One of the core beliefs that guides all of the work we do at ICADV is that connected communities have the power to prevent violence.
This comes directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who identify the potential of neighborhood collective efficacy (community cohesiveness/support/connectedness, mutual trust, and willingness to intervene for the common good) and coordination of resources and services among that community’s agencies to prevent intimate partner violence.
Being part of a connected community means knowing your neighbors, setting an expectation for respectful relationships, and holding people accountable when they fall short of that expectation. It means being available for the people who are close to you when they are going through a hard time. But it also means being conscious of the needs of people around you and addressing issues that matter to the people you live with. It means creating social safety nets for people going through hardships and fighting for equity and inclusion for those who have less privilege in our society because of their race, socioeconomic status, disability, age, gender and more.
In today’s world, the necessity of physical distancing has made connection seem much more difficult, and simultaneously much more important. We’ve noticed the impact that this pandemic has had on communities around the state of Indiana and beyond. Many individuals are experiencing isolation and economic insecurity. Domestic violence incidents have increased. DV-related fatalities in our state have increased by 86 percent compared to the same period last year. It is more important than ever that we know how to safely connect with our neighbors. NNEDV’s guide is a good place to start.
We also know that communities thrive when all of the members of the community can be connected to resources that can help them navigate through difficult times. Survivors define safety as more than the absence of violence. In order to feel safe, survivors need to know their basic needs are met. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, when it may be difficult to find safe and stable housing, employment, or resources, it is more important than ever to remember that our communities thrive when all of its members thrive.
During DVAM 2020, we will focus on the power of connections. The issue of Domestic Violence is connected with so many other issues our society is facing through shared risk and protective factors. And the potential to end domestic violence also lies within connections to others and to a community where everyone feels a shared responsibility to create a more equitable, safe, stable, nurturing environment for all of its members.
We want to hear from you this month! How are you, or how is an organization you’re a part of, creating a more connected and equitable community during this time of “social distancing”? Did you help an elderly or immunocompromised neighbor run an errand? Did your agency/program host a virtual story hour for kids? Did you research Indiana 211 to help refer Hoosiers in need of assistance, or participate in a web series about racial justice? Tell us all of the ways you are working to create a safe and connected community for all using this form. We will spotlight a few stories each week and send you a small prize pack to say “thank you.”