Domestic violence goes to the heart of the challenge of building safe and just communities.
It demands that we listen deeply to the needs of survivors and others who have experienced harm; that we involve the community intimately in decisions about safety and accountability; and that we think seriously about what those decisions mean for everyone involved, survivors first and foremost. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, learn how we at the Center for Justice Innovation put these ideas into action.
Our RISE (Reimagining Intimacy through Social Engagement) Project embodies the idea that it takes the whole community to put an end to domestic violence. As part of New York City’s crisis management system, the team mobilizes communities against intimate partner violence and the ways it often intersects with gun violence, especially in neighborhoods facing both underinvestment and over-policing.
Credible messengers with RISE—people who have experience with intimate partner violence—offer guidance to folks who need it. For people experiencing harm, that can mean helping them plan for their safety and find longer-term sources of support. For people at risk of doing harm in their relationships, it can mean working to confront the root causes of their behavior through group and individual counseling. One initiative addressed to people who cause harm is Respect and Responsibility, a citywide program that encourages people to reflect on their own choices and take responsibility for change. The RISE Project also sets youth up for lives of love and abundance by building supportive environments that explore the standards of healthy relationships and empower the voices of survivors.
Another group of dedicated people at the Center, the Gender and Family Justice team, takes the mission of centering communities in the struggle against intimate partner violence across the United States in tribal, urban, rural, and suburban settings. The team brings their expertise to court staff, judges, attorneys, and community stakeholders to help them respond to domestic violence in ways that prioritize the safety of survivors while planting seeds for safer, stronger communities.
One important aspect of that work is equipping judges and other leaders with the tools they need to make more informed decisions, especially in preventing future harm and ultimately changing behaviors. To that end, the DV RISC (Domestic Violence Resource for Increasing Safety and Connection) project shares strategies for responsible risk assessment to protect the safety of survivors on a national level. Through multimedia learning and direct assistance, the project helps ensure the right tools are used for each community—opening doors for resources to reach those at risk of violence. The team also facilitates Tactics and Choices, a class for people in the Supervised Release program accused of doing harm in their relationships to learn about harmful power dynamics and behavioral change.
Additionally, in a series of podcasts and webinars created with Futures Without Violence, guest voices examine issues of gender-based violence through both programmatic and theoretical lenses. With the intersections of LGBTQ+, Native, Latino, and other communities represented, the series showcases both the foundations of intimate partner violence work and the way it manifests throughout different cultural contexts.
Lastly, we also lend guidance to dozens of courts around the country—called domestic violence mentor courts—that revolutionize how our systems respond to domestic and gender-based violence. Practitioners from all across the United States can visit these mentor courts to learn how to strengthen their own responses to intimate partner violence with a better understanding of survivors’ needs, the role of past trauma, and gaps in our social systems.
- Safety Planning Training: Learn how to support individuals experiencing harm in a virtual training session on October 18 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Register here.
- Survivors Speak Gallery: RISE's Youth Leadership Council is partnering with survivors of domestic violence to host a gallery and panel where their portraits will be featured on October 19 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at 750 Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. Register here.
- Community Healing: Voices Against Violence Rally: On October 27, RISE is hosting a rally from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn as a call for action to end domestic violence. The event will feature decorations, performances, and a DJ. Speakers will share remarks from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.
More resources on intimate partner violence:
- See our guiding principles for responding to intimate partner violence.
- Visit our clearinghouse of materials for people working in abusive partner intervention programs.