Why Coalitions are Critical to Ending Domestic Violence
April 17, 2014
State and territorial coalitions have played a unique role in our nation’s response to domestic violence. Their history is rooted in the battered women’s movement and the values that define this movement, including working towards social justice, self-determination, and ending the oppression of women.
Every state and territory has a domestic violence coalition, 56 in all, and each one has a unique history. Collectively, coalitions play a critical role in the enactment and implementation of policy change and social change at both the state and federal levels. The vision of early leaders from domestic violence coalitions created options for survivors across the nation, and coalitions continue to guide communities in their quest to end violence against women.
The scope of the work of state and territorial domestic violence coalitions is intentionally broad because they are responsible for the leadership that integrates local, state/territory, and national programs, laws, and policies to end domestic violence. Domestic violence coalitions are nongovernmental, nonprofit membership organizations that work with their members and allies to:
- Promote quality, victim-centered services that focus on safety and self-determination;
- Advocate and educate on behalf of survivors, their children, and their advocates;
- Connect, train, and support local domestic violence programs;
- Facilitate partnerships among victim advocates, allied organizations, and state agencies, including law enforcement;
- Mobilize a state- or territory-wide voice on domestic violence, advocating for change both inside and outside of the government and the legislative process;
- Promote system change and reform;
- Improve laws and legislative advocacy by connecting local, state/territory, and national work; and
- Challenge the social, economic, and political conditions that sustain a culture of violence in which domestic and sexual violence is condoned.