Violencecan be referred to as the action of inducing injury on the self or onanother person. Violence appears in various setting such as betweenstrangers, same household members, and violence can either beaccidental or deliberate. More often, the basis for most violence inany setting appears to be control and power. Various advocacyorganizations and programs for violent prevention have established inmany states of the world. Violence is of various forms but in thispaper we will concentrate on domestic violence prevention advocacy byNational Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV).
Domesticviolence affects million of victims all over the world each year.Advocacy organizations and federal policies have assisted in reducingsuch criminal behaviors and have increased safety for domesticviolence victims. NNEDV is an advocacy organization that givespromotion to legislative initiatives that elevate the response ofcriminal justice to situations related to domestic violence, provideservices that are life saving to assist local domestic programs(National Network to End Domestic Violence, n.d.), expands theaccessibility of affordable and safe housing for victims, provideemployment protections, training, education, and access to benefitswith the aim of ensuring individuals are economically stable, andfinally it ensures that privacy and confidentiality of victims areprotected.
Implementationof domestic violence prevention advocacy in NNEDV happens at everylevel of advocacy including group, local, national, and internationallevel. There are various factors that determine the level at whichadvocacy is administered such as availability of resources, the scopeof violence prevention, and the long term or short term nature ofviolence prevention. At the local level, NNEDV ensures that localcommunities are offered technical assistance, resources that are muchneeded, and training programs. Also, it works with its associateswith the aim of understanding any domestic violence advocacy andvictims program emerging or ongoing needs. Then this organizationtakes the responsibility of ensuring that those needs are understoodand heard by those who make policies at the national level (NNEDV,n.d.). Moreover, associates of NNEDV share ideas and information witheach other and staffs of NNEDV while in regional and nationalmeetings. In these meetings, comprehensive solutions are formedthrough team work. Internationally, the organization has made aglobal change by engaging in activities that not only benefit womenin USA, but also women from any part of the globe. Therefore, NNEDVis able to address extensive consequences and multiplex causes ofdomestic violence at the international, national, and state levelthrough cross sector cooperation at all levels. Hence changing howthe society prevent and solve issues related to domestic violence.
Thelevels of domestic violence advocacy in NNEDV progresses from theindividual to discourse through multifaceted prevention strategiesthat starts with identification of needs and problems of the client,then progress to a level at which identification of clients needs andproblems happen, and finally to a stage where planning of strategiesor overall strategies takes place. Various tactics are used toimplement violence prevention advocacy strategies (Ezell, 2000).
Afterinterviewing several advocates in NNEDV, I realized that whatmotivates majority of them to become advocates is self awareness ofone’s ideals, commitment, and one’s values. Also, the desire tomake a difference and end domestic violence in the society alsomotivated NNEDV advocates to become advocates. Their hopes were toshape the society, communities, and the world into a more enviableplace free from violence. The desire to end oppression, injustices,poverty, and ignorance kept them going. Moreover, when survivor’slives and those of their children become improved, the advocates getmotivated. What proved more important to them is ending domesticviolence by making it a national priority. According to Ezell (2000),strong personal values, outranks all other motivators in people whodo advocacy. A person’s personal values can be obtained fromvolunteer experience, professional ethics, or oppression experiences.
Jansson(2010) suggests that to produce change in domestic violence, variousskills are needed. More often, NNEDV operations are based onenactment of legislation. Therefore, for success in prevention ofdomestic violence, this movement put these skills into consideration.
Itis very important for policy advocates to take risks, which meansthey take risks when trying to seek for violence prevention policies.
Balancingplanning and flexibility
Skillfuladvocates ensures that all their work is guided by plans they haddeveloped before (Jansson, 2010). Prior planning assists advocates toorganize their tasks into a coherent and purposeful pattern, andmakes clear on what to accomplish first. Therefore, prior planninghelps advocates to accomplish their goals and objectives in dealingwith domestic violence. Another skill that is very important is theability to be flexible in all situations. This helps an advocate tocreate strategies as new incidences occur.
NNEDVadvocates are properly assertive .such a skill enables them to voicethe challenges of domestic violence victims to the respectivecongress and make policy changes in legislatures. Authority figures,government officials, and legislators work as stepping stones tochange achievement, but not as a source of intimidation.
Toachieve change in domestic violence, NNEDV advocates possess diverseand a range of interactional, analytical, value clarification, andpolitical skills. These skills are used together or independentlydepending on the situation. According to Ezell (2000), domesticprevention strategies work well with advocates who have a variety ofskills.
Evenwhen faced by multiple barriers and recurrent failures, advocateswith a skill of perseverance continue in a course to end domesticviolence. This means devoting one’s life to domestic violenceprevention.
