MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. /eNewsChannels/ — During the past two years, twenty-six New Jersey agencies that address domestic violence and sexual assault have participated in the Cultural Competency Technical Assistance Project. The Beyond Diversity Resource Center issued a report today which shows that the participating agencies have made substantial Progress in their efforts to provide culturally competent services to their clients.
“The need for domestic violence and sexual assault programs to provide more culturally competent services has been recognized as a national concern. This work is especially important in New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the nation,” said Pamela Chambers, the Training Director of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center and manager of the project. “New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that have taken on cultural competency statewide. That means better services for victims of domestic and sexual violence and their families.”
The report describes the efforts agencies have made to enhance the cultural competency of their services and sets forth five important improvements: (1) agencies are better able to address women’s experiences of domestic violence and sexual assault in the context of the cultural factors that shape their lives, (2) agencies are better able to create programs that meet the needs of more diverse populations, (3) clients receive less secondary victimization (like feeling out of place or misunderstood) when they seek services, (4) clients experience fewer cultural barriers to services, and (5) agency staff and volunteers are less likely to make invalid assumptions and generalizations based on an aspect of a client’s cultural background.
The programs that have participated in the Cultural Competency Technical Assistance Project are those that have received STOP Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding in New Jersey. A list of the participating programs is available in the report.
For the full report, visit the Center’s Web site: http://www.beyonddiversity.org and click on the “Articles” link.
Story References: domestic violence and sexual assault, Cultural Competency Technical Assistance Project, Beyond Diversity Resource Center, Pamela Chambers, STOP Violence Against Women Act, VAWA funding in NJ, NewJerseyNewswire.