Skip to main content

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.

Evidence-Based Examples

Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Program (DOVE)
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • Need: To reduce violence against pregnant women and women with infants in rural Missouri.
  • Intervention: A tool for existing home visiting programs, DOVE is a brochure-based and safety planning intervention for women experiencing interpersonal violence.
  • Results: Women receiving the DOVE intervention saw a larger average decrease in number of violent incidents than women in the control group.

Effective Examples

Wyoming Trauma Telehealth Treatment Clinic
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • 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.
STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation)
Updated/reviewed January 2021
  • Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural veterans, especially women, 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

Canyon Creek Services
Updated/reviewed February 2021
  • Need: To reduce and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in Utah's rural Beaver, Garfield, and Iron counties.
  • Intervention: Canyon Creek Services provides a 24/7 emergency hotline, emergency shelter, hospital response, crisis intervention, housing advocacy, and community education.
  • Results: From July 2019 to June 2020, CCS served 770 survivors, with 165 of them seeking emergency shelter. CCS presented within the community 101 different times with over 19,000 participants.
Mitchell Area Safehouse and Family Visitation Center
Updated/reviewed November 2020
  • Need: To provide victims of domestic violence a safe space, 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 2019, Mitchell Area Safehouse answered 887 crisis calls, provided shelter for 169 survivors, and advocated for 729 survivors. The Safehouse assisted in 34 protection orders and provided advocacy to 11 sexual assault survivors.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Futures Without Violence in Tillamook County
Updated/reviewed April 2020
  • 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, Tides of Change 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.
Jana's Campaign: Love Doesn't Hurt
Updated/reviewed January 2020
  • Need: Prevention and education programs for schools to reduce gender and relationship violence among teenagers.
  • Intervention: Jana's Campaign offers school-based trainings, presentations, projects, and consultations through Love Doesn't Hurt: Teen Gender Violence and Prevention Program.
  • Results: So far, 603 middle and high schools and more than 70,000 students in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Oklahoma have benefited from the program.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Updated/reviewed December 2019
  • Need: To support victims after sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds monthly team meetings, case review, and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and successful prosecutions.
Together We Can Be Bully Free
Updated/reviewed November 2019
  • Need: Union Parish, a rural county in Louisiana, was experiencing higher than average suicide rates among youth.
  • Intervention: Union General Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital, started a program to educate students grade 4 through 12 on the negative effects of bullying and how to model positive social behavior.
  • Results: The 3,000+ students trained have learned how to recognize, report, and react to bullying.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Butte Child Evaluation Center
Updated/reviewed September 2019
  • 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.

Last Updated: 2/11/2021