Our project's focus is aimed at the reduction of domestic violence and the development of sustainable recuperation and relocation communities. Our goal is to provide co-located, multi-agency service centres that will deliver victim friendly services to victims of domestic violence and their children.
We are committed to the development of these service centres as part of the health care and social services system that includes emergency and transitional housing. These facilities, to be called Dragonfly Centres, will have a mandate that includes the provision of support services with emphasis on safety, access to trauma informed medical/legal/mental health/dental/drug and alcohol services, economic empowerment and self-sustainability. In each region, facility start up staff would consist of a minimum of 3 to 10 individuals with experience in domestic violence and/or social services with an eye on rehabilitation and relocation. Initial preparations were conducted with a comprehensive study of domestic violence in Trinidad and Tobago and Washington State USA, with specific focus on the framework of service, delivery of services, public education, policies, culture and gender relations.
Collaboration and networking of institutions, agencies and non-profits formed part of this study such as the Institute of Gender and Development Studies (IGDS), the University of West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago Coalition Against Domestic Violence (T&TCADV). As a result, networking and collaborative efforts have begun with T&TCADV, IGDS and Working Women for Social Progress. The study revealed that various social agencies had a desire for a more collaborative inter-agency working relationships along with a better educated police force and court system. Evaluations will aid in determining the effectiveness of our efforts and will be conducted on a monthly basis by reviewing the data collected from intake forms and client evaluations. This data will assist in identifying areas of concern as well as helping the centre assess its effectiveness and make better informed decisions. Our program will seek out funding from the budget of sponsoring agencies, government (general fund and grant), corporate sponsors, private foundations, individual donors as well as special events to ensure continued operation.
We are in the process of looking for and acquiring state of the art technology, sound housing for both locations here in the USA and in our sister islands of Trinidad and Tobago. We are determined to have both facilities grow together exponentially as the needs factor is addressed. We have several aspects that must be considered in the preparation of "safe" facilities. We shall also address relocation needs in light of safety and survival concerns.
The project is designed to educate adolescents about dating violence and healthy relationships through school level intervention. We will target 7th to 12th grade level students. The estimated number of students in a local high school in Tacoma, Washington is 2,100 with 600-700 freshmen being the primary target group.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean culture dictates that both primary and high school students be the prime focus for this educational outreach program. As our areas of influence grow, we will present this project to other states and islands.
Startup goal for this project is estimated to cost $270,000.00
Teen dating violence is a major public health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 9% (and rising) of high school students report being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the twelve months prior to the survey. Dating violence can have a negative effect on health throughout life. Youth who are victims are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. They engage in unhealthy behaviors, like using tobacco, drugs, and alcohol, or exhibit antisocial behaviors and think about suicide. Youth who are victims of dating violence in high school are at higher risk for victimization during college and adulthood. The 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey showed about 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who ever experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age.
The ultimate goal is to stop dating violence before it starts. Strategies that promote healthy relationships are vital. During the preteen and teen years, young people are learning skills they need to form positive relationships with others. This is an ideal time to promote healthy relationships and prevent patterns of dating violence that can last into adulthood. Many prevention strategies are proven to prevent or reduce dating violence. Some effective school-based programs change norms, improve problem-solving, and address dating violence in addition to other youth risk behaviors, such as substance use and sexual risk behaviors. Other programs prevent dating violence through changes to the school environment or training influential adults, like parents/caregivers and coaches, to work with youth to prevent dating violence.
The Dragonfly Centre is collaborating with a teen dating violence prevention and intervention organization. Funding would allow us to become an Early Adopter Partner, secure proper staff training, purchase the proven prevention curriculum, equipment/supplies, cover transportation and presentation expenses as well as provide compensation for an instructor. We firmly believe that the benefits of addressing dating violence, which is an often unrecognized subcategory of domestic violence, will result in improved academic performance and reduced truancy. Providing prevention education can help build skills for healthy relationships and benefit a teen's emotional development. The program's goal is to prevent adolescents from perpetrating or experiencing dating violence by increasing knowledge about dating violence, changing attitudes that might tend to support dating violence, and promoting "interpersonal strengths such as self-esteem, effective communication, and help-seeking".
Research from evidence-based prevention programs report that adolescents who have participated in a program compared to those who did not, are less accepting of dating violence. Their stronger communication and anger management skills serve to preserve their integrity; less gender stereotyping and greater awareness of community services for dating abuse assist in negating unhealthy growth patterns.
The Dragonfly Centre is an emerging entity that has a passion for improving the lives of family violence victims through community collaboration. Headquartered in Washington State, the Dragonfly Centre for Women's Empowerment and Transformation provides outreach and education in Pierce County and in Trinidad and Tobago as we continue to grow. Our goal is to provide a co-located, multi-agency service centre that will deliver victim friendly services to victims of domestic violence and their children. Some of the services we strive to offer include:
We have combined different aspects of organizational treatment for systemic change. The Dragonfly Centres are to be connected as escape venues that support all aspects of non-violent healthy living. Living accommodations and life empowering changes effected in the lives of victims can be initiated and completed from any location. This relocation is complete and is enacted as a life affirming last resort. Our Facilities are geared to what is referred to as the TREE (Transform, Rebuild, Educate and Empower) model:
We are not only advocates of healthy living but also a one-stop start to finish agency that supports the environment. Our facilities are private secure havens where we support, empower and provide choice to victims guiding them from survivor to thriver. We educate individuals, governments and communities in order to foster good, prosperous relationships. The World is good; people are loved, worthy and need to step up to their part in it and with "TREE" we can grow healthy strong roots for health communities around the world.
Our Annual Organization Budget Goal : $2,540,000.00