Friday, January 26, 2007

Competition To Showcase World's Most Innovative Domestic Violence Prevention Programs

An unprecedented competition to find innovative solutions to the domestic violence that plagues families and communities in the United States and around the world began January 17, 2007. The competition, No Private Matter! Ending Abuse in Intimate and Family Relations, is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and utilizes Changemakers’ online, open source competition model. Dozens of violence prevention programs—based in the U.S. and countries around the world—are expected to propose novel approaches to help eliminate intimate partner and family violence.

The No Private Matter! competition, running through March 28 at, is designed not only to catalyze entrepreneurs to tackle this important issue but also to connect promising solutions with key decision makers, investors and health and social service providers. It also creates opportunities for peers to learn about and refine the strategies developed by their colleagues in order to advance the most promising strategies to end abuse.
A distinguished panel of judges will choose 12 finalists who are leading prevention programs that are innovative and effective, have significant social impact and are sustainable. All will be given myriad opportunities to showcase their programs. Three of the 12 will receive cash prizes of $5,000. The judges include Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler, RWJF Senior Program Officer Jeane Ann Grisso and Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention Director Cindy Waitt.

“The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is delighted to partner with Changemakers to identify and promote the most promising solutions to keeping women and children safe,” Grisso said. “This innovative, open source competition allows us to engage a broad community of social entrepreneurs to help stop domestic violence in the U.S. and improve the health and well-being of children and families affected by abuse.”

The Changemakers competition model is focused on building a community of innovators solving complex social problems and has been used successfully to source and scale innovations on topics including disaster response and affordable housing. “No Private Matter!” is the ninth Changemakers competition. Entries are being accepted in the competition through March 28, and winners will be announced by Changemakers on May 1st.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 2004 there were more than 625,000 nonfatal intimate partner victimizations in the United States, and the vast majority of victims were female. On average, more than three women a day in the U.S. are killed by intimate partners.
“No Private Matter” is the first in a series of competitions the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will sponsor with Changemakers this year; all involve pressing health and health care issues. (Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

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