Advocacywork does not have boundaries and structure. Therefore, an advocatemust be skillful enough in matters that require tolerance touncertainty. It is very difficult to predict what will happen after aproposal initiation, hence the need for tolerance. When faced by adomestic violence issue, advocates do not know what will happen next,and the energy and time required stabilizing such a situation afterthey start to deal with it.
NNEDVuses territorial and state coalitions to respond to domestic violencein United States of America (NNEDV, n.d.). The history of theseterritorial and state coalitions originated from the battered women’smovement and NNEDV’S values, including self determination, socialjustice, and stopping women oppression. These coalitions workcollectively in enacting and implementing social change and policychange not only at the state level, but also at federal levels.Moreover, they are responsible for leadership that merges national,state, and local laws, policies, and programs to stop domesticviolence. The collaborations also work to challenge politicalconditions that encourage a culture that allows sexual and domesticviolence, and advocates for change in both the legislative processand in the government. The federal law on the other hand, forbidspossession of guns by offenders of domestic violence. Therefore, thefederal government encourages NNEDV efforts to ending domesticviolence. More often, political conditions in NNDEV operates toprohibit the risk factors of domestic violence and gives support topolicies that might produce change in domestic violence. They work tostrengthen protections and policies for domestic and sexual violencevictims.
Variousfactors relate to change in NNEDV. This movement works with varioussocial media platforms where it creates awareness of domesticviolence to the public and ways of ending it. In addition, themovement persists in making domestic violence a national priority forthe general public, high profile businesses, and for policymakers(NNEDV, n.d.). NNEDV supports victims of sexual and domestic violenceand seeks justice for them. Perpetrators are then subjected to legalaction. Also, through the WomensLaw Project, NNEDV gives women indomestic violence relationships, legal information and adequateresources (NNEDV, n.d.). Therefore, through this project, women andgirls become empowered to free from abusive relationships and leadself-reliant lives. Another factor is changing legislation. NNEDVworks to change and advocate for effective legislation in Congressand makes sure that domestic violence survivors voices are heardwithin the main agencies of the government such as human and healthservices, labor, education, urban development, justice department,and housing agencies.
Afterproviding service to domestic violence victims, NNEDV expects theseclients to change their attitude, skill, knowledge, behavior, lifecircumstances, and emotional status on how they view domesticviolence. NNEDV uses the theory of change to measure the desiredchange. Survivor’s emotional and social well being form the desiredlong term change (NNEDV, n.d.). Anticipation of well being isdetermined by factors that were previously affected negatively byviolence such as intrapersonal factors and interpersonal and socialfactors. Intrapersonal factors involve self efficacy and hope.Interpersonal and social factors involve positive relationships,social connectedness, safety, enhanced justice, spiritual andemotional health, and adequate resources possession. Research showsthat advocacy services have led to women facing less violence,increased social support, improved quality of life, and easy accessto community resources (NNEDV, n.d.). Advocates face challenges whiledoing advocacy work like opposition from their opponents, crowdedfield, blocked reforms, and divergent ideologies and values.
NNEDVdeals with people of all races, gender, and class. However, researchshows that women and children experience more domestic abuse thanmen. Also, women who are not financially stable tend to receiveassaults from their partners than those who are financially stable.In America, the black Americans tend to engage in domestic violencemore than the whites. Advocates therefore engage in variousactivities to curb domestic violence. Such activities involvesadvocating for a just society, advocating for accessible, flexible,efficient, appropriate, effective, adequate, and comprehensivedomestic violence services and programs (Jansson, 2010). Advocatesalso make changes in existing laws and policies and present them tothe congress for legislation. Furthermore, they create awareness ofdomestic violence preventive strategies.
Thereare several basic components of advocating such as advocacy skills,knowledge of the issue, allies, recognition, identification ofopponents and resistance, potential allies and opponents involvement,and advocacy plan development (Jansson, 2010).
Todevelop personal advocacy skills, an individual should ask him orherself the following questions: what do I want to do in life? Do Ihave the courage to stand for myself? Do I know what my weaknessesand strengths are? Do I have personal goals? Personal advocacy skillsare very important as they help an individual to get the support heor she needs and also they reflect the potential of an individual.
Ezell,M. (2000). Advocacy in the Human Services. Australia: Cengagelearning.
Jansson,B. (2010). Becoming an Effective Policy Advocate. USA: Cengagelearning.
NNEDV,(n.d). Legislation to End Domestic Violence. Retrieved from http://nnedv.org/downloads/Policy/InDistrict_FactSheets_2013.pdf