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Implementing Survivor-Centered Mechanisms to Hold Service Providers Accountable

Proposal for the 10th national conference of National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Presenters: Emi Koyama & Diana Courvant
Format: Discussion


With power imbalances between women - especially the imbalances between service providers and recipients - often unexamined within anti-domestic violence work, it is inevitable that our programs will not always serve survivors as well as we intend. However, currently the only checks within the system are internal to service provider organizations, and their effectiveness vary greatly between different organizations.

The presenters will propose a model for outside vision and feedback that draws on the work of homeless people and advocates in San Francisco and elsewhere who have successfully enacted mechanisms to provide input to homeless shelters and other service providers on the needs and perspectives of those currently seeking or receiving services from them. Through implementing such mechanisms, we believe that domestic violence survivors and advocates will be able to hold service providers accountable when agency goals, policies or practices diverge from the actual needs of a diverse group of service seekers. Participants will then discuss the model and how it might be implemented within anti-domestic violence circles.

The presenters will use the feedback to refine the model and then report back to participants after the conference.