The New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence has inducted UNH Prevention Innovations: Research and Practices for Ending Violence Against Women into its hall of fame.
The organization was honored at the coalition’s annual luncheon Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. The event honors community partners whose work on behalf of victims demonstrates their passion for ending domestic and sexual violence and stalking and who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make New Hampshire a safer state.
“The work that Prevention Innovations has done has been essential in creating awareness of domestic and sexual violence in our state. Not only have they drawn attention to the prevalence of the problem, they have also offered real solutions and action steps that anyone can take to work to prevent violence,” said Lyn Schollett, executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Established in October 2006, UNH Prevention Innovations is a research and training unit that develops, implements and evaluates programs, policies, and practices to help end violence against women. A multidisciplinary center, it includes faculty from the sociology, psychology, social work, and justice studies departments as well as from the Women’s Studies Program and UNH Law. The center’s clients include colleges, universities, local governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
“Every now and then the stars align and a group of amazing and talented people from diverse educational and occupational backgrounds who are dedicated to ending sexual violence come together, and there is a magical synergy. This synergy, coupled with the support from the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the larger community, has enabled us to work together to reduce sexual violence at the state and national levels,” said Sharyn Potter, co-director of UNH Prevention Innovations and associate professor of sociology.
Prevention Innovations’ Bringing in the Bystander In-Person Prevention Program has been nationally recognized for its effectiveness in reducing sexual assault on college campuses, and its Know Your Power Bystander Social Marketing Campaign raises awareness about sexual and relationship violence and stalking and provides community members with prevention tools they can use to safely intervene. Additionally, Prevention Innovations provides ongoing national training and technical assistance on prevention strategies and evaluation to campuses, communities, and branches of the U.S. military.
Through Prevention Innovations’ efforts and research, the coalition published New Hampshire’s first Violence Against Women and Violence Against Men reports as well as reports on the prevalence and prosecution of sexual assault in New Hampshire.
“Their efforts supported several coalition projects to increase our member programs capacity to help children exposed to domestic violence and survivors suffering from trauma, mental health, and substance abuse issues. More recently they have worked with educators from the coalition member programs and trained them on how to develop evaluation tools for prevention programming,” said Robin Christopherson, chair of the board of directors with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
Since its inception, UNH Prevention Innovations has secured more than $1.5 million in research funding. This research funding has enabled the organization to develop and evaluate prevention programs, translate research for institutions nationwide, and examine the prevalence of sexual and relationship violence beyond UNH.
The members of the organization have published 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and produced 20 reports focused on prevention programs. In addition, members have presented prevention strategies and evaluation findings worldwide, including to delegations who have visited from Sweden, Israel, Netherlands, Latvia, Ukraine, Albania, Azerbaijan and Russia.
The Bringing in the Bystander In-Person Prevention Program has been adapted by colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and piloted for the U.S. Army in Europe. Trainers have conducted trainings at more than 50 colleges and universities in the United States and Europe. Bringing in the Bystander is the only program of its kind to be listed on the Office of Justice Programs website CrimeSolutions.gov.
The Know Your Power Bystander Social Marketing Campaign is the only evaluated bystander intervention social marketing campaign in the field of sexual and relationship violence prevention. It has been adapted by 75 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and was piloted for the U.S. Army in Europe. Both programs recently were featured in a new information packet released by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “Engaging Bystanders to Prevent Sexual Violence: A Guide for Preventionists.”
The expertise of UNH Prevention Innovations has been sought by national and international leaders working to end violence against women, including women in the military. Researchers have met with officials from the White House, U.S. Senate and Congress, and the UK Home Office. UNH Prevention Innovations members also celebrated the reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act in 2010 with Vice President Joseph Biden at a reception at his home.
The Prevention Innovations team includes Victoria Banyard, research and evaluation consultant, and professor of psychology; Angela Borges, lead trainer; Robert Eckstein, lead trainer and curriculum development specialist, and lecturer in psychology; Katie Edwards, assistant professor of psychology; Caroline Leyva, research assistant; Grace Mattern, research to practice specialist and former executive director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; Mary Mayhew, prevention and direct services specialist; Mary Moynihan, prevention and evaluation coordinator; Sharon Murphy, research to practice specialist; Sharyn Potter, co-director and associate professor of sociology; Jane Stapleton, co-director; and Amy Vorenberg, professor of law at the UNH School of Law.
In addition to its work with the N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the organization has worked with the N.H. Department of Justice and the research committee of the N.H. Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Stalking. Board appointments include the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, School and College Organization of Prevention Educators, National College Athletic Association Violence Against Women Online Research Project Rapid Response Project.
More information about Prevention Innovations