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National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence across the Lifespan (NPEIV) Think Tank Executive Summary:
September 2008 and January 2009 Meetings
by Keith Davis, University of South Carolina
This is an abbreviation of a summary prepared by the co-chairs, Robert Geffner and Jacquelyn White. As SPSSI’s representative to the planning meetings, I have worked to ensure that issues of diversity, socioeconomic inequality, public policy and community action research remained in the focus of the planning group. These concerns have been well-received and I recommend that SPSSI continue to be a sponsor of this organization and send a representative to the 2009 planning meeting and the 2010 summit.
This report provides a summary and analysis of two meetings of the think tank of the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence across the Lifespan (NPEIV). The think tank developed out of an identified need to integrate across all types of interpersonal violence. It was decided that “re-inventing the wheel” or creating another organization was not needed. Rather, it was determined that a partnership of existing organizations, agencies, coalitions, corporations, and other entities was a better route to pursue. Hence, the NPEIV was formed, and 50 partners were included by the second meeting.
At the first meeting, the think tank members were asked to identify existing gaps and issues to begin to develop a blueprint for action in creating a national priority to reduce and then end interpersonal violence. Groups based on types of violence (intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, teen dating/youth violence, sexual violence, children exposed to violence, community violence, and diverse populations) discussed six areas of focus (public awareness, training and mentoring, practice, research, funding/development, public policy, and community action). The second meeting focused on continuing the work of the NPEIV as well as beginning the planning for the 2010 Summit.
It was recognized across the board that this national agenda had to go beyond just a public awareness campaign. The campaign needs to be diverse and inclusive, and define violence. All forms of violence need to be considered and included to counter the segregation and barriers that have traditionally influenced the field. Similarly, there was a consensus that violence as a field has fallen behind in research, training, practice, funding, policy, and community action, with numerous negative consequences, including increased risk of compassion fatigue among service providers. Several roadblocks to progress need to be overcome. Violence issues need to be taught to undergraduates and graduate students across several fields. Journals need to be written in jargon-free language and published digitally, making them more user-friendly and available for wider dissemination. Translating research into practice such that their applications can be understood and used by frontline practitioners is necessary. Policy is often not well-informed by research, a state of affairs that often works to the detriment of women and peoples of color. With the recent political change in Washington, this is an ideal time to make a significant change in making violence prevention a priority, but funding is a clear issue in these difficult economic times.
The NPEIV is also committed to the use of technology to enhance the breadth and scope of the populations we serve. It was found that the development of an online networking site would be more effective than a list-serv. Members of the NPEIV will utilize this site for the development of the infrastructure, as well as for the planning of the upcoming events. This will include the 2010 National Summit, where technology such as clickers, smartboards, and/or podcasts will be considered. There is also an interest in “syncing” presentations with video and audio to allow for further dissemination.
The economy has forced a rethinking on funding; with this in mind, the “stone soup” approach of piecing together funding through many collaborations and outreach has been adopted. It needs to be clear that collaborators do not have to provide funding to be involved in the NPEIV; co-sponsors provide the funding. Smaller contributions and grants from more agencies, foundations and corporations will be pursued for the short-term.
Goals and Priorities
The resulting priorities of the NPEIV are to work to increase collaborations so we can work together to end abuse and violence. The development of a large-scale partnership of all think tank representative organizations and coalitions is necessary to provide a single, unified voice to influence policy makers while remaining politically neutral. It is important to ensure that violence reduction becomes a national priority, and that research, service and policy are linked. Committees were developed according to the different areas of focus, and working groups were formed to move the agenda forward in developing a 3 and 5-year blueprint for action.
The third meeting of the NPEIV will occur just prior to the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in September, 2009 in San Diego. It is set for Sept. 21-22, 2009. The main goal of the meeting will be to continue to create the blueprint for action, begin to develop the plans for a public awareness and public education campaign, and to increase participation by those with expertise in fund raising, public relations, legislative policy making, and media. The goal of the International Conference is 1,200 attendees. There will be 14 tracks covering each area of interpersonal violence, with themes of cultural diversity and substance abuse throughout the conference.
At the second think tank meeting in New Orleans in January 2009, it was determined that the 2010 Summit would be entitled the National Summit on Interpersonal Violence & Abuse across the Lifespan: Forging a Shared Agenda. There was a commitment made to attend and participate in the National Summit in Dallas, TX on February 24-26, 2010. The fourth meeting of the think tank will occur just prior to the Summit.
Recommendations for the next step are to determine how to identify potential additions to the partnership, and how to find better representation for people of color, victims, and the military, as well as those connected with the education system. Those in the research group are to contact journal editors to define violence in articles and publications. The public awareness group will work on compiling a list of potential partners as we begin to create a large scale public relations campaign. They will be assisted in this list compilation by the practice group, the public policy group, and the community action group. The training/mentoring committee will begin to develop curricula needs and start compiling lists of undergraduate and graduate departments to reform trainings with respect to violence issues. Public policy committee members will begin to evaluate policy needs to help set a national priority that would involve improved research funding, more evidence-based and promising practices, and better recognition of national and international needs for violence prevention.
The key next steps are to continue to seek short-term funding to meet immediate needs, and to begin to seek long-term funding for the think tanks, the NPEIV and its Blueprint for Action, the Summit, and the International Conference. The NPEIV will continue to look for a celebrity “face,” and to focus on a public relations and marketing campaign. The next think tank meeting will focus on infrastructure, the NPEIV mission statement, and the strategic plan. It is hoped that many of the think tank participants will remain and present at the International Conference on panels or breakout sessions as part of our overall efforts to link practice, research and policy.
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