FEGS Health and Human Services system is seeking an assistant director to manage Opportunity Works, an innovative and comprehensive program for survivors of domestic violence in New York City. To view the listing and apply for the job, click here.

Domestic Violence Director- Consejo Counseling and Referral Service- Seattle, WA
The responsibilities of this position include overseeing and managing a wide range of agency supported programs which include but are not limited to sexual assault, human trafficking, parenting, community, legal advocacy and teen programs. To view the listing and apply for the position, click here.

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