Family violence, and more specifically Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) was identified in the 2015 Community Health Assessment as a health priority because, in years previous years, our domestic violence homicide rate was as high as counties much larger than Buncombe, and the community has build extensive momentum around this issue. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury and 7th leading cause of death for women in the United States, and it is the number one reason women and children become homeless in the U.S. It is also present in the majority of child maltreatment cases, and a child's exposure to their father abusing their mother is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
CHIP is an ongoing partner with the Safety Coalition, which is the group leading this work in Buncombe County. In September of 2016, the Safety Coalition began a "Talk to Action" exercise, where the following path was outlined (action items table below will be updated regularly as the work evolves):
The Result this group is working to achieve:
- Buncombe County is the safest place in the universe, building resilient communities free from domestic violence, sexual violence, and child abuse.
- Domestic Violence Homicides
- Child Maltreatment Homicides
- Domestic Violence Arrests
- Sexual Assault Arrests
- Child Abuse and/or Neglect Substantiated Cases
- One thing that has grown out of CHIP "Talk to Action" activities is an educators group (made up of educators from Helpmate, Our VOICE, Mountain Child Advocacy Center, Planned Parenthood, Triple P, and others). This group has been meetings since December, working to map the various curricula and educational offerings to maximize impact and reduce unnecessary duplication.
- The Prevention Task Force has begun the big job of drafting a county-wide plan for the primary prevention of IPV, sexual violence, and child abuse. This work is based on strategies in the NC Plan to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence, the NC Plan to Prevent Sexual Violence, and the CDC's document, Preventing Multiple Forms of Violence: A Strategic Approach to Connecting the Dots. (You can find these documents, and more, on the "Resources and Links" page of this blog).