Sexual Violence Prevention
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Grant Program
Domestic violence and sexual assault affect different communities in different ways. Prevention efforts must be driven by the community and relevant to community culture in order to be most effective.
The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Program funds and supports projects that use community-driven and culturally relevant practices to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. One main goal of these grants is to engage communities that have not been reached by traditional domestic and sexual assault prevention efforts.
In 2019, the Minnesota State Legislature appropriated $750,000 for two years starting in 2020 for this new Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Program.
- MDH Sexual Violence Prevention Program reached out to community stakeholders to gather their input. MDH SVPP used this information to develop the request for proposals and review process.
- The Request for Proposals was opened on September 30, 2019 and closed on November 15, 2019.
- A team of 32 reviewers, which included subject matter experts and community members, scored applications and participated in review meetings. Applications were scored based on criteria outlined in the Request for Proposals.
- After considering the final scores, comments from reviewers, target populations, and location, MDH selected six applicants for funding.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
Counties Served: Hennepin and Ramsey
The Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota was created to respond to the urgent resettlement needs of thousands of fellow Lao refugees in Minnesota and beyond in 1983. The project will leverage collaborative partnerships already established in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Women’s Health Coalition with Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota leading the work. Other members of the API Women’s Health Coalition include Vietnamese Social Services, United Cambodian Association of Minnesota, and Bhutanese Community Organization of Minnesota. Partners in the project will address domestic violence and sexual assault through culturally relevant victim services, outreach and education, a media campaign, and conversation circles in the community.
Counties Served: 7-County Metro
SEWA-AIFW, Inc. is a nonprofit organization committed to serving, supporting, and enhancing family wellness for the South Asian community. With this funding opportunity, SEWA-AIFW, Inc. will implement multi-generational educational workshops focused on understanding and maintaining healthy relationships and changing social norms within the South Asian community. As part of the evaluation, workshop participants will be encouraged to share their stories about how having healthy relationships created change in their lives and their families’ lives.
Somali Community Resettlement Services
Counties Served: Rice and Steele
Somali Community Resettlement Services was formed in 1999 by a volunteer network of Somali refugees to directly respond to the needs of Somali refugees and immigrants. To prevent and respond to sexual and domestic violence in the Somali communities of Rice and Steele counties, Somali Community Resettlement Services will collaborate with Healing Outreach Prevention Education (HOPE) Center, a sexual and domestic violence organization, to hire a new Somali Services Advocate.
Counties Served: Hennepin
The mission of Upstream Arts is to use the creative arts to activate and amplify the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities. With this funding opportunity, Upstream Arts will bring The Art of Relationships to the students receiving special education services in the Minneapolis Public School District. The Art of Relationships is a unique arts-based program that educates individuals with disabilities on sexual health, safe relationships, and abuse prevention, while cultivating a culture of prevention within disability organizations, schools, and families.
Women's Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE)
Counties Served: Ramsey
Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE) was founded in 1995 by a group of multicultural, first generation immigrant women as a vehicle for educational, leadership, social, and economic empowerment for immigrant and refugee women and girls. WISE will implement a new sexual violence prevention program and social media campaign with immigrant and refugee high school student groups in Saint Paul.
Women of Nations
Counties Served: 7-County Metro
Women of Nations was founded in 1982 as a community advocacy program serving Native American women who were victimized by domestic violence. In 1992, Women of Nations opened the Eagle’s Nest Shelter in Saint Paul, Minnesota. With this funding opportunity, Women of Nations will provide sexual health education to individuals and families receiving services at Eagle’s Nest Shelter, as well as to youth served through Native American youth-serving organizations. Women of Nations will also do outreach with Native American communities and host roundtable discussion to develop new strategies to prevent violence.
As required by the legislation, MDH submitted the Legislative Report for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Grant Program in February 2020. This report a describes the organizations that are receiving grant funds under this new program, as well as the practices they will use over the next two years. A second report will be submitted in February 2022.