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DHSS Press Release



Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@state.de.us

Date: April 15, 2013
DHSS-51-2013





DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE DELAWARE COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RECEIVES TWO FEDERAL GRANT AWARDS


WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - Today U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) announced the award of $2 million in federal grants focused on addressing and preventing domestic violence as a public health issue to the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV). The grants will advance state and local domestic violence prevention and intervention efforts. Sen. Carper was joined by Delaware Senator Patricia Blevins, Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, and DCADV Executive Director Carol Post.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Violence Prevention awarded a five-year $1.7 million DELTA FOCUS grant, which began in March. Since 2002, DCADV and coalitions in 13 other states have partnered with the CDC's national DELTA program leading efforts to advance a public health violence prevention framework. The new CDC grant aims to maximize impact of the federal funds even more effectively by concentrating on broader community and societal factors that promote or hinder domestic violence. Earlier this year, the Journal of Safety Research listed the CDC National DELTA Program on the Top 20 List of Practice Innovations in Violence and Injury Prevention.

"These grant awards will help our state, non-profit organizations and community health centers better work together to find solutions to this public health problem," said Sen. Carper. "I believe through these partnerships we will have a greater ability to find solutions much faster than if we all work alone."

In January, DCADV received a three-year, $375,000 Project Connect grant from the U.S. Office of Women's Health and Futures Without Violence. This grant focuses on the impact of domestic violence on reproductive and sexual health.

"The consequences of interpersonal violence impacts health far beyond the direct impact of abuse. As the state director for Public Health, I want to be clear: domestic violence is a public health issue as much as newborn screenings, immunizations, healthy lifestyles, disease prevention, and safe drinking water," Dr. Rattay said. "DPH is committed to working with our partners to implement this grant and change the way violence is viewed and treated."

Domestic violence victims-women, men or children-suffer more than the immediate physical and emotional trauma of abuse. Exposure to violence and abuse causes pervasive, extensive health conditions including chronic disease and behavioral and substance abuse problems. Domestic violence contributes to diabetes and hypertension, ulcers and digestive problems, neurological and musculoskeletal diseases, and lung disease including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Domestic violence is also connected with depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and sexually transmitted diseases.

These grant projects are included in the collaborative umbrella project, THRIVE Delaware, made up of state and local partnerships to promote healthy relationships, individuals, and violence-free environments.

"We want Delaware to be the first state to prevent domestic violence," Post said. "Pervasive community violence and social conditions impact our health and well-being. We are confident that grounding our efforts in research, practitioner and community wisdom through projects like THRIVE Delaware will help us to make a substantial step forward."

DCADV's prevention efforts aim to create conditions where healthy relationships can thrive. Previous efforts have included a statewide prevention plan aimed at building Delaware's capacity to approach domestic violence as a public health issue; curricula, training, regulations, policies and practices that promote comprehensive healthy relationships programming in schools statewide; on-line and social media prevention and health promotion campaigns; and community-driven programs such as the Delaware Men's Education Network (Delaware MEN) whose mission is to involve men in promoting healthy, safe relationships.

"Domestic violence occurs in all of our communities, rich and poor, suburban, urban and rural. Treating it as a public health issue is key to helping survivors recover and this federal grant will make an enormous difference to Delaware," said Patricia Blevins, State Senate President Pro Tem and long time domestic violence prevention advocate. "The Coalition, the state, and their partners will make a real difference for Delaware's families."

The Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCADV) is a statewide, non-profit organization with a membership including domestic violence agencies and programs providing shelter and direct services to adult victims of domestic violence, allied organizations, and caring individuals. Since its founding in 1994, DCADV has engaged in a variety of activities, including public education efforts, training and prevention initiatives, and systems advocacy. DCADV works closely with direct service providers, government officials, and business and community partners to facilitate the creation of effective policies and programs for battered women and their children, to promote equality in relationships, and to alter the social conditions that allow violence and abuse to occur. More information can be found on their website at www.dcadv.org. They can be reached at 302-658-2958.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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