The Rural Digest, Issue 10
Featuring best and promising practices, research, training, and assistance to end gender-based violence in rural communities
The Rural Digest features replicable, time-tested intervention models, social change-advocacy strategies, and tools, templates, and materials as part of Praxis’ technical assistance to rural communities. We want to support you in your work.
Praxis advises on how to strengthen advocacy work at individual, community and/or institutional levels. We can also provide information and support about the implementation of coordinated responses to ending gender-based violence in rural communities. Access our centralized Rural Clearinghouse to connect with your peers and learn more about rural-specific training, technical assistance, strategies, and research.
In This Issue
Advocates spend most of their time at work focused on the needs of others, including survivors, community members, and co-workers. The needs and well-being of advocates themselves are often sidelined or considered secondary to caring for others. What causes us to downplay the importance of advocates’ well-being, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, challenging current events, and the daily struggle of navigating oppressive systems? What is the cost of disregarding advocate well-being?
By taking time to understand and address “Advocacy Fatigue” on the individual, organizational, and community levels, we can transform our programs into more holistic and supportive environments for all staff. It is an opportunity to create the organizations and world we are working toward.
To learn more about how to support advocate wellness, we invite you to watch this recording of the Praxis webinar, Wellness for Advocates in Rural Communities: A Social Change Imperative . The webinar explores the source and impact of Advocacy Fatigue and also highlights what organizations can do to promote a nurturing, sustainable, work environment for all staff.
Several rural advocacy programs have recently reached out to us to explore advocacy with survivors who are parents. Here’s a summary of our response to them:
Supporting parent survivors is a significant body of work for community-based advocates. Advocacy with parent survivors is complex and ranges from: repairing the relationship between the parent and child; civil court advocacy as they navigate separation, divorce, custody, and visitation; and supporting safety for the parent survivor and their children – together – in child welfare interventions. Many resources have been developed to help programs navigate those specific advocacy issues (see the Uniquely Rural Resources section below).
We have seen that advocacy programs are also challenged to apply a social justice framework to their advocacy with parent survivors. To provide guidance for programs related to this challenge, Praxis developed the Parenting Through Violence Toolkit . The Parenting Through Violence Toolkit (PTV Toolkit) defines what we mean by “social change advocacy” and dives into questions and strategies to strengthen individual, community, and institutional advocacy. It also helps programs explore how they are structured to engage in social change advocacy with parent survivors. We encourage you to take a look at the PTV Toolkit yourself to discover how you may enhance your advocacy support to the diverse array of survivors who are parents within your community.
Praxis can also provide technical assistance to further explore how to strengthen and expand social change advocacy for parent survivors. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to inquire about available technical assistance.
Are you interested in reflecting on your organization, and how you do your work, through the lens of social change-oriented advocacy? We invite you to consider an exciting new opportunity available to rural grantees to strengthen their advocacy on behalf of survivors of gender-based violence. Praxis is launching a cohort of rural programs that will utilize Praxis’ new Program Assessment for Social Change (PASC) to make a concrete change within their organization. Exclusively available to Rural Grantees, the application for the cohort are open now until November 14th!
Programs selected will receive built in guidance and support from Praxis staff to apply the PASC to their program. The cohort will embark on a thoughtful analysis of program policies, procedures, structures, and practices with particular attention to disparate impact on survivors and those who interact with their program.
Cohort members will examine the impact of organizational practices on all who interact with the program. They will analyze gaps between the program’s intended and actual social justice impact. Programs will then identify and implement practical solutions that embody the principles of social change advocacy while centering the experiences of survivors on the margins.
The cohort will work through the PASC steps over 18 months, from January 2023 to June 2024. Applications are available now and are due on November 14th, 2022. Email email@example.com with any questions or for more detailed information on what is involved in using the PASC to analyze your program. Watch the SRA 2 Cohort informational webinar here.
Also, be on the lookout for these upcoming Praxis events:
- Tuesday, 11/15/2022:Praxis Talk Story: International Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence: How They Connect to Advocacy in the United States. Join us in a discussion about the global struggle to end gender-based violence and how we can individually and collectively play a part. Register here.
- Thursday, 12/8/2022: Virtual Gathering: Supporting BIPOC Advocate Wellbeing. Register here. BIPOC Advocate Virtual Gatherings are an opportunity for advocates across the country to connect, share their stories and gain support. This is a space specifically for BIPOC identifying people. We all benefit from coming together in solidarity and support.
To peruse the training and support available to you as an OVW grantee, go to this website: OVW’s National Technical Assistance Provider Training Events Calendar.
Along with the Parenting Through Violence Toolkit referenced above, Praxis has created the following rural-specific resources surrounding the topic of supporting parents experiencing violence with input and guidance from rural advocacy programs:
- Supporting the Safety of Battered Mothers and Their Children Together: A Guide to Assessing Child Protection Practice in Domestic Violence-Related Cases– This guide was created to help communities answer important questions about intervention strategies and the various outcomes in child protection cases. Find materials to help teams of advocates, child protection representatives, and community members assess the child protective services response to domestic violence. Suggestions for how to incorporate new policies and practices for responding to cases with an overlap of child maltreatment and battering are also provided.
Additional resources, approaches and information from other providers doing the work:
- National Institute on Fatherhood & Domestic Violence from Futures Without Violence (FUTURES). Fathering After Violence is a national initiative developed by FUTURES and its partners to enhance the safety and well-being of women and children by motivating men to renounce their violence to become better fathers and more supportive parenting partners. This groundbreaking project is based on the premise that men who use violence can be held accountable for their behavior and, at the same time, be encouraged to change it by using fatherhood as a leading approach.
- Sexual Abuse to Maternal Mortality Pipeline – 2019 Report from Black Women’s Blueprint. This guide gives a comprehensive overview and analysis of how sexual violence is linked to the lives and high maternal mortality rates of Black women. It provides information on how sexual violence, racism, and disparate treatment of Black women in various systems impact their lives, reproductive health, pregnancy experiences, and ability to parent their children in the way they choose.
This project is supported by Grant No. 2020-TA-AX-K031 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.