Violence Free Minnesota convenes Prevention Network meetings every year across the state. In these meetings, we develop a shared understanding of prevention across our communities and learn more about the needs of Minnesota’s domestic violence programs.
For the past several years, these meetings brought together Violence Free Minnesota’s member program staff from all over the state to share their efforts to prevent domestic violence in Minnesota. At the 2019 Prevention Network meeting, we learned from our member programs that prevention:
Needs to address systems change and social norms
Must facilitate skill-building, self-awareness, and self-confidence
Must equip youth and adults with tools to make informed decisions
Involves awareness generation and the provision of resources, information, and opportunities
Requires everybody in a community to play a role, no matter their area of work
At the 2020 Prevention Network meeting, we learned from our member programs about their
creative efforts to reach youth during COVID-19. Youth programs are working with schools to make sure students are still able to receive education on healthy relationships, and are creating “How to Support a Student” packet for teachers to learn how to virtually support students in abusive relationships. Youth advocates are connecting with youth through video calls and texting, and creating care packages and letter writing programs to stay in touch. Advocates have also focused on the intersections between more time spent online and sexual exploitation via technology and social media.
As we continue to map our work on prevention, more information and tools will be provided. Stay tuned!