January 2013 – Present
In January 2013, the YWCA partnered with Hamilton County Jobs & Family Services-Children Services to co-locate YWCA experts on domestic violence within Children’s Protective Services. YWCA and JFS staff designed a program using the Safe & Together Model® (Mandel 2007) to promote children are safe and together with the non-offending parent and that people who do harm are provided an opportunity to make behavioral changes. The YWCA has four full-time domestic violence experts co-located at JFS, and plans are under way to expand staffing to six in 2016. Services include consultation, assessment, direct services and training.
The YWCA Child Welfare Domestic Violence Connection Program was designed utilizing the Safe & Together Model with emphasis on the critical components:
- From the perspective of safety, stability, and healing from trauma it is in the best interest of the child to remain safe and together with the non-offending domestic violence survivor.
- A partnership with the non-offending domestic violence survivor is the most effective way to promote safety, permanency and well-being of a child in a family with domestic violence.
- A partnership with a non-offending domestic violence survivor needs to be based on a comprehensive assessment of her active efforts to promote the safety and well-being of the children.
- Child welfare agencies can improve outcomes for children and families by increasing their capacity to intervene with the domestic violence perpetrator.
YWCA co-located staff implements the above principles by identifying the critical elements of a case:
- The domestic violence perpetrator’s pattern of coercive control
- Specific behaviors the perpetrator engaged in to harm the children
- Full spectrum of the survivor’s efforts to promote safety and well-being of the children
- Adverse impact of the perpetrator’s behavior on the children
- Other factors including substance abuse, mental health, and cultural and socioeconomic factors that might affect domestic violence
The Co-located team developed the program utilizing the Safe & Together Model including the referral and consultation process, direct service delivery including survivor and perpetrator assessments, court report templates, release of information, surveys and data collection. All programmatic tools were reviewed by ODVN. In addition, formal policies were developed to help guide the work of the co-located team.
The YWCA provided a pivotal leadership role in raising public awareness about the issue of domestic violence to raise awareness on issues of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Children exposed to Trauma utilizing Trauma Informed Care initiatives in our community. We continue to be a primary influence in advocating for a system-wide response. The YWCA provides leadership and staff support for the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and Ohio Domestic Violence Network and many local and state public policy and advocacy organizations that support legislative and community initiatives. Community initiatives include the Family Violence Advocacy Network, Immigrant Survivors of Partner Violence and Father’s Day Campaign against Violence.
YWCA Greater Cincinnati was awarded funding by the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) to start a Family Justice Center (FJC) in Cincinnati, in order to improve the criminal justice responses to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The FJC serves as a coordinated community response for strengthening victim services and legal advocacy to survivors, with priority focus on strengthening culturally-specific services to immigrants. The FJC maintains center hours with community-based partner Santa Maria Community Services in Price Hill, and with law enforcement partner Colerain Township Police Department in Colerain Township. The two FJC locations serve as comprehensive victim service centers, accessible to all survivors in Hamilton County, and meaningfully increase access to services for under-served populations.
Direct services to survivors include: crisis intervention; safety planning; assistance filing police reports or with criminal charges; assistance with protection orders; court accompaniment, connection with community resources, including healthcare and mental health services, relocation and housing; connection with legal services, including immigration, family law (divorce and custody), and representation in protection order hearings; danger screening and lethality assessment; and connection with community partners for cultural support. All services provided are trauma-informed, non-judgmental, survivor-centered, and open to all survivors. Our staff is fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and will use professional interpretation services and for all other languages.
The FJC works with OVW and Colerain Township to implement the Maryland Lethality Assessment Program. The Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP), created by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) in 2005, is an innovative strategy to prevent domestic violence homicides and serious injuries. It provides and easy and effective method for law enforcement and other community professionals-such as health care providers, clergy members, case workers, court personnel, and even bystanders or family members-to identify victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners, and immediately connect them to the local community-based domestic violence service program.
