The Culturally Responsive Domestic Violence Network

In 2012, the Foundation launched a series of investments to build a culturally responsive domestic violence (DV) field that aimed to improve the response of DV organizations to the needs of underserved survivors from marginalized communities. From these investments grew the Culturally Responsive Domestic Violence Network (CRDVN), which brings together organizations seeking to develop their culturally responsive practices into settings designed to facilitate sharing of best practices and generate new solutions to address the common issues impacting survivors across different immigrant communities and communities of color.

As California's communities become more and more diverse, differences in social and cultural norms are increasingly important when considering how to help survivors of domestic violence in the most effective ways possible. Early research findings (summary also available in Spanish) showed a gap in culturally appropriate services and organizations across the state.

That's why we invested in the CRDVN—to promote better access to care, broader cultural awareness, and more effective services to California’s diverse and most vulnerable communities. With support from many partner organizations, including 20 grantee organizations over five years, CRDVN was successful in bringing California’s existing culturally-focused DV organizations together to share expertise and provide leadership to the field, as well as in amplifying the visibility of DV as an issue affecting cultural communities throughout the state.

The CRDVN helped bring about significant practice improvements and leadership development in its member organizations, including:  

  • Engaging DV survivors and community members to increase awareness and practice of culturally competent, DV-related outreach, prevention, and advocacy.
  • Strengthening individual organizations’ existing DV-related cultural competency efforts, practices, policies, or advocacy.
  • Promoting a more connected and culturally competent response to DV with institutional partners and new stakeholders.
  • Fostering a network of skilled leaders to sustain attention on the issue of cultural responsiveness in the DV field.

Its constituent organizations of the have chosen to keep the network active beyond the Foundation’s initial investment, ensuring that its impact on the field is just beginning. As the Foundation moves forward working to break the cycle of domestic violence, the CRDVN will be a valued partner—and can serve as a model for engaging communities and building bridges to new solutions.