Gender-based violence negatively affects the health and wellbeing of individuals, relationships, families, and communities. Therefore, communities, state-level coalitions, and policymakers must take a holistic-multi-level response to preventing and responding to this issue. Increasingly, organizations are focused on “upstream” primary prevention—stopping violence before it starts—and on focusing culturally specific, data-driven approaches in communities most affected by violence.
The Improve Group has nearly a decade of experience supporting organizations preventing and responding to human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual violence. Our passion for this issue comes from firsthand experiences working and volunteering with survivors. This expertise improves the client experience: We connect and empathize with clients’ successes and challenges, become familiar with new clients in this space more quickly than an organization without this background; and understand the complexities of the field, closely monitoring trends and resources that could support clients. At the same time, we see each organization as a unique entity playing a critical role in the movement to end violence; we take time to understand the specific work and passions of clients. In all projects—particularly those related to gender-based violence—we apply our team’s expertise in trauma-informed evaluation.
We support organizations to engage stakeholders; conduct meaningful, realistic evaluation; and plan for the future. In one project, we provide evaluation tools and training to support culturally specific grantees of a Wisconsin teen dating violence prevention program. In Minnesota, we have worked with local anti-trafficking efforts, leveraging our expertise in violence prevention to select survey items to measure outcomes. And in a project with the State of Minnesota, we drew on our understanding of primary prevention to provide expert guidance as the Sexual Violence Prevention Program moved toward more integrated prevention across violence types.
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