The Community Engagement Continuum
The Community Engagement Continuum categorizes a range of community based approaches in the anti-violence movement and clarifies the goals of engagement. The four points on the continuum – outreach and education, mobilization, organizing, and accountability – are defined by the extent to which the methods in each category lead to increases in the community’s capacity to transform relations of power. This model encourages a more strategic approach to all four levels and offers tools towards realistic step-by-step implementation.
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- Community Outreach and Education raises community awareness about the issue of violence against women and children and anti-violence resources.
- Community Mobilization aims for active community participation and engagement supporting the anti-violence organization or addressing the problem of violence against women and children.
- Community Organizing involves longer-term strategies meant to increase sustained community-based capacity to address violence against women and children.
- Community Accountability develops the capacity of community members to support survivors and hold abusers accountable for their violence.
Community Engagement Continuum: Outreach, Mobilization, Organizing and Accountability to Address Violence against Asian & Pacific Islander Women
Programs are using a range of strategies to reach and educate community members about domestic violence and the services they provide; encouraging conversations, raising awareness, and promoting help-seeking. A few examples of outreach strategies are listed below:
- Outreach to blue-collar workers: Contact small business owners and offer to have an informal discussion during lunch break about domestic violence. This builds networks between the women and breaks the silence amongst them.
- Outreach through faith centers: Participate in low-key ways in community projects at a faith center e.g., packing grocery bags for needy families, and talking to other volunteers there about domestic violence and services because they often have relationships to recipient families.
- Grocery stores in ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown: Supply flyers that are inserted in each bag or grocery bags printed with domestic violence services information.
- Be a contingent marching in an annual parade on Pakistani Independence Day, Chinese New Year, Tet, Pride March, etc. Since these are celebratory events, organizers may baulk at including domestic violence programs, but anti-violence advocacy is something to celebrate as it strengthens the community.
- Independence through driving or public transportation: Assisting battered women to learn how to drive e.g., paying for driving lessons, helping them get their license, familiarizing them with public transport by accompanying them through the system on the routes they use, providing bus passes.
- Outreach through midwives: Asian women may often select midwives to ensure a female practitioner, so outreach through their practices and training for them can reach a significant group.
- Assistance through consulates: Arrange informational training for consular staff so they can assist battered women with passport problems. Request that your services be listed on the consulate website and maintain a collaborative relationship with them.
Do you have a strategy you’d like share? Let us know.
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Hmong Women’s Dialogues
In the three decades since first arriving in America as refugees, Hmong women have been instrumental in helping the community make economic, educational, political and social gains. Hmong women however are still struggling because of a patriarchal society where gender relationships have been shaped by centuries of practices and behaviors that value men above women. As a result, women all too often feel and see how they are often not supported to achieve their full potential; and at the other extreme, the results have been deadly because of violence towards women and girls. This is unacceptable to Hmong women and it has given rise to a deep commitment to community organizing and activism.
Our Voices Create Our Future offers some background information, describes the challenges and obstacles Hmong face addressing sexism, and identifies clear strategies for working together to build gender equity.
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Resources for API Community Organizers
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