Lessons Learned from Ground Breaking Initiatives

About DELTA FOCUS

The DELTA FOCUS (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances, Focusing on Outcomes for Communities United with States) program supported domestic violence coalitions to identify, implement, and evaluate programs that are theoretically or empirically linked to reducing IPV, or decreasing risk factors or increasing protective factors for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).

DELTA FOCUS grantees worked to prevent IPV at the national, state and local levels by implementing strategies to change the environments and conditions in which people live, work and play. To do this, grantees addressed economic and social policies, processes, and norms that shape the lives of individuals and communities. This involved implementing strategies that impact issues such as education, employment, reducing gender bias, and more.

Each grantee supported one or two coordinated community response teams (CCRs) to implement strategies at the local level. CCRs are local coalitions comprised of members from a variety of sectors  (e.g., health care providers, the education community, faith-based communities, the criminal justice system, etc) engaged in IPV prevention. Sixteen CCRs were supported by DELTA FOCUS.



Map Showing the 10 CDC Funded State Domestic Violence Coalitions

DELTA FOCUS Stories

The coalitions learned important lessons along their journey! Some lessons are specific to one type of approach while some are more broadly applicable for implementing and evaluating community-based approaches. The goal of sharing these stories is for others in the violence prevention field to benefit from this collective learning. This includes learning more about existing field-based programs and practices, discovering what worked or did not work in implementation, and considering how to approach evaluation or develop a more rigorous evaluation than was possible for the DELTA FOCUS domestic violence coalitions. 

Story Themes

For each theme, you will find: 1) a story summary, 2) a full printable story, 3) key lessons learned and highlighted strategies, 4) tools for adaptation, 5) highlighted projects, and 6) related resources from DELTA FOCUS grantees.

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Overarching Lessons Learned

In addition to the key lessons shared in each story theme, coalitions reflected on their larger points of learning from the DELTA FOCUS experience.

  • Prevention work is broad and expansive.

We must invest in efforts to engage in community-level work to build community cohesion as part of our prevention strategy. – Lucy Rios, RICADV

The DELTA FOCUS project has influenced the way we understand prevention needs to happen across the continuum, including economic justice work as a prevention approach in the broader community. We now understand workforce development as an important component of our prevention efforts. – Lauren Camphausen, DCADV

Throughout the process, we noticed that work started looking less and less like what we would traditionally define as domestic violence prevention. Work shifted into “how can we engage with other existing systems to make sure that people have access to the resources they need and want?” It was about broadening the settings and systems we were working within. – Dena Fulton, NCCADV

  • Prevention work must be integrated into all that we do.

Primary prevention work can’t exist in an agency silo – it works best when it’s integrated and institutionalized across the organization. Each department has a critical role to play in prevention! – Lucy Rios, RICADV

  • Community partnerships are critical to reaching our prevention goals.

Partnering across human service sectors (addiction, mental health, etc.) and with local businesses adds value to all of our work. – Rebecca Cline, ODVN (For tips on engaging new partners, see our Engagement section.)

Our prevention work is an effort to change the structures in society that a) make life really hard for survivors or b) make domestic violence possible in the first place. We need to look beyond our domestic violence service system to accomplish this. – Dena Fulton, NCCADV

To create sustainable and meaningful partnerships, we must prioritize organizational relationships over individual relationships. – Emil Rudicell, FCADV

One of the unique aspects of this work was the purposeful inclusion of marginalized voices at all levels of the project. By being persistent in incorporating as many different voices as possible, we were left with rich, thorough, messages, policies, practices, and procedures. Part of this meant that we had to be comfortable with the fact that including as many people as possible takes time. Maintaining and building relationships was essential to this project. Giving time to build new relationships and foster existing relationships before major deliverables were due was key. – MCEDSV

  • Prevention can and must be trauma-informed.

We have come to learn the importance of trauma-informed prevention, which represents a shift towards acknowledging community and historical trauma. For example, in our bystander engagement work, we must understand how the history of trauma in communities impacts their bystanding behavior. – Lauren Camphausen, DCADV

  • Effective changes to policy and practice must include voices at all levels.

We were able to see changes happen when the communications flowed in both directions – from the state level, to the district, to the classroom, and back from the classroom, to the district, to the state. – Emil Rudicell, FCADV

  • Prevention work is both challenging and fundamentally just.

It requires intentional leadership to center those who are most impacted in this work. It can feel overwhelming, but can also fuel your passion for change.

Prevention requires us to shift from a movement based on sharing information to one that shifts power. Building a strategy around social change – to make safety the default for all communities, and to help people understand how systems perpetuate oppression and violence – is very challenging work. – Colleen Yeakle, ICADV

About the Grantees

Click on the links below to learn more about the prevention work of each DELTA FOCUS funded coalition.

Related Resources

Learn more about how DELTA FOCUS has changed the prevention landscape.

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Commit to doing #1Thing today to prevent intimate partner violence. Learn more here.

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Join PreventConnect’s community of practice to advance the primary prevention of sexual assault and relationship violence here.

Notice of Federal Funding and Federal Disclaimer: This website is funded through Grant #90EV0410-03 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, Family Violence Prevention and Services Program [which incorporates funding provided by the National Center on Injury Prevention and Control/Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCIPC/CDC)]. Neither the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this website including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided.

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