The LAP is a multi-pronged intervention that consists of a standardized, evidence-based lethality assessment instrument and accompanying referral protocol that helps first responders make a differentiated responses that is tailored to the unique circumstances of High-Danger victims. Colerain Township law enforcement connects victims of domestic violence on-scene to our 24 hour crisis hotline services and emergency shelter is desired.
To contact the FJC, please call: 513-302-2175.
For more information about ISPV events, trainings, or educational materials available for public distribution, please contact the Immigrant Survivors of Partner Violence program at 513.241.7090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2001, the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati formed the Alliance for Battered and Abused International Women, later called the Alliance for Immigrant Women, to respond to the increased number of immigrant women who were seeking services or were injured as a result of domestic violence. In 2017, the Alliance for Immigrant Women became Immigrant Survivors of Partner Violence (ISPV). The program now offers community outreach, technical assistance, expertise training on immigrant issues, cultural sensitivity, language access, and the ability to provide direct service and case consultation to immigrant survivors of partner violence.
ISPV has over 20 partner agencies that work to develop prevention and intervention programming and to coordinate services for immigrant or Limited English Proficiency (LEP) victims in the community to ensure they have access to necessary resources.
The YWCA serves as lead fiscal agent for this project and receives funding from the Office of Criminal Justice Services Justice Assistance Grant Fund, Office of Violence Against Women, and discretionary funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to implement programming.
Community Education & Technical Assistance
In addition to our biennial conferences, ISPV provides training to a wide range of audiences, including service providers, law enforcement, court personnel, community-based organizations, healthcare professionals student groups, and many other groups that intersect with immigrant, refugees, limited English proficient individuals, and/or victims and survivors of domestic violence. Our trainings focus on such topics as: barriers and resources for immigrant survivors, language accessibility and working with interpreters; cultural responsiveness; trauma-informed advocacy for immigrant survivors; and immigration remedies for domestic violence victims and survivors. Service providers also look to ISPV for expertise in the area of violence against immigrant survivors. We provide technical assistance to guide programs as they aim to make their services more accessible to immigrant survivors, and we frequently assist with individual cases as well.
Multilingual Safety Materials
ISPV has emerged as a leader in Ohio in producing culturally and linguistically appropriate resource materials on domestic violence. We have developed safety plan brochures in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean. We also have created Healthy Relationship Brochures in Chinese, Farsi, Arabic, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi and Urdu. ISPV has recently developed limited literacy safety plans in Spanish and the Guatemalan languages Mam and K’iche, and limited literacy Red/Green Flag Healthy Relationship cards in Spanish. ISPV multilingual materials are available for distribution.
ISPV offer direct services to survivors of intimate partner violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, with a special focus on immigrant, refugee, and limited English proficient (LEP) survivors. Services include crisis intervention; safety planning; emergency shelter; assistance filing police reports or with criminal charges; assistance with protection orders; court accompaniment; connection with community resources, including healthcare and mental health services, relocation and housing; connection with legal services, including immigration, family law (divorce and custody), and representation in protection order hearings; danger screening and lethality assessment; and connection with community partners for cultural support. All services provided are trauma-informed, non-judgmental, survivor-centered, and open to all survivors. Our staff is fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and will use professional interpretation services and for all other languages. For assistance, please visit one of our Family Justice Center locations, or the Family Justice Center at 513.302.2175.
ISPV advocates for immigrant survivors through participation on local, regional and state coalitions with the aim of creating and implementing policies that address the unique needs of immigrant victims and survivors. Our multidisciplinary Crime Victim Services team focus on the reduction of domestic violence through strengthening coordinated community response and system wide advocacy, lethality assessment, identification and management of offenders, and ongoing victim advocacy to support long-term safety.
Outreach & Referrals
ISPV provides outreach to immigrant communities to increase awareness about domestic violence and community resources. We also draw on a strong membership network to provide culturally appropriate referrals for immigrant victims of abuse.
