In the 2007 book Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing, a compelling case is made that effective primary prevention practice uses the “engine” of community organizing. Community organizing initiatives are those which invite members of the general public to actively engage in work to end violence against women. This assertion is equally borne out by the experiences of the New York State DELTA Prevention Project.

Domestic violence programs and community activists have long utilized organizing strategies with the goals of enhancing safety and achieving social justice for battered women and children. Objectives of community organizing include:

  • an expansion of the constituency of active participants in the work;
  • an articulation of a clear, universal message that each citizen can take responsibility to end this violence; and
  • transformation of the public discourse and consciousness about the causes of violence against women and the power of the community to end it.*

*Barbara J. Hart, Coordinated Community Approaches to Domestic Violence. This paper was presented at the Strategic Planning Workshop on Violence Against Women, National Institute of Justice, Washington, D. C., March 31, 1995. 

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