Wethersfield, CT – Today Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV), Community Health Center Association of Connecticut (CHCACT), and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that Connecticut is one of four states to be awarded a grant from Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) to promote policy and systems changes that support an integrated and improved response to domestic violence and human trafficking in community health centers.
CCADV and its 18 member organizations serve nearly 40,000 victims of domestic violence each year, while the state has averaged 13 intimate partner homicides annually over the past ten years. Human trafficking is also a problem in Connecticut exacerbated by its location along I-95, making it a major corridor for traffickers selling women and children at highway hotels and motels. In 2016, over 376,000 patients from across Connecticut received their care from Connecticut’s federally-qualified health centers, the majority of whom were either on Medicaid or uninsured. This represents an important partnership opportunity to reach potential victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
“We are excited to be one of four states identified by FUTURES to support this important collaboration,” said Jillian Gilchrest, CCADV Director of Health Professional Outreach and Chair of the Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council. “We know that when a victim is assessed for abuse and given a referral to a domestic violence organization, her or his opportunity for safety increases. Connecticut is well-positioned to develop and implement a comprehensive action plan to create sustainable changes to the health center response to domestic violence and human trafficking.”
“This grant will provide significant support to our community health centers in their efforts to combat domestic violence and in their work with victims of it; these centers are on the front lines throughout Connecticut, and they see and treat far too many cases of abuse. With this grant and partnership with the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, we have an opportunity to make an even greater, more meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Marlene Moranino, Director of Clinical Programs for the Community Health Center Association of Connecticut.
“We look forward to working with CHCACT and CCADV as well as our federal partners on this important project. This funding will allow Connecticut to become a national leader in combatting human trafficking and domestic violence through innovative partnerships with community health centers, and our hope is that this model becomes successful and sustainable so that it can be replicated throughout the country to promote health and safety for survivors of Intimate Partner Violence and human trafficking,” said Amy Mirizzi, DPH’s Director of the Office of Injury Prevention.
The $75,000 grant will allow CCADV, CHCACT and DPH to work with six community health centers and four domestic violence organizations in Connecticut to integrate screening and brief interventions into their healthcare delivery. The partnering organizations include: Optimus Health Care, Southwest Community Health Center and The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport; United Community & Family Services and Safe Futures in New London; Charter Oak Health Center, InterCommunity and Interval House in Hartford; and StayWell Health Center and Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury. Training and technical assistance will be provided by the leadership team to support successful implementation. Following the grant-funded period, CCADV and CHCACT will share projects results, facilitate training, and disseminate resources with their full membership for continued integration.
This project is supported through a collaboration of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services partners including, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care; the HRSA Office of Women’s Health; and the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Family and Youth Services Bureau. Technical assistance and training will be provided by FUTURES. Since 1996, FUTURES has been ACF’s funded National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence and in that role promotes model health responses to intimate partner violence as well as patient and provider education tools.
Contact: Liza Andrews, CCADV
Deb Polun, CHCACT
Maura Downes, CT Dept. of Public Health