Project CARE (Community, Accessibility, Responsiveness, and Education) is a community collaborative providing support to individuals with disabilities impacted by violence. CARE is driven by the vision that people with disabilities be empowered to access highly effective services that are welcoming, comprehensive, and without barriers. Funded by the US Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, Project CARE is a collaboration of several agencies located in Hamilton County which include:
1) Hamilton County Department of Developmental Disability Services (HCDDS)
2) Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCB)
3) Women Helping Women(WHW)
4) YWCA Greater Cincinnati Domestic Violence Shelter (DVS)
5) TriHealth Center for Abuse and Rape Emergency Services (CARES)
6) Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children (MCSHC)
Since receiving its first OVW grant in 2007, Project CARE has been operating as a strong cross-sector program that addresses the intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking against individuals with disabilities. Project CARE has improved the policies, practices, organizational culture and service delivery to survivors with disabilities. Project CARE partners are committed to working in an effective, efficient, and passionate collaborative spirit to achieve CARE program goals.
Women and men with disabilities experience violence and abuse at higher rates and for a longer duration than women and men without disabilities. Identifying, caring for and supporting victims of violence using evidence-based initiatives is crucial in protecting health and breaking cycles of violence. Project CARE operates from a collaborative framework whose mission is to transform services into a seamless system that fully meets the needs of women and men with disabilities and Deaf women and men who are victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
CARE is critical to the facilitation and implementation of services that support people who have disabilities find personal healing and inspiration to assist others who have experienced violence. Project CARE has improved the policies, practices, organizational culture and service delivery to survivors with disabilities. Project CARE has designed and implemented screening for abuse against individuals with disabilities, developed accessible safety plans for survivors with disabilities, and trained individuals with intellectual disabilities on healthy relationships, risk-reduction, and violence prevention education.
Part of the broader disability rights movement, the self-advocacy movement is unique in that it has been led and informed by the individual and collective experiences of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Project CARE believes that self-advocacy is of paramount importance and therefore strives to create leadership positions for individuals served as a means to promote self-determination, empowerment, and disability movement core values. Much of their work consists of providing support, advocacy and community outreach.
Project CARE ensures that Self-advocates have a say in decision-making in all areas of the collaborative and are visible, respected, and hold a meaningful place in meetings, conferences, task forces, and/or other forums when issues and policies that are important to them are discussed. Training peers to teach advocacy skills creates an intimate understanding of the needs of people who seek mental health services and/or services for other disabilities. Self-advocates have personal experience navigating the bureaucratic maze of the mental health and other public systems. As role models, self-advocates can teach people from a practical perspective how to understand and exercise their legal rights and how to advocate for themselves. By training people to advocate for their own rights, stigma associated with cognitive, developmental and mental health disabilities is reduced. It also helps decrease the discrimination and dehumanizing effects that people with disabilities often experience.
For more information regarding educational classes, support groups, community art-based programs, volunteer opportunities or for crisis intervention services, please contact Holly Watson at 513-361-2117.
SafeCare is an evidence-based, parent training curriculum for parents of children ages 0-5 who are at-risk or have been reported for child neglect or physical abuse. SafeCare providers work with families in their homes to improve parents’ skills in three ares: (1) parent-infant/child interaction skills, (2) health care skills, and (3) home safety. SafeCare is typically conducted in weekly home visits lasting from 60-90 minutes each. The program typically lasts 18-20 weeks for each family. SafeCare can be conducted by itself, or with other services. SafeCare is available to family’s involved with Hamilton County Job and Family Services and is conducted in partnership with Every Child Suceeds.
Parent-Child/Infant Interaction (PCI/PII) stimulating activities
Home Safety Module
Each module is taught over the course of approximately 6 sessions. Each module begins with an observational assessment to determine parents’ current skills and areas in need of improvement. A series of training sessions follows (typically four sessions), and Home Visitors work with parents until they show mastery of module skills. A final observational assessment is used to asses parents’ uptake of skills. Training sessions use principles from well-established social learning theory and research. Parenting skills are taught by: (1) explaining the skills and why they are important; (2) demonstrating how to do each skill; (3) having parents practice the skills; and (4) providing positive and corrective feedback to parents on their use of skills.
Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace Project
Domestic violence costs employers at least $3 billion-$5 billion a year in lost days of work and reduced productivity. – The Bureau of National Affairs
A woman is stabbed to death by her husband while walking to her car after work. Another woman is paged 25 times by a stalker in a 15-minute period while she is at work, and another woman is shot five times as she is walking into work. These are local examples of how domestic violence permeates the workplace. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand the dynamics of domestic violence and its impact on safety and productivity. Companies that respond inappropriately or not all risk reduced productivity, loss of employees or a violent episode in the workplace. Companies, big or small, that operate without policies and training put themselves at risk for increased absenteeism and lateness, workers’ compensation claims, healthcare costs, and the loss of employees due to flight, incarceration and even death.
The YWCA has received many calls from area employers that find themselves ill-equipped to respond to employee disclosure of domestic violence. We have found that most workplace environments do not have protocols in place to help protect employees from workplace harassment from abusers or to identify warning signs (absenteeism, injuries) that an employee is being abused. Most employers may not be able to respond to the needs of a battered employee in a supportive and helpful manner, nor do they understand the enormous impact domestic violence can have on a company’s productivity and overall environment.
To respond to this need, YWCA Greater Cincinnati has initiated the Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace Project.
- To increase awareness of domestic violence and support for workers experiencing domestic violence challenges
- To educate employers about the effects of domestic violence on workers and the workplace
- To increase the number of area businesses that implement Domestic Violence in the Workplace Protocol
- To increase corporate sponsorship and support of social programming within the community
- To create a safe, violence-free and supportive workplace environment for every employee
Domestic violence isn’t just a “domestic” issue; it doesn’t just happen at home. It affects employers, co-workers, family members, friends and even strangers. When well-educated employers help women in danger, they also help themselves.
Where can you go for help?
The YWCA provides services to corporations, agencies and professionals through training and consultation activities that promote effective responses to domestic violence, including:
- Technical assistance to area companies experiencing domestic violence in the workplace
- Policy and procedures consultation with area businesses/organizations in human resources, security and legal liability
- Training and conferences for healthcare professionals, law enforcement, clergy and educational and social agencies
- Publication and distribution of Domestic Violence Impacts the Workplace Resource Brochure: “Employers Principles: Attributes of a comprehensive and compassionate workplace response to domestic violence.”
For more information, please call the YWCA Domestic Violence Employer Assistance Program at 513-361-2144.
YWCA Transform Adult Program
The Transform program has been in existence at the YWCA Greater Cincinnati since 1982. It is designed for men who have histories of causing harm by abusing their intimate partners. Transform is not group therapy. It is primarily an educational and informational program. Participants may be court ordered to attend, referred by other agencies or self-referred. At Transform, participants have opportunities to:
- Identify thinking and behavior patterns that brought them to this group.
- Learn and practice new ways of pro-social thinking and non-abusive behaviors.
- Choose to end violence at home, transform family life and strengthen relationships with partners, children and loved ones.
The YWCA Transform Adult Program is offered in Hamilton and Clermont counties.
YWCA Transforming Youth Program
Transforming Youth is a prevention/intervention program for adolescents ages 11-18 involved in or at risk of violent behaviors, including domestic violence, dating violence, gang violence and school violence. The program offers psycho-educational group sessions and uses cognitive behavioral techniques to help participants make changes in both their thinking and their behavior. In addition to weekly groups for youth, a group for parents/caregivers is also provided to help them understand what the youth are learning. Weekly art therapy groups are also available.
The YWCA Transforming Youth Program is offered at the Clermont County Juvenile Detention Center and to youth involved with Clermont County Probation.