Prevention | Organizing

Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander agencies serving battered women have made community organizing integral to their prevention work. These approaches may not necessarily fit conventional notions or models of prevention but they are critical to winning the trust of a community and changing the culture of gender violence.

Community organizing is a process through which communities are helped to identify common problems or goals, mobilize resources, and develop and implement strategies for reaching the goals they have collectively set. Organizing in immigrant and refugee communities involves an intuitive and complex bi-cultural understanding and sensitivity to intra-ethnic, generational, class, identity, and regional differences.

Broadly speaking, the goals of prevention are to stop behaviors and change attitudes. Organizing has the same goals, and in addition, it is deeply invested in community activism to change patriarchal power. Its goals include:

  • Breaking the silence about the history, nature, and extent of gender violence;
  • Empowering survivors by focusing on their strengths and courage, to seek help and support;
  • Raising awareness about the detrimental effects of domestic violence on adults, children, families, and communities;
  • Confronting patriarchy by addressing the root causes of violence, the sustained devaluation of women, the impunity of abusers, and community complicity;
  • Placing the leadership of women, girls, youth, and other disenfranchised voices – queer, rural, elderly, people with disabilities – at the center.
  • Engaging community networks of leaders, survivors, women, men, youth, to frame the issues; identify needs, trends, and barriers; and develop strategies;
  • Mobilizing cultural change and transformation by emphasizing individual and community accountability, and by establishing new social norms.

The level of activism in our communities to prevent gender-based violence is extraordinary. There are currently about 130 domestic violence agencies and programs in the U.S. serving Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders – a direct result of the commitment of our women activists and leaders.

In This Section

  1. Transforming Gender Roles
  2. TOOLS: Blanketed By Blame - three skits to raise awareness about domestic violence, victim-blaming, and rigid gender norms.
  3. Community Organizing
  4. National Resources on Prevention

“Community organizing is both a philosophy and a strategy, embedded in a social justice framework determined to confront patriarchy and build gender equity.”