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Violence and Abuse in Rural America Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

Effective Examples

Wyoming Trauma Telehealth Treatment Clinic
Added January 2018
  • Need: To provide psychotherapy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Intervention: University of Wyoming psychology doctoral students provide psychotherapy via videoconferencing to crisis center clients in two rural locations.
  • Results: Clients, student therapists, and crisis center staff were satisfied with the quality of services, and clients reported reduced symptoms of depression and PTSD.

Promising Examples

STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural women veterans with a history of trauma.
  • Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
  • Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.

Other Project Examples

Hands of Hope In-School Prevention Program
Added May 2018
  • Need: To reduce and prevent abuse and violence in rural Grant County, Indiana.
  • Intervention: A prevention program uses age-appropriate materials to teach children from Head Start through high school about topics like healthy relationships and nonviolent ways to deal with anger.
  • Results: Surveys show that teachers appreciate the presentations and that students learn more about these topics, strategies they can use in violent or abusive situations, and available resources.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Futures Without Violence in Tillamook County
Added February 2018
  • Need: To address intimate partner violence (IPV) in primary care settings as a health concern. To increase healthcare providers' professional understanding about its prevalence and adverse impacts on patient health.
  • Intervention: In partnership with Safer Futures, Tillamook County Women’s Resource Center provides an advocate at a local health clinic to give confidential services to IPV survivors and training to medical staff. The advocate uses curriculum and other materials designed by Futures Without Violence.
  • Results: Healthcare providers at the clinic reported increased understanding of IPV and its impact on health. As a result, IPV advocates received an increase in referrals from healthcare providers. Patients experiencing IPV reported a reduction in chronic, toxic stress and improved overall health after receiving advocacy services.
Canyon Creek Women's Crisis Center
Added December 2017
  • Need: To reduce and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in Utah's rural Beaver, Garfield, and Iron counties.
  • Intervention: The Canyon Creek Women's Crisis Center provides a 24/7 mobile crisis team, emergency shelter, and community education.
  • Results: In one year, the CCWCC provided 80 individuals with emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, and/or emergency financial assistance for those who needed a new place to live.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Added December 2017
  • Need: To support victims after sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds monthly team meetings and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and successful prosecutions.
Mitchell Area Safehouse and Family Visitation Center
Added November 2017
  • Need: To provide victims of domestic violence a safe space as well as advocacy, education, and family support services.
  • Intervention: The Mitchell Area Safehouse and Family Visitation Center in rural South Dakota provides emergency/transitional housing, support groups, and community education.
  • Results: In 2016, Mitchell Area Safehouse answered 2,114 crisis calls, provided shelter for 193 survivors, and advocated for 1,226 survivors.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Family Advocacy Network
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: A service to address the high number of child abuse cases reported in Nebraska in the late 1990s.
  • Intervention: The Family Advocacy Network (FAN) was developed to assist in the investigations of child abuse cases. FAN provides forensic interviews, forensic medical examinations, hair follicle testing, case coordination, advocacy, and education to help prevent revictimization.
  • Results: FAN helped over 600 children and 23 adults in 2016, as well as educated hundreds of healthcare and community professionals.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Butte Child Evaluation Center
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Before 2000, Butte and southwest Montana had around 1,300 cases of child abuse a year, with only a 20% conviction rate for perpetrators of sexual abuse.
  • Intervention: Multiple agencies in the community came together to address the issue of child abuse by forming the Butte Child Evaluation Center (CEC), a Children's Advocacy Center.
  • Results: During a 3-year grant cycle, over 200 interviews and exams were performed on victims of sexual abuse and the Butte CEC became the first program in Montana to be accredited by the National Children's Alliance.
Together We Can Be Bully Free
Added April 2017
  • Need: Rural Union Parish, Louisiana experienced higher than average suicide rates among youth.
  • Intervention: Union General Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, started a program to educate students 4th through 12th grade on the negative effects of bullying and how to model positive social behavior.
  • Results: The 1,500+ students trained have learned how to recognize, report, and react to bullying.
National TeleNursing Center Helps Rural Clinicians Provide Sexual Assault Nurse Exams
Added February 2016
  • Need: Clinicians in rural areas are often unprepared to treat sexual assault victims after an assault.
  • Intervention: The National TeleNursing Center (NTC) in Massachusetts uses telemedicine to connect Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners to clinicians in remote areas, offering them guidance through examinations.
  • Results: Clinicians report that the help gives them confidence through the examination process. To date, every one of the remote sites' eligible sexual assault patients have consented to receiving help from NTC.

Last Updated: 5/18/2018