04 Jun 2012

Building Community Partnerships: S.T.O.P. in Action in Guam

This week's story comes from Guam, where all S.T.O.P. subgrantees coordinate to build and strengthen community partnerships:

Guam’s most innovative effort continues to be its outreach awareness, training, and services project carried out in coordination with all STOP subgrantees.  The project, which began in 1995 with village-to-village visits, has reached out to all the 19 political municipalities of Guam and has successfully “…forged lasting partnerships between the criminal justice systems (local and federal), victim advocacy agencies,” faith- and community-based organizations, municipal mayors’ offices, the U.S. military, and private individuals and organizations.     

The purpose of this undertaking is build and strengthen community partnerships and allies that respond to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking crimes  The multidisciplinary team is comprised of numerous organizations including: the University of Guam (UOG) – College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences (CLASS); Pacific Daily News (public service coverage of services available for victims of violence); U.S. Government Agencies (e.g., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), District Court of Guam, Attorney’s Office, and Immigration & Naturalization.  In addition, a private attorney specializing in immigration issues and a private psychiatrist (and also professor at the UOG) continue to contribute to the annual conferences on Family Violence as have a number of professors from UOG. 

Guam has had great success in engaging multi-faceted partnership with the following specific groups as:

1) The interfaith denominations through the United Faith Coalition (formed several years ago) with members representing the Catholic Church, International     Assembly of God, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahai’i of the Mariana Islands, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Guam Buddhism Society,     Guam United Methodist Church, Micronesian Seminar - FSM, Sokka Gakkai International – USA,  Zion Fellowship Church; 

2) Ethnic organizations such as the United Women of Micronesia;

3) Asia-Pacific Island Organizations – with representation from Consular Corps offices from the Asia-Pacific regions as the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, Japan, Philippines, Chinese, Koreans, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island, etc.;

4) Other community allies are: senior citizens residential homes, Guam Housing & Urban Renewal Authority, Department of Public Health & Social Services; and

5) The U.S. Military support organizations (e.g., Navy Fleet & Family Support Center, Sexual Assault Victim Intervention Program – Commander Naval Forces Marianas (COMNAVMARIANAS), U.S.A.F. Sexual Assault Response Team and the Guam Army National Guard). 

This project has been a great example in how STOP VAW funds can assist in providing the basic framework from which projects such as this can pull together to extend training and services that aid in addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking,  and child abuse.

View the S.T.O.P. in Action film to take a deeper look at the promising S.T.O.P. funded work. For more information on ALSO’s S.T.O.P.Technical Assistance to Administrators Resource (STAAR) Project, click here. Make sure to check back next week to see if your state is featured or follow us on twitter for these and other updates.