Addressing the Need
Domestic violence and sexual assault/rape are identified in the CHNA as top community safety issues in the Greater Lowell area. Domestic and sexual violence typically occurs in a range of intersecting contexts including substance abuse, housing insecurity, poverty, sex work, and other forms of abuse. Community safety also extends more broadly to the role of discrimination and bullying, particularly in regard to community violence based on race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender/gender identity, sexuality, and age.
Community-based Safety and Violence initiatives are especially critical in the context of racism-driven violence, nationally and more locally. The GLHA coordinated efforts to ensure that racism and other forms of discrimination were regarded as central to all GLHA actions; ongoing discussion about the feasibility and function of a safety and violence task force continues.
Upcoming and Ongoing Actions
Supporting the efforts of current programs serving domestic violence survivors and promoting domestic violence prevention education will improve resources for people experiencing domestic violence, serving as both a primary and secondary intervention method.
Through primary prevention efforts, as well as programs that support survivors, we can provide survivors with useful resources. Workshops, training, or educational programs on the basis of reducing gender-based violence are all beneficial mechanisms for primary prevention and are strategies in our efforts to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault/rape.
Efforts to increase awareness and deploy interventions addressing interpersonal violence and bullying provide opportunities for community members to learn about preventing, addressing, and responding to bullying. It is important to deploy these evidence-based interventions to the community, especially in high-risk institutions like schools or elder-care facilities.
Anti-violence efforts must address systemic and interspersal deployment of discrimination as a strategy for oppression. A strong network of existing community programs, as well as increased capacity for these programs to deploy anti-discrimination services and trainings, will decrease discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexuality, class/income, and gender/gender identity.