FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan 2, 2013
CONTACT Marsha Robertson
415.678.5617

Futures Without Violence Announces Participants of New Phase of Project Connect

11 Sites Selected for Federally-Funded Public Health Initiative to Prevent Domestic and Sexual Violence

SAN FRANCISCO (January 2, 2013) – Futures Without Violence, in partnership with the Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OWH), has selected five health sites serving Native communities and six states to continue a public health initiative designed to improve the health and safety of women and children. Project Connect: A Coordinated Public Health Initiative to Prevent Violence Against Women is supported by OWH, and funded through the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2005.

The selected grantees who will begin work this month include:

  • Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Idaho Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence 
  • Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians (Michigan) 
  • Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
  • Nooksack Tribal Health Clinic (Washington) 
  • Oregon Health Authority
  • Passamaquoddy Health Center (Maine)
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence 
  • The Queen’s Medical Center (Hawaii)
  • Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California (Nevada)

“We would like to congratulate the 11 sites that have been selected to participate in the second phase of Project Connect,” said Esta Soler, founder and president of Futures Without Violence. “The health system is uniquely positioned to identify and help victims of violence, and these clinics, coalitions, states, and organizations all play a crucial role in breaking the cycle of violence and combating abuse.”

Project Connect is a national initiative to change how adolescent health, reproductive health, and Native health services respond to sexual and domestic violence. Research demonstrates that programs like Project Connect can help improve maternal and adolescent health, and decrease the risks for unplanned pregnancy, poor pregnancy outcomes, and further abuse.

"Project Connect is one of the only programs providing a national, coordinated public health model to improve the health response to domestic and sexual violence,” said Nancy C. Lee, MD, deputy assistant secretary for Health-Women’s Health. “We’re proud to continue our collaboration with Futures Without Violence on this groundbreaking and transformative initiative.”

Futures Without Violence, in collaboration with OWH, will provide technical assistance and monitor the grantees selected for Project Connect. The eleven grantees were selected through a competitive process and will be awarded funds over three years for implementation.

Project Connect grantees are committed to providing innovative, effective, and culturally-relevant services to traditionally underserved communities, including LGBTQ youth, rural women living in poverty, and Latinas. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is implementing an evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of both the clinical intervention and policy change efforts.

Over the past three years, Project Connect has trained nearly 6,000 health care providers in specific interventions to assess for and respond to domestic and sexual violence in their clinical settings. The initiative has helped establish partnerships between public health programs and domestic and sexual violence advocates to effectively identify and refer victims of abuse. Project Connect teams have also had a significant impact on state-level policies, including instituting assessment of domestic and sexual violence into statewide protocols, improving data collection by adding new questions about domestic violence to statewide surveillance systems, increasing funding statewide for clinics that address violence, and requiring annual training on violence in key state programs.

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Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund
For more than 30 years, Futures Without Violence has led the way and set the pace for innovative educational programs, public action campaigns, policy development, and leadership training designed to end violence against women, children, and families around the world. Instrumental in developing the landmark Violence Against Women Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1994, Futures Without Violence has established a Global Center for Leadership and Action that will engage today’s diverse national and global leaders, stand with survivors, and continue working to break the silence around gender-based violence.

The Office on Women's Health 
The Office on Women’s Health (OWH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, was established in 1991 to improve women’s health. OWH wants all women and girls to achieve the best possible health. OWH provides national leadership and coordination to improve the health of women and girls through policy, education, and model programs